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Questions

1. Which of the following parasites that cause anaemia in sheep, goats and alpaca can only be detected by examination of blood smears?  Barber’s pole worm, liver fluke, or ‘Epi’?

2. Is the aim of treating for lice in long wool, to eradicate, or to just result in control?

3. Are scours and dags on sheep a greater blowfly risk than wrinkles?

4.  Are the dose rates of drenches always the same for goats and sheep?


Even a little green during dry weather can signal that worm larvae are on the pastures and can infect sheep
Even a little green during dry weather can signal that worm larvae are on the pastures and can infect sheep

Answers

1. Which of the following parasites that cause anaemia in sheep, goats and alpaca can only be detected by examination of blood smears?  Barber’s pole worm, liver fluke, or ‘Epi’?

Epi or Mycoplasma ovis. This infection is usually confirmed on a microscopic examination of blood smears.

M. ovis are single celled microscopic parasites that live in the red blood cells of the host. Once the signs of anaemia become evident, the parasite is often no longer seen in smears. Samples then need to be taken from a cross-section of animals within the mob, including from those that appear healthy, to identify the presence of the parasites.

Barber’s pole and liver fluke are worms and expel their eggs in the faeces of the host. Worm eggs and therefore worm infections can be identified by examining samples of faeces from affected stock in a worm/ liver fluke test.

2. Is the aim of treating for lice in long wool, to eradicate, or to just result in control?

Treatment for lice in long wool will only achieve control. At or up to 6 weeks from shearing, treatment aims for eradication. There are several chemical groups registered for the control of lice on sheep with the intended use being eradication.

3. Are scours and dags on sheep a greater blowfly risk than wrinkles?

Yes, sheep showing scours and dags from scour worm infections, grazing lush pastures or coccidial infections will attract blowflies and are often a greater blowfly risk than wrinkles. Crutching is used strategically to remove dags during high risk periods for flystrike.

4.  Are the dose rates of drenches always the same for goats and sheep?

No. Goats process some drenches more rapidly than sheep and therefore goats often need a higher dose rate to achieve the same level of control, but not necessarily the same increase for all drenches.

Care must be taken not to overdose goats, especially where bodyweights are only estimated and not measured, as some drench actives have relatively low safety margins (i.e. even slightly higher doses could be toxic). Overdosing could also lead to drench residues in goat meat and milk products that exceed the Maximum Residue Limits, and thereby jeopardise Australia’s valuable goat-export markets. At any time that you use a drench product not registered for goats or at a dose rate different to the rate specified on the label you are legally required to obtain a veterinary prescription.