Advice on Treating Cattle For Endo-Parasites At Housing

As all UK cattle farmers know, Housing is a key time of year for addressing endo-parasite issues in the herd. UK summers often see a lot of rain; which provides the ideal conditions for the development of a number of parasites including stomach worms (Trichostrongylosis), lungworm or husk and liver fluke (Fascioliasis).

In this article, we will look at the different parasite problems cattle may face at this time of year and how the Bimectin product range can help farmers address this challenge.

Liver Fluke

Liver fluke (Fascioliasis) is caused by a specific flatworm, known as Fasciola hepatica. This parasite has a complicated life cycle that typically takes from 9-20 weeks to progress from beginning to end. Immature stages of the liver fluke are also able to survive in a cyst-like structure, similar to Dictyocaulus. The encysted fluke can survive in this state for up to 2 years, particularly over mild winters. This has knock on effects for control measures as it means that once fluke is established, control programmes must be followed year-in, year-out. Liver fluke levels have been rising consistently in the UK over recent years and farms on all types of land, including those on traditionally drier land must now ensure fluke surveillance and control strategies are in place. The mild weather of last winter coupled with the record rain fall of this summer have being ideal for high fluke and snail levels this year in particular and many abattoirs are reporting high levels of liver condemnation than previously seen. Remember that sub-clinical fluke in cattle causes reduced profitability due to lack of thrive, reduced food conversion efficacy, lowered fertility and reduced milk yield. So just because your stock do not have obvious symptoms such as bottle –jaw, diarrhoea and weight loss does not mean your stock are fluke free.


Ostertagiosis is caused by a family of roundworm parasites. One of the most notable parasites in this group is Trichlostronglus Ostertagii. These parasites cause Parasitic Gastroenteritis (PGE), of which there are two types. Type 1 PGE is caused directly by the presence of large numbers of roundworms within the intestine, each feeding on the intestinal lining, thereby depriving the bovine host of nutrients. Type 2 is caused by immature worms burrowing into the lining of the intestine and re-emerging in large numbers mid-winter. Type 1 PGE is the type most commonly encountered during the summer grazing season. These parasites typically develop from egg to adult within 21-28 days, in warm weather 21 days is more common.

Lungworm or Husk (Dictyocauliasis)

Lungworm or Husk (Dictyocauliasis) is caused by a roundworm which effectively lodges itself within the windpipes of the bovine host. This leads to obstruction of the airways, along with collapse of the air sacs (known as alveoli) within the lung. It is not uncommon for bacterial or viral pneumonia to develop secondary to lungworm infestation. Lungworm is most commonly seen in young grazing stock which, cough when excited or roused. The duration of the life cycle of these worms is similar to that of the roundworms. However, part of the development is spent on pasture within a cyst-like structure, where the immature worm can quite easily overwinter. This allows the infestation to persist from one grazing season to the next.

How The Bimectin Range Can Help Address The Parasite Problem At Housing

Lungworms, stomach worms and liver fluke can all have a devastating economic effect on the cattle herd.

Bimectin Plus can help you to control all three parasites. Bimectin Plus contains Ivermectin and Clorsulon, two potent anthelmintics. Clorsulon is a potent flukicide, causing adult liver fluke to become unable to metabolise sugar and to die of starvation.

This powerful combination allows you to control adult liver fluke, stomach worms and lungworm in one injection. Click here for more details on Bimectin Plus.

Use Medicines Responsibly -
Legal Category of Bimectin Plus: POM-VPS.
Bimectin Plus contains ivermectin 10mg/ml and clorsulon 100mg/l
Date of article:July 2014.