Cattle producers around the world need to think about parasites and the impact they have on their herds. They will likely already rely on wormer for treating the issue. However, some won’t know whether to opt for single or combination treatment. We want to have a look at it here to provide some useful advice.
What is single treatment?
Also known as monotherapy, what happens here is you treat the herd with one active drug from a single class. So, for example, you may administer a white dewormer (benzimidazoles). These are purge wormers and tackle internal parasites. Alternatively, you might choose a clear dewormer (macrocyclic lactones). They can control parasites internally as well as external ones.
When to use it?
Single treatment can be sufficient in a number of situations. Generally it is best when you use a broad spectrum drug that can tackle different types of parasites.
The most notable time to use monotherapy is when you are moving mature cattle from summer pastures. The parasite risk is highest over the summer months, so it is a good idea to treat the herd with a wormer before moving to a new pasture. It can make the winter nutrition program more effective.
You can also opt for single treatment when you are dealing with calves at weaning age. Because they are younger, they shouldn’t have had time to build a massive parasite load. As a result, using one dewormer can be sufficient.
What is combination treatment?
Here you use two different wormers with unique active ingredients. The goal is to provide a much broader reduction in parasites. This happens because they have specific modes of action. The parasites will also react differently to the drugs. By using two, you get better coverage and any that survive the first one may be killed by the second.
When to use it?
While we spoke of some specific cases above when single wormer application can be effective, combination treatment is much broader. You can use it in any kind of situation. It is best for treating infestations and heavy parasite loads. The use of multiple drugs here provides the highest potential for reduction.
It is also a very good idea to use a combination treatment when you first bring cattle on to a farm. The last thing you want is to do this and bring a heavy amount of new parasites. That is especially true if you have a good low base level already.
Always do testing
Whether you choose single or combination treatments, you should also be practising good herd and pasture management. Particularly here you should be doing regular faecal egg count tests. You should do one early to get a baseline. You can then do another after you apply a wormer to see the response. It will indicate if you should use another dewormer to further reduce the parasite load.
Talk to us if you need wormer
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