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Lungworm warning for UK farmers in wake of weather pattern

Farmers are reminded to be on the look-out for lungworm symptoms in grazing cattle, with a dry summer followed by the recent onset of heavy rain increasing the risk of it occurring later in the year than usual.

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Technical Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim, Sioned Tomothy, says that while July, August and early September are usually the peak months for lungworm, infections this year could be seen into November.

 

She added that clinical signs from late-season infections may not be visible until cattle are housed, with a risk that coughing can be confused with other respiratory diseases which can occur shortly after housing.


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“Lungworm should always be considered as a potential cause of coughing in cattle. Other signs include rapid loss of condition and sudden milk drop in lactating animals,” says Ms Timothy.

 

“Dairy cows will often spend less time grazing, and more time resting. Their water intake is also likely to be reduced and severely affected cattle will typically stand with head and neck extended in an ‘air hunger’ position.

 

“If lungworm is diagnosed, cattle should be treated immediately with a wormer that treats it and prevents re-infection. It is vital the whole herd is treated as some infected animals will not show obvious clinical signs at the same time but will still suffer performance losses.”

 

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