Faecal egg counts applications

It’s still damp, but it’s warming up; the perfect environment for a worm burden to develop.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 8:41 am

We all know that mob treatment with any ‘off the shelf’ worm treatment is not ideal as the worm burden could develop resistance to specific classes of wormers meaning the animals would need to be treated again.

So how do you prevent worms from affecting your herd or flock’s health and productivity? Faecal egg counting is the answer and here are a few reasons why!

- It allows vets and farmers to make an accurate diagnosis so that an appropriate treatment/prevention is started.

- You can monitor the parasitic burden, thereby reducing the amount of wormers being used. This has the ability to cut down on the annual spend for farmers on wormers and reduce the risk of building resistance to specific classes of wormers on farm after dosing too frequently

- Enables you to test for resistance

- Internal parasites are a major factor in reduced productivity in all ages of livestock.

- From the day a calf or lamb is born it is important to have a parasite control plan in place.

- Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding losses in productivity due to internal parasites.

- Monitoring is an important step in any control plan.

- Parklands vets are able to advise you of specific programmes tailored to your farm.

- All of Parklands Farm Vets branches offer a faecal egg counting service.

The importance of FEC testing in Cattle:

- Faecal egg count reduction tests in calves

A dung sample from scouring animals can be used to detect cryptosporidium or coccidiosis. Cryptosporidium can be detected rapidly using a Rainbow Calf Scour Test kit. A specific treatment and prevention plan can then be put in place.

- Lungworm in cattle can cause severe pneomonia.

If lungworm is suspected it is often possible to isolate the larvae from a dung sample.

Dung from grazing animals can be tested for the number of worm eggs per gram of faeces. Depending on the levels it may or may not be advisable to worm your stock.

- From late summer onwards, dung samples are useful in monitoring for rumen and liver fluke.

The importance of FEC testing in Sheep:

- Resistancy to anti-parasitics is already a major issue on many sheep farms. It is only a matter of time before more resistance to wormers is seen in cattle.

It is vital in these scenarios that faecal egg counts are carried out regularly on lambs to track the number of eggs per gram. This prevents lambs being dosed unnecessarily (building resistance) or suffering reduced daily liveweight gain from a parasitic burden.

Depending on the product used, follow up egg counts should be carried out 7-14 days later to ensure there is at least a 90% reduction in eggs per gram from the pre worming sample or resistance may be present on farm to the class of wormer used.

The Parklands in-house diagnostics have a fast turnaround time, allowing results to be relayed to farmers often the same day, reducing the delay in administering any necessary treatments.