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Effective Anthelmintic strategies for cattle
Ohio Ag Connection - 09/25/2023

A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that an oral dewormer was more effective than a pour-on dewormer in reducing fecal egg counts and increasing weight gain in cattle during a 42-day background phase.

The study included 797 weaned calves across two years and cattle herds at four different University of Georgia research units. Calves were randomly assigned into one of four treatments: 1) oxfendazole (oral, white dewormer), 2) transdermal eprinomectin (pour-on), 3) Both products (BOTH), and 4) the Control (CON) group who did not receive an anthelmintic treatment.

All three anthelmintic strategies reduced fecal egg counts compared to the control, but the ORAL and BOTH treatments showed the greatest reduction. The POUR treatment only resulted in a 65% reduction in FEC, while the ORAL averaged 97% and BOTH averaged 99% reductions.

Cattle receiving all anthelmintic treatments gained more weight compared to those not receiving anthelmintic over a 42-day weaning period. Interestingly, the calves receiving ORAL gained more than BOTH and POUR. The value of weight gain was calculated using a current price of $2.20, and the total value added takes into consideration the cost of the treatment. All calves increased in value compared to the control with the ORAL treatment providing the largest return proved.

The study's authors concluded that if a production system has relied heavily on pour-on dewormers for several years, there can be an economic incentive to incorporate an oral "white dewormer" into their management system. This can improve profit but can help reduce the chance for resistance parasites in their cow herd.

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