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

Fast Fact

The dragon worm – Dracunculus medinensis

Daenaerys’s dragons from Game of Thrones have nothing to fear. But this spaghetti-like worm creates a burning pain akin to the breath of a dragon when it emerges—up to 1 metre long—from the skin. People in tropical areas become infected by drinking water contaminated by the worm larvae in tiny water fleas. Dracunculus is latin for little dragon; it’s also called the Guinea worm. Clean drinking water programs have almost eradicated this disease globally, preventing at least 80 million cases.

Feature articles

Producers sought to trial new sheep lice treatments

If your sheep have lice, and plenty of them, this might be your moment to shine. A veterinary research company is on the lookout for cooperators to participate in pre-registration trials for a new lice treatment and will be providing the treatment and application for free. When considering the potential benefits, producers should also be mindful of the conditions of trial participation, which may include the re-mustering of treated sheep for assessments, the segregation of the trial mob and associated withholding periods, which won’t necessarily suit all operations. It’s a great opportunity for interested producers to be involved with clinical development that may help to bring a new product to the market. If you don’t have lousy sheep but know someone else in this predicament, please pass on the details.  >> More information. (This blurb and the associated article are paid advertisements)

Should you give a pre-lambing drench?

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

Winter and spring are common lambing times across Australia, and ewes lose some of their immunity to worms at lambing and in early lactation, but whether to give a pre-lambing drench varies. According to our regional specialists and the programs they developed, if you are in Tassie or northern NSW, Qld, or other high-risk barber’s pole worm areas, give a pre-lambing drench as routine, or look here at the Drench Decision Guides: Tas, summer rain slopes and plains, summer rain tablelands and slopes.

In all other areas a worm egg count is usually indicated first—check the Drench Decision Guide for your state, open the printable version (Vic, SA, NSW central/southern, WA) and look for the recommendation for pre-lambing drenches. For WA producers, also review Brown Besier’s advice on pre-lambing drenches. >> Read more about these strategic drenches.

Have you considered early season treatment for flies?

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

In areas with a distinct winter period where it is too cold for flies to emerge for about 8 weeks, and you have a bigger property where most flies are your own, rather than flying in from the neighbours, suppressive treatments just as the weather starts to warm up can result in a much slower rise in fly numbers and a lower amount of chemical used for the whole fly season. Eminent Victorian parasitologist, Prof. John Larsen, has reported good success with it on a number of Victorian properties. See whether this strategy might work for you. >> Read more.

Lice control practices – Survey results

By Alison Colvin, Research Fellow, University of New England

Following on from the last two months’ feature articles on worms, liver fluke and flystrike control, the lice control practices used by Australian sheep producers in 2018 are highlighted in this article. This information is derived from a national survey of Australian sheep producers conducted by Dr Alison Colvin, Professor Stephen Walkden-Brown and Dr. Ian Reeve from the University of New England and was supported by Australian Wool Innovation Limited. >> Read more.

Goats have poor track record with drench resistance                 

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

Drench resistance is extremely common in goats, due in part to their faster metabolism that clears drenches faster than sheep. A Drench Resistance Test (FECRT) is the gold standard, but is rarely a feasible option for goat smallholders. Instead, a DrenchCheck—a WEC test before and 14 days after a drench—lets owners know if continued use of a particular drench is wasting their money or helping their goats. >> Read more.

WEC QA Program

Not all WEC service providers are accurate. Choose your provider from those who have proven their accuracy. WEC providers, big and small, can find out about the annual ParaBoss WEC QA Program. >> Read more.


Burning pain accompanies removal of Dragon worms
Participants wanted for lice treatment trial
The need to give a pre-lambing drench varies according to location
Early season treatment can suppress the build up of flies
What are other producers doing about lice?
ParaBoss WEC QA program 2020