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Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep,
and worms in goats

Fast Fact: Are you pthirius?

Lice are very host-specific. Sheep lice don’t infest goats and vice-versa. Moreover, different lice on the one host have strong predilection for sites. So, the head louse does not migrate south and the pubic louse (Pthirius pubis, but the P is silent as in thwimming), does not ever head north. Now, the interesting thing is that Pthirius evolved from a similar louse on gorillas (Pthirius gorillae): not a surprise really. However, humans evolved away from gorillas 7 million years ago, while their respective lice separated about 3 million years ago. Makes you think Tarzan has a lot to answer for! Read all about it here.

Feature articles

Is a dual active a good idea?

Introduction by Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health, Tasmania

Boehringer-Ingelheim have released Fennec (not Fenech, as in Jeff for a fast knock down), a dual active (imidaproclid and abamectin), backline lice control agent. So, is this a good idea? While there is a lack of research on dual active insecticides, from first principles it’s likely that two, unrelated actives (which abamectin and imidacloprid are) will keep the frequency of resistance genes very low. Therefore, the product should have a long life, particularly as resistance to either compound has not been reported in lice.

This product has the added benefit of a 5-week protection period and can be applied up to 7 days off-shears.

Fennec also has claims for internal worms. This is slightly problematic. If abamectin works well on your property, a single dose via a backliner will not make a huge difference to the resistance status. If abamectin is absolutely shot, again it makes no difference to resistance status. If abamectin is on the edge of resistance, and particularly if you are treating at a time when there is little refugia (summer in southern Australia), using this backliner could select heavily for resistance in worms, and an effective oral drench would be recommended to be used at the same time. >> Read more.

Some things never change! 

Introduction by Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health, Tasmania

Provocative statement #1: Most people still cut Merino tails too short. This probably means you.

Provocative statement #2: The information on the ideal length of the tail has been around since long before Leonard Teal left Homicide, and it shows that too-short a tail is worse than a full tail (read the executive summary of Joan Lloyd’s review).

Given that tail length is even more important in unmulesed sheep, I suggest you review what you do, and more importantly, what you should do! Finally, if the problem is a militant contractor not liking to be told their job, find another contractor. It is that important. >> Read more.

Are they Flukey?

Introduction by Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health, Tasmania 

From my first year in practice, I have a vivid memory of a wretched mob of young goats poxxed to the eyeballs by liver fluke. Goats are exquisitely susceptible to the ravages of fluke. This site gives an overview of fluke and here you can learn some control principles. Separating the goats from sources of infection is often the best bet, given the small size of many goat herds compared with those of sheep. Table 2 gives a list of anthelmintics registered for use in goats. Please note that closantel is not registered for use in goats. Also, beware that only one chemical (triclabendazole) kills all stages of fluke in the animal. >> Read more.

How accurate is your worm egg count provider?

by Deborah Maxwell, Paraboss Executive Officer

Regular worm egg counts and drench tests are an essential part of a highly effective worm control program, but it’s important that the results you receive are accurate. So how do you know? ParaBoss is set to test WEC providers across Australia in October. Soon after, when you look for a WEC service on the WormBoss service providers page, you can be assured that anyone still listed has met the accuracy standards required.

It’s time to ask your provider whether they’re going to take part in the ParaBoss Worm Egg Count Quality Assurance Program. Already there are over 70 people—mostly from labs and vet clinics—across the country ready to prove themselves. Any people offering paid or free WECs, including from rural merchandise stores and producers themselves, can take part. >> Read more.

Parasite control in Uruguay

Introduction by Deborah Maxwell, Paraboss Executive Officer

Australia is not the only place with sheep and parasites or a producer-funded organization that funds sheep and wool research. Currently, Dr Sergio Fierro, one of Uruguay’s Wool Secretariat staff, is visiting Australia to see Australian sheep production and management, as well as research and extension programs. Sergio has shared some insights about Uruguay.  >> Read more.

Paid advertisement
Not really a surprise: human pubic lice are related to gorilla lice
Most people still cut Merino tails too short
Goats are exquisitely sensitive to the effects of liver fluke infection.
Is your lab in the WEC QA program?
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