Worms are one of the most dangerous parasites affecting cattle. There are basically three types of worms:
- Round worms (Nematodes)
- Tapeworms (Cestodes)
- Liverflukes (Trematodes)
Worms can cause loss in production in a number of ways:
- Reduced growth rate/weight
- Loss of lives of cattle
- Weakening the immune system
Signs of worm infestation
- Anaemia (pale mucus membrane)
- Rough hair coat
- Sometimes loss of appetite
- Blindness (eye worms)
Control of worms
Worms can be controlled in a number of ways:
- Cultural methods – rotational grazing
- Antihelmintics (drugs) — Dewormers
- UV light (sunshine in pastures)
- Cultural methods involve grazing calves ahead of adults, and rotational grazing.
Use of drugs
Farmers have to be careful on the type of dewormers to use and when to do that exercise.
The strategic deworming intervention involves drenching animals at the beginning or end of the rainy season.
It is important to follow instructions and proper dosages to avoid overdoses and losses.
Consult your vet on the type of antinelmintic to use whether injectable or oral drugs preferably after taking laboratory samples to verify the type of worm that is affecting your animals.
Some dewormers can kill one or more types of worms a and in some cases, some stages of worms like larvae are not killed which may predispose the animal to renifestation.