Farmers need to test cattle for rumen fluke as only certain doses will cure the disease, according to east-Galway Veterinary Surgeon, Liam O’Malley.

Fluke has been a problem all summer due to the wet weather and has affected both dairy and suckler herds, the vet outlined.

Farmers need to do a little bit of research before choosing what dose is needed to treat animals, he said.

For instance, large volume oral doses that are used to treat rumen fluke and can be more difficult to administer.

There has been an on-going problem with liver fluke this year and it is only going to get worse, as it does every year.

Housing Cattle this Winter

The Veterinary Surgeon also advised farmers to have a practical health plan in place when housing cattle this winter.

Where cattle are showing no clinical signs of being affected by fluke, it is advisable to dose animals four weeks after housing with a dose aimed at curing young fluke, he said.

Meanwhile, to target cattle that are affected by immature or adult fluke farmers should wait until the cattle are housed for eight weeks before dosing.

Lice is another problem that often affects cattle of all ages during housing and it can be easily treated, according to the vet who has a practice in Ballygar, Co. Galway.

It can be important to treat for lice twice in quick succession, leaving a period of three to four weeks, as eggs may be left behind after the first treatment.

There has been a significant problem with pneumonia this year, O’Malley said, with simple vaccines which can provide protection for up to three months seemingly abandoned by farmers.

“Farmers need to ensure that there shed is properly ventilated and that there are no draughts to protect cattle from pneumonia,” he said.