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Liver fluke in cattle and sheep – event summary

17 November 2016

Liver fluke is a significant cause of loss of production in cattle and sheep, but control strategies are not one-size-fits-all and depend on previous treatments, climatic conditions, housing, etc.

SAC Vet Heather Stevenson delivered one of her informative, topical, and very popular liver fluke sessions.

There was a good turnout to hear what Heather had to say about liverfluke.  These small, but at times deadly, parasites are a real threat to your livestock.  Treatment resistence is becoming an increasing problem and key to tackling that is to understand the lifecycle, risk factors and the key times to use particular products.  By combining good livestock & pasture management with the available treatment products, you can reduce the impact in your flocks and herds.  Heather had brought along samples showing the different sizes of the liver flukes at different ages and stages.  There were a number of product jars to show the range of flukicides currently available on the market and to demonstrate how each is best suited to particular times within the lifecycle.  The attendees were split into groups to decide on the best types of treatment for animals on differing hypothetical scenarios.

Key points to remember:

  1. Use the right product at the right time of year.
  2. Find out whether triclabendazole is still working on your farm.
  3. Identify high and low risk areas on your farm and plan grazing (particularly in autumn) to reduce/minimise infection risk as much as possible.
  4. Investigate any problems both before and after treatment e.g. sudden deaths or ill thrift.
  5. Check fluke forecasts to help decide when and how often to treat in autumn and winter.

Have a look at the presentation given during the meeting by Heather here & download the Technical Note & liver fluke treatment products list from the ‘related downloads’ section below.

Boys looking at liverfluke samples


Related Downloads
Technical Note (TN677): Treatment and Control of Liver Fluke in Sheep and Cattle
The number of disease outbreaks due to the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica has increased in recent years with unprecedented numbers of sheep affected in 2012/13.
Topics: Livestock
Liverfluke Products for Sheep & Cattle

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