Liver Fluke in Sheep
In the autumn we are concerned about the immature stages of liver fluke that can cause acute disease and sudden death in sheep. A post-mortem should be carried out following a sudden death to rule out Clostridial disease or Pasteurella.
- The only product which will treat the immature fluke stage is Triclabendazole e.g. Endofluke/Fasinex
Do not use Triclabendazole all year round as this can lead to resistance.
- In late winter consider using a Closantel e.g. Solantel/Flukiver and in spring/summer consider an Oxyclosanide e.g. Zanil to target the adult fluke stage
Liver Fluke in Beef Cattle
Cattle rarely suffer from acute liver fluke disease so, unlike sheep, should not be dosed with Triclabendazole. Chronic disease causes reduced daily liveweight gains, poor fertility and scouring. Treatment can be given after housing at the following intervals:
- Closantel e.g. Closamectin at 6 weeks post-housing
- Or Nitroxynil e.g. Trodax at 7 weeks post-housing
- Waiting 6-7 weeks post-housing will ensure that the fluke are old enough to be susceptible to the chosen drug
Liver Fluke in Dairy Cattle
Dairy cows with chronic fluke can show reduced milk yields and fertility, scouring and weight loss.
A bulk milk sample can be tested for liver fluke. CAUTION: Only a very small number of products are licensed for use in dairy cows and heifers. Some are licensed only for use at the start of the dry period, whilst others have a milk withdrawal. Carefully read the product label and speak to one of the vets if you are unsure