Rainy season deworming: Safeguarding sheep, goats, and cattle from parasites
By JAMES TABABA
The rainy season in the Philippines brings numerous challenges for livestock owners, particularly in terms of parasite infestation. Parasitic worms pose a significant threat to the health and productivity of sheep, goats, and cattle, leading to reduced growth rates, poor reproductive performance, and even mortality.
Parasitic worms, such as gastrointestinal nematodes, can cause a range of health issues in sheep, goats, and cattle. These worms feed on the blood and nutrients present in the animals’ gastrointestinal tracts, leading to anemia, weight loss, and decreased immune function.
The rainy season creates a moist environment that facilitates the survival and reproduction of parasitic worms. This increases the likelihood of infection in grazing animals, as the larvae thrive in the humid conditions. Consequently, deworming during this period becomes crucial to prevent parasite burdens from escalating.
Goats and Sheep
For goats and sheep, deworming should start at 8 to 10 weeks of age for kids and lambs, with treatments repeated every 4 to 6 weeks until they reach 6 months old. Adult goats should be dewormed at least three times a year, with one treatment conducted before the rainy season.
Deworming recommendations for cattle include starting deworming calves at 8 to 12 weeks of age and repeating treatments every 6 to 8 weeks until they reach one year old. Adult cattle should be dewormed at least twice a year, with one treatment conducted also before the rainy season.
Administering a deworming treatment to ruminants just before the rainy season sets in is a strategic way that helps to remove any existing parasite load and minimizes the risk of heavy infestations occurring when the conditions become more favorable for parasite survival and transmission.
Keep a vigilant eye on the health of your livestock throughout the rainy season and work closely with a local veterinarian to determine the most appropriate deworming products and protocols specific to your region and the anticipated challenges posed by the rainy season. They can provide insights into local parasite prevalence, recommend suitable dewormers, and advise on timing and frequency of treatments based on the onset and duration of the rainy season.