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Questions

1. Why do ewes in late pregnancy and early lactation develop much higher worm burdens than when they are dry, or in early to mid-term pregnancy?

2. What are two tests you could use to detect liver fluke in goats?

3. In winter rainfall environments, what are the 2 major causes of scouring and dags?

4. Why is managing lice easier if just one whole of flock shearing is conducted rather than using split shearings?


Immunity to worms declines during late pregnancy and early lactation.
Immunity to worms declines during late pregnancy and early lactation.
Slow moving streams with marshy banks provide habitat for liver fluke snails.
Slow moving streams with marshy banks provide habitat for liver fluke snails.
Shearing the whole mob at the one time makes lice management much easier.
Shearing the whole mob at the one time makes lice management much easier.


Answers

1. Why do ewes in late pregnancy and early lactation develop much higher worm burdens than when they are dry or in early to mid-term pregnancy?

As sheep mature into adults, their immunity to worms also matures. But during lambing and lactation, that immunity temporarily declines from as early as 3 weeks before lambing and lasts to about 8-12 weeks after lambing. This relaxation of immunity is the result of the hormonal changes that are occurring. The resultant ewe worm burden is the primary source of infection for the new lamb crop.

2. What are two tests you could use to detect liver fluke in goats?

Regular monitoring should be undertaken using at least one of the following tests:

1. Fluke egg counts on faecal samples. N.B. This test will not detect an infection earlier than 8-10 weeks.

2. An antibody test (ELISA) using blood samples. 

3. A faecal antigen test from the Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

3. In winter rainfall environments, what are the 2 major causes of scouring and dags?

There are two major causes of scouring and dags in winter rainfall environments.

1. Heavy worm burdens or larval challenge occurs usually in young sheep with little immunity

2. Larval hypersensitivity occurs in worm-immune sheep.

4. Why is managing lice easier if just one whole of flock shearing is conducted rather than split shearings?When different mobs are treated at different times, the treated mobs need to be kept separate from untreated sheep for the period specified on the label.   

Backline treatments and insect growth regulator products take some time to act and during this ‘hold’ period, contact with untreated mobs has the potential to spread lice.