I am a farmer, Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) or veterinary professional resident in the:

Weekly Vlog

FAQ

Weekly Specialist’s View

Beating Cocci - What is the Biggest Weapon Against Coccidiosis?

What is an animal’s number one weapon in the fight against coccidiosis?

No, it's not a drench.

No, it's not a medicated buckets or concentrate feed either.

An animal's main weapon against coccidiosis is its own natural immunity.

Our goal is to stimulate this natural immunity as quickly as possible, so that the animal can protect itself later in life. Coccidia, the parasite, can be present absolutely everywhere in a ruminant animal’s environment.

The parasite is nearly impossible to eradicate. It can in theory be done in clean animal housing, by using a disinfectant that kills coccidia. However, incoming older animals will quickly repopulate an indoor environment and burdens will then rise again.

Instead of trying to eradicate the parasite, we look to manage it. We attempt to limit burdens with husbandry and hygiene protocols, so that the animal is not exposed to large populations of the parasite. However, the vast majority of animals will quickly become exposed to coccidia, due to the seasonality and pressure zones in our farming systems at various points throughout the year.

Drenches such as diclazuril or toltrazuril should be used strategically around these pressure zones. In an ideal world, our animals would get exposed to coccidia, but not an excessive amount. This helps to stimulate the immune system and allow the animal to cope naturally with the parasite.

However, this is not always realistic and, either burdens become high enough to overwhelm the immune system, or stressor events suppress the animal's immune system, indirectly allowing coccidia to proliferate and cause clinical symptoms and thrive reduction.

Knowing our farm history is a vital tool in determining when the burden of coccidia can become too high, or when stressor events can be problematic – both of which could lead to symptoms of coccidiosis and reduction in thrive.

An animal should be dosed before its starts showing symptoms of coccidiosis but after it has been exposed to a small burden of coccidia.

With some parasites, we can treat our way out of problems e.g. treating animals with wormers numerous times a year. However, with coccidia, this is not the case. If we gave multiple doses of diclazuril or toltrazuril and then suddenly stopped treating an animal for coccidia the animal's natural immunity will not have been built up and can lead to failures.

We commonly hear of cases of farmers drenching animals three or four times early in the season and then seeing coccidiosis 4-6 weeks later. These animals’ immune systems were never sufficiently stimulated and failed when challenged later on.

Watch the video below and check out these other articles

What is coccidiosis?

How soon can animals get coccidiosis?

How does an anti-coccidial drench work?

Coccidiosis effects on dairy heifers

Preventing coccidiosis

Coccidiosis in grazing calves

Meet our Cattle & Sheep farmers

What is an animal’s number one weapon in the fight against coccidiosis?

No, it's not a drench.

No, it's not a medicated buckets or concentrate feed either.

An animal's main weapon against coccidiosis is its own natural immunity.

Our goal is to stimulate this natural immunity as quickly as possible, so that the animal can protect itself later in life. Coccidia, the parasite, can be present absolutely everywhere in a ruminant animal’s environment.

The parasite is nearly impossible to eradicate. It can in theory be done in clean animal housing, by using a disinfectant that kills coccidia. However, incoming older animals will quickly repopulate an indoor environment and burdens will then rise again.

Instead of trying to eradicate the parasite, we look to manage it. We attempt to limit burdens with husbandry and hygiene protocols, so that the animal is not exposed to large populations of the parasite. However, the vast majority of animals will quickly become exposed to coccidia, due to the seasonality and pressure zones in our farming systems at various points throughout the year.

Drenches such as diclazuril or toltrazuril should be used strategically around these pressure zones. In an ideal world, our animals would get exposed to coccidia, but not an excessive amount. This helps to stimulate the immune system and allow the animal to cope naturally with the parasite.

However, this is not always realistic and, either burdens become high enough to overwhelm the immune system, or stressor events suppress the animal's immune system, indirectly allowing coccidia to proliferate and cause clinical symptoms and thrive reduction.

Knowing our farm history is a vital tool in determining when the burden of coccidia can become too high, or when stressor events can be problematic – both of which could lead to symptoms of coccidiosis and reduction in thrive.

An animal should be dosed before its starts showing symptoms of coccidiosis but after it has been exposed to a small burden of coccidia.

With some parasites, we can treat our way out of problems e.g. treating animals with wormers numerous times a year. However, with coccidia, this is not the case. If we gave multiple doses of diclazuril or toltrazuril  and then suddenly stopped treating an animal for coccidia the animal's natural immunity will not have been built up and can lead to failures.

We commonly hear of cases of farmers drenching animals three or four times early in the season and then seeing coccidiosis 4-6 weeks later. These animals’ immune systems were never sufficiently stimulated and failed when challenged later on.

Watch the video below and check out these other articles

What is coccidiosis?

How soon can animals get coccidiosis?

How does an anti-coccidial drench work?

Coccidiosis effects on dairy heifers

Preventing coccidiosis

Coccidiosis in grazing calves

Meet our Cattle & Sheep farmers

30
Dec