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Is Your Dewormer Working?

Is your dewormer working?
By Harold Newcomb, D.V.M., Technical Services Manager, Merck Animal Health

If you’re only using an endectocide, such as ivermectin, chances are you’re not getting the fecal egg count reduction needed to have a successful deworming. This can mean decreased feed intake, lower average daily gains and possible impaired immune responses to vaccines and diseases.

Merck Animal Health maintains the world’s largest Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT) database, which includes efficacy results from more than 720 trials and 24,000 samples.

The database results show that with an endectocide pour-on, a mere 51% FEC reduction was attained 14 days after receiving the pour-on. This is well below the 90% FEC reduction that is critical for proper parasite management.

Adding Safe-Guard® (fenbendazole) made a tremendous difference. When Safe-Guard was given, 99.1% effectiveness was obtained.

For maximum efficacy, take these four steps:

1)   If you’re using a dewormer that ends in “-ectin”, consider adding another product where the active ingredient ends in “-zole”, such as Safe-Guard or Panacur, which contain the active ingredient fenbendazole. A concurrent deworming program most effectively controls internal parasites and is a critical part of a sustainable deworming program.

2)    Deworm cattle at the right time. Treat adult cattle at turnout. In high-parasite burden areas, retreat 4 to 6 weeks later. Stocker cattle should be concurrently dewormed on arrival with a white dewormer, such as Safe-Guard, and avermectin-type product. Deworm again 28 and 56 days after grass turnout with a non-handling formulation of dewormer, such as Safe-Guard mineral, blocks or cubes to increase weight gains 25-30 lbs. over the grazing season.

3)    Properly estimate animal weights so a full dose of dewormer is used.

4)    Work with your veterinarian to do FECRT testing annually. It is important that 20 samples are taken both at treatment and 14 days post-treatment. If there is less than a 90% reduction in FEC, a DNA-based (PCR) test should be conducted to determine which parasites remain.

Learn more at SafeGuardWorks.com

References are available upon request.

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