Liver Fluke in Australia are estimated to cost cattle producers over $100 million in lost production through reductions in growth and weight gain, infertility, and poor milk production.
- As little as 30-40 fluke can reduce weight gain by 8-9%1,2
- In feedlots, animals infected with fluke will grow 5.9 – 9.5% less than treated cattle3,4
- Visible liver damage from fluke lowers cold carcass value5,6
- Reduced milk quantity, and quality, by up to 0.7kg per cow per day7
- Reduced conception rate of 50% and puberty onset delays of 39 days8
- Fluke infection can cause fatal blood loss in young cattle
Successful fluke control can be challenging because it’s not enough to just remove fluke from cattle, you also need to consider the fluke population present in the environment.
Effective control of fluke in cattle
The Virbac FlukeKill program offers best practice integrated fluke management while considering other threats to health and productivity. The program is designed to deliver the highest productivity outcomes and best pasture management, as well as provide a fluke resistance management plan.
The right product at the right time
Fluke have a complex life cycle with several stages of growth both on pasture and inside cattle. This means that strategic treatments at the right time can break the reproductive cycle and reduce the presence of fluke on pasture.
- Adult fluke produce eggs which are passed out in manure.
- Larvae (miracidia) are released from eggs and invade lymnaeid snails (intermediate hosts)
- The parasite multiplies within the snail, leaving as a tadpole like cercaria.
- The cercariae attach to pasture and become the infective cysts (metacercariae).
- The metacercariae are ingested by cattle where they hatch, penetrate the intestinal wall and migrate to the liver.
- Young fluke migrate through liver tissue as they develop and then move into the bile ducts.
Control 2 week old fluke
The damage is done sooner than you think. It isn’t enough to kill adult fluke. Migrating fluke begin causing irreparable damage from the first week they are ingested.
- At 1 week old, liver fluke are already causing damage to cattles liver9
- At 4 weeks old, much of the damage is already done9
- At 8-12 weeks liver flukes are fully grown adults and have migrated through the liver into the bile duct
Product synergy refers to the combination of two products achieving a greater efficacy than either of those two products used alone. The synergistic effect of the actives in FLUKAZOLE® C, NITROMEC® INJECTION as well as NITROFLUKE INJECTION means they are the only fluke treatments available that provide effective control of 2 week old fluke.
Pour on saves time, but at what cost?
To control 2 week old fluke, triclabendazole needs to reach a high concentration in the liver. The concentration of the active in the blood is 8 times higher in an oral drench than in a pour on.
Key elements in an effective management program
- Use the most effective product
A more potent chemical treatment means less fluke survive to breed resistance and less pasture contamination.
- Rotate to a different active
Resistance can develop when one chemical is used for an extended period of time. Rotating to a different active such as NITROMEC or NITROFLUKE INJECTION can help combat or prevent resistance.
- Monitor the effectiveness of treatment
Often by the time you’ve found fluke resistance, the damage is already done. Monitor your treatment through regular testing.
- Ross, D. B., (1970) Treatment of experimental Fasciola hepatica infection of sheep with rafoxanide. Veterinary Record, 87: 110-111.
- Hope Cawdery M. J., Strickland K. L., Conway A. and Crowe P. J. (1977) Production effects of infection on live weight gain, food intake and food conversion efficiency in beef cattle. British Veterinary Journal 133: 145-159.
- Hicks R., Gill D., Owens F. (1989). Impact of liver flukes on the performance of feedlot steers. Stillwater.
- Malone J. B., Williams J. C., Lutz M. (1990). Efficacy of concomitant early summer treatment with fenbendazole and clorsulon against Fasciola hepatica and gastrointestinal nematodes in calves in Louisiana. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 51:133–136.
- Brown, T. R., Lawrence, T. E. (2010). Association of liver abnormalities with carcass grading 293 performance and value. Journal of Animal Science, 88: 4037-4043.
- Sanchez-Vazquez, M. J. and Lewis, F. I. (2013) Investigating the impact of fasciolosis in cattle carcase performance. Veterinary Parasitology, 193(1-3): 307-311.
- Charlier, J., Duchateau, L., Claerebout, E., Williams, D., and Vercruysse, J. (2007). Associations between anti-Fasciola hepatica antibody levels in bulk-tank milk samples and production parameters in dairy herds. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 78(1): 57-66.
- Oakley, G. A., Owen, B., and Knapp, N. H. H. (1979) Production effects of subclinical liver fluke
- Dargie, J.D. (1986) The impact of production and mechanisms of pathogenisis of trematode infections in cattle and sheep. In. Ed. M. J. Howell, Parasitology-Quo vadit Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Parasitology, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, pp 453-463.
- JC Boray (1982). Chemotherapy of fasciolosis New South Wales Veterinary Proceedings, p42-47.