Dosing for the Winter

Dosing Overview for Winter

It’s the time of the year again where animals are getting closer to being housed over the winter. Housing livestock provides a great opportunity to dose with anthelmintics to reduce parasite burdens.

In cattle the main parasites farmers are concerned about at housing time are worms, fluke, and lice. Over the grazing period cattle are constantly being exposed to these parasites and would have been dosed over the summer for worms and fluke if needed. Once the animals enter the shed, they are no longer going to be picking up new worms or fluke, therefore early control will limit the amount of production that would be lost by the presence of the fluke and worms. Lice, in general, aren’t an issue while grazing but the warm humid conditions brought on by housing the cattle are perfect for the growth of the lice.


Lice can be controlled by pour-ons. These pour-ons can be wormers like Acomec or Dectomax, or lice/ flies pour-ons like Liceban or Spot On. The advantage of using the wormer pours at housing is that they control lungworms, stomach, and gut worms including type II Ostertagia as well as cover lice. After 6-8 weeks a second lice treatment may be needed to keep lice populations controlled. The second and any other subsequent lice treatment should be with lice only pour-on like Ectospec, Liceban, Spot On, Butox Etc.

Worms can be controlled relatively easy, there are lots of products to do the job with different modes of application. When selecting a wormer for the winter make sure the wormer will cover type II Ostertagia. No Levamisole based wormer can control type II Ostertagia therefore if they are used around housing another dosing product will need to be used to control this worm. Products that contain Levamisole include Levafas Diamond, Levicide Low Volume, Chanaverm Plus Etc.

If out wintering cattle, using a product containing moxidectin or doramectin can be beneficial in terms of workload and efficacy. Once they are applied, they will have a persistent dosing effect for several weeks after dosing. This persistency can be utilised around housing. Giving a pre-housing dose up to 5 weeks before housing will allow animals to be free from worms prior to housing, and also having the benefit of allowing lungworms to be cleared of the lungs and the lungs to be repaired in the fresher outside air before they go into the shed.

Fluke control at housing can be confusing as there are numerous products that can be used. These products affect different stages of the fluke’s life cycle. In terms of flukicide control, the life cycle is broken down to 3 stages – early immature, immature, and mature. Products that cover adult fluke only will require the animals to be housed for at least 10 weeks, whereas products that cover early immature can control fluke from 2 weeks after they’ve been housed. Products that control immature fluke can be applied after 6 weeks housed to control all fluke.

Dairy Cows

Always Remember:

Care should be taken on dairy farms when it comes to using dosing products as some aren’t licenced for use on cows lactating milk for human consumption, while other products have a withdrawal period for milk.

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