Was your dosing strategy effective?

As we pass the mid-way point of housing, it is time to see if your work in dosing for fluke and worms back in the months of October and November was effective.

Controlling these parasites is crucial, especially during the housing period in order to enable better animal performance.

By checking the effectiveness of your dosing strategy, it will identify if there are any levels of anthelminthic resistance from internal parasites such as fluke and worms on your farm. It will also identify if any further action is necessary in controlling these parasites.

From a financial aspect, it will provide you with some peace of mind that your selected dosing product has worked and that you have gotten value for your money.

One method of checking that dosing has worked is by collecting fecal matter and testing for the number of eggs present within the sample. If the sample comes back negative, this will indicate that your dosing has been effective.

Collecting Faecal Matter

It is important when sampling on the farm is being completed, that these guidelines (below) are considered for collecting faecal matter.

How to collect samples:

  • Gloves should be worn and it is vital that the sample is fresh;
  • Samples should be taken in the morning after a resting period;
  • 10 different samples from at least 10 different animals should be taken;
  • The faeces should be placed into a sample pot and then enclosed in an airtight zip-lock bag;
  • Fill out the submission form and ensure that the animal’s tag number has been recorded for each sample pot;
  • Store samples in a cool place;
  • Do not freeze or place the samples in direct sunlight;
  • Ideally, post the samples to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

Checking slaughter reports

If the animals you have dosed have been slaughtered, you can still check if your dosing strategy worked by analysing your Animal Health Ireland (AHI) reports which are available on the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation’s (ICBF’s) website.

If the factory you are dealing with provides these AHI reports, it will give the health status of the animal’s lungs and liver at the time of slaughter.

If you are planning on slaughtering animals shortly, you may be able to contact the vet on the slaughtering line of the abattoir who will provide you with a report.