Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Wet Weather Fluke of Nature

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Wet Weather Fluke of Nature

Article excerpt

Byline: cattleCHAT LHPA district vet Keith Newby

Welcome to a new monthly column by Livestock Health and Pest Authorities' district vet Keith Newby . . ..

SINCE last month, the area has received considerable rainfall, which is most unusual for this time of year. This has resulted in very wet conditions on low-lying country and that can lead to a few problems such as foot abscess, footrot and mastitis.

In the past few weeks there has been a rapid increase in the number of cattle showing signs of stomach fluke infestation. These little critters had been fairly uncommon until August, when they started showing up again. Many years ago they were a major problem, especially in the Lower Clarence area.

The immature fluke can cause severe inflammation to the intestinal tract, resulting in diarrhoea and weight loss. Because the immature fluke do not lay eggs, an egg count may not be of much value.

The adult fluke do not lay many eggs so what seems like a low count may well indicate a significant problem.

Other symptoms include brisket oedema (similar to Cybottle jaw', but affecting the brisket), anaemia and rapid weight loss if body proteins are lost through the damaged intestines.

The intermediate host for stomach fluke are small snails known as planorbid snails. These snails like low swampy areas so there are plenty of favourable environments around at the moment.

At present there are no products registered in NSW to treat stomach fluke. However, there is a drench that can be used after veterinary advice so you should contact either your private vet or LHPA district vet before you treat your animals.

Residues, residues, residues . . .

WE are now in the most favourable season for worms, ticks and buffalo fly, and so it's likely many producers will be using some form of chemical to control these nuisances. It is vital these products are used correctly, ensuring not only they are effective, but also that no residues are found in meat or milk products from treated animals. …

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