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Dosing Plan for Dairy Dry Off

This week's Farm Health First vlog covers dosing protocols for dairy cows at drying off time.

The dry period represents an opportunity for dairy farmers to eradicate any parasites that could be causing clinical, or often more sinister sub-clinical losses.

As lactation ends, more options for treatment arise and, crucially, we can tackle potential liver fluke problems.

When designing a dosing plan for drying off, it's important that we get a handle on the farm's fluke risk as this will help with our product selection.

We can do this by working from history, consulting the vet, responsible person, or using diagnostics like bulk tank antibody screening or faecal analysis - though note there are limitations when it comes to using faecal testing as a fluke-diagnoser.

It's important to note that fluke risk can fluctuate and is heavily influenced by rainfall rates earlier in the summer.

Summer rainfall is a huge determinant of fluke risk.

High-risk farm

On a high fluke risk farm, there's a chance that young fluke will be actively damging livers at drying off time. Using a mature flukicide here will not remove these younger fluke and so we are risking more damage. Instead, opt for a triclabendazole product like Tribex 10% which is active against all stages of liver fluke. Administer Tribex 10% 8-14 days post-housing. The product is not for use within 41 days of calving and milk must only be taken for human consumption from 48 hours post-calving.

To cover worms and external parasite on this high fluke risk farm, we can administer a simple ivermectin pour on, such as Animec, at housing time. Note these products have a 60 day milk withdrawal and so should be given at the beginning of the dry period.

Low-risk farm

On a farm with a low fluke risk, our plan can be more straightforward. Albex 10% will cover all of the important internal worms, as well as an adult fluke. It represents a good fluke clean out dose when we're not too worried about active young fluke and simply want to remove and adults that might be present in small numbers but laying eggs that could cause future problems. The fact that it's a white wormer (benzimidazole) means that it also represents good practice (rotation of ingredients) where farms have used eprinomectin (clear wormer) during the season.

After using Albex 10% at drying off, take a faecal egg sample in the weeks pre-calving to see if any mature fluke are left in the system. Alternatively, or if there is evidence of adult fluke present, an adult flukicide like Rumenil can be used before or on the point of calving. Consult a vet before giving oxyclozanide (Rumenil) to pregnant animals as it can cause a loosening of dung and some stress. The 4.5 day milk withdrawal means that the product is practical on dairy farms.

Use medicines responsibly.

This week's Farm Health First vlog covers dosing protocols for dairy cows at drying off time.

The dry period represents an opportunity for dairy farmers to eradicate any parasites that could be causing clinical, or often more sinister sub-clinical losses.

As lactation ends, more options for treatment arise and, crucially, we can tackle potential liver fluke problems.

When designing a dosing plan for drying off, it's important that we get a handle on the farm's fluke risk as this will help with our product selection.

We can do this by working from history, consulting the vet, responsible person, or using diagnostics like bulk tank antibody screening or faecal analysis - though note there are limitations when it comes to using faecal testing as a fluke-diagnoser.

It's important to note that fluke risk can fluctuate and is heavily influenced by rainfall rates earlier in the summer.

Summer rainfall is a huge determinant of fluke risk.

High-risk farm

On a high fluke risk farm, there's a chance that young fluke will be actively damging livers at drying off time. Using a mature flukicide here will not remove these younger fluke and so we are risking more damage. Instead, opt for a triclabendazole product like Tribex 10% which is active against all stages of liver fluke. Administer Tribex 10% 8-14 days post-housing. The product is not for use within 41 days of calving and milk must only be taken for human consumption from 48 hours post-calving.

To cover worms and external parasite on this high fluke risk farm, we can administer a simple ivermectin pour on, such as Animec, at housing time. Note these products have a 60 day milk withdrawal and so should be given at the beginning of the dry period.

Low-risk farm

On a farm with a low fluke risk, our plan can be more straightforward. Albex 10% will cover all of the important internal worms, as well as an adult fluke. It represents a good fluke clean out dose when we're not too worried about active young fluke and simply want to remove and adults that might be present in small numbers but laying eggs that could cause future problems. The fact that it's a white wormer (benzimidazole) means that it also represents good practice (rotation of ingredients) where farms have used eprinomectin (clear wormer) during the season.

If drenching is not an option, Animec Super (UK only) injection can be used in the same manner as Albex 10% (i.e. same timing and parasites controlled). Like Animec Pour On, it has a 60 day milk withdrawal.

After using Albex 10% at drying off, take a faecal egg sample in the weeks pre-calving to see if any mature fluke are left in the system. Alternatively, or if there is evidence of adult fluke present, an adult flukicide like Rumenil can be used before or on the point of calving. Consult a vet before giving oxyclozanide (Rumenil) to pregnant animals as it can cause a loosening of dung and some stress. The 4.5 day milk withdrawal means that the product is practical on dairy farms.

Use medicines responsibly.

12
Oct