CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

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branguscowgirl
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby branguscowgirl » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:21 pm

FARMR wrote:The cows and calves were all healthy and they all looked good. Parasites have been around for millions of years and ivomec only temporarily reduces their number. It totally imazes me that people think that it is better to kill an animal with Ivomec than to not give it. Must be alot of industry brainwashed people out there.

If you have never wormed them, they couldn't have been "healthy"! It is true, "parasites have been around for millions of years" but animals were not living and producing past a couple of years old! Also the big open ranges that they grazed back then did not support the parasites like how we pasture them today.
As I said, it is less likely that the Ivomectin killed your cattle, than it was that the parasites killed your cattle!
As for being "brainwashed", you are the one kidding yourself if you think that you can have healthy and productive cattle with no parasite program! Have you ever cut open an animal and seen the worms gush out? Have you seen their liver riddled with holes from liver flukes? Do you expect them to live like that? It sounds like you are pretty ignorant about animal health. :roll:
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby FARMR » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:33 pm

To summarize: I gave up on sueing the university. I called over 100 area large animal vets and not one said that they believed that this could happen or that they had never seen it happen. An out of state vet was too expensive. I tried to talk to the dean of the vet school and he would not see me or listen to anything that I had to say. I tried to talk to MU upper management and I could not get past the secretary. I tried to get other state agencies to investigate but none would do that. That is how things operate in this state. There are felony acts committed by state employees and nothing is done about it and no one cares.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Ozhorse » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:00 pm

I run sheep as well as cattle. The cattle are a sideline to the sheep. The sheep make the real steady money and the cattle clean up the long stuff the sheep cant eat and bring in money on the side. Sheep are a LOT more susceptible to parasites than cattle. If one tried to run a commercial business that you had to rely on income in this area it could not be done without parasite control. There is nothing "natural" about merino sheep that have been bred by man for maybe 6000 years. Under "natural" conditions small numbers of wild sheep would live on dry desert sparse rocky outcrops. If you want an Italian suit, or a nice juicy young lamb leg cheap from the supermarket parasite control is needed.

In this area we have liver fluke. In the old days before the first drench came in the 1950's (which was carbon tetrachloride) and when wool was worth a pound a pound, the 10,000 -20,000 acre property next door used to employ a full time skinner to go round collecting all the sheep dead from liver fluke. They would join 5000 ewes and end up with 1500 lambs and have to buy in replacements. Now we have modern range of drenches only a few percent, less than 5%, are lost to parasites if we use good management. In dry years I only sometimes need to drench twice a year (and one of those in mid winter for fluke) as checked by manure tests, in some spring times once a month is not enough.

Yesterday I needed to do a pre-lambing drench on a mob of very fat and healthy and extremely strong and robust SAMM X merino ewes. Many would weigh 70 kg and can certainly knock me around. Because of a range of circumstances beyond my control I KNOW some are likely to have a big liver fluke load. I know that I will lose some if I really clean them out good for fluke by using Closantel and Triclabendazole. The fluke will die in numbers in their liver and clostridial disease will infect, or it will be just too much dead tissue and blocked bile ducts for others. I know I may lose production in the mob if I dont clean them out. I know in the long run that sheep will die if I dont, perhaps not now, but when the pressure is on them and they are in poorer condition.

Farming seems to be always about making decisions about how I want to loose, this way, or that way.

Parasite, host, and management interactions are complex and depend on mob history and management. The fact that you have not used parasite control, and then suddenly done so, has brought on problems that are not usual. I do think your government vet should have known better. It was a bad way to save money (assuming it was for free with the students). You would probably have had more responsibility taken if you had paid a private cattle vet, and probably had more you could have got back off him. You could possibly have made a small claims negligence action against a private vet. Who knows with the government (who never wants to be responsible for anything).

I do not think I am at all brainwashed about chemical companies. I am extremely grateful that we have the range of chemicals that we do to control the different parasites. Parasites in cattle are a doddle compared to sheep. The Gurus on this site would have been earning their livings for decades from cattle and are people worthy of respect for their knowledge and for being able to stay in business in a tough game.

Just because the animals are extremely healthy and would live well for ages without a drench does not mean they wont drop dead if you give them a drench in inapropriate circumstances as happened with you.

In cases of an extremely emaciated or weak animals the same applies, to keep it alive a slow low dose of very in-effective drench is needed so the animal can cope with the number of parasites killed spread over a longer time. Dont give it any parasite control and it will die anyway.

I do have a gripe with starry eyed hobby farmers who think they wont use nasty modern non-organic chemicals on their sheep and goats. (cattle survive here OK without parasite control usually, until something else goes wrong). It is not fair on those animals to inflict ideology on them that they will end up suffering for.

I respect your decision not to use parasite control on your animals, if they remain healthy, and you make yourself aware of the consequences of NOT using usual parasite control. In this case a slip up happened that you did not predict, and neither did the vet. So I do blame the vet, I also blame you, well, blame is not really the right word, he is a professional and you are not and cannot be expected to have the depth of knowledge. You are the one in the hot seat here as you have worn the loss, and now have to decide to do something about it or not. It is a hard lesson. I must admit it is easier to learn with a dozen sheep dying out of hundreds than to watch 19 calves dying. Still, if there are livestock there are deadstock.

I do not think the chemical companies are to blame. The drench did not kill the stock. It is not good that a self-reinforcing attitude has been created where you think parasite control is unnecessary and bad, you eventually use some and have a major loss because you did use parastite control and rather than open up the idea that parasite control is complex, shut down and say it is ALL bad.

Many farmers just use a yearly program so they dont have to do research and know as much. If you choose not to have a program I think you owe it to the animals to be more informed about parasites than if you dont. Looking healthy is not the important criteria.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Ozhorse » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:15 pm

I sympathise with you trying to get some traction with government authorities. The government is a horrible enemy as it is always going to win. I try to avoid the government in all its manifestations as much as possible.

Do you think the vet gave the cattle something other than what he said he did? Or that was out of date and poisonous? IT does not matter, they are dead now.

"There are felony acts committed by state employees and nothing is done about it and no one cares. " it is not just your state, it is world over. The government is not your friend, it is just the biggest standover mob after it has got rid of all the others.

To save yourself grief, just take responsibility for all your animal health yourself in future and see if you can get someone local to help you with the cattle. Forget about getting at the government or you will waste your life and energy and emotions. As the Taoists say "Do not help on the big chariot or you will only get covered in dust" (dust brings bad luck).

http://agriculturalsolutions.com.au/pro ... leby_books

I think modern chemicals are a boon, but if you want to do it "organically" or in her case "inorganically" have a read of parasite control by a lady called Pat Coleby. Also know ALL about your local parasites, specially those flies.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Aaron » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:47 pm

dun wrote:
FARMR wrote:I decided to inform anyone who has not noticed that the package insert for Ivomec now has a black box warning about heel fly infestation and that it can cause death if administered at the wrong time. I believe that this post had a major impact in Merial labs disclosure of a major adverse effect.

I thought most everyone was aware of heel flys(warbles) and grubicides.


Same here. Luckily we don't have them anymore. After ivermectins came into place, it eliminated warbles around here within a decade. Vet, who has been here since the 70's, said the last case he ever saw was in the late 80's.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby branguscowgirl » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:49 pm

Good information ozhorse! You have more patience than I, about explaining the need for good herd health.

No vet would join you on your pursuit FARMR, because they knew that you had mismanaged your cattle. I can't help but think about the unsuspecting person that may purchase some of your cattle and proceed to worm them. Do you warn your buyers that you "never worm" them?
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby boondocks » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:44 am

This has been an interesting discussion, and, as a beginner, has convinced me to take the worming issue more seriously.

That said, isn't the most relevant factor here that the OP specifically told the vet NOT to administer a drug that the vet then proceeded to administer? If that drug then caused the animals to die (by killing off the grubs at the wrong stage, just as [to my understanding] you can do with heartworm in dogs), the vet should be liable. Period, full stop. (Yes, there are, however, major problems holding government employees/entities liable, due to immunity).

We hire specialists because of their greater knowledge. That's what we pay for, and are entitled to reasonably rely upon. If you have a penicillin allergy and go in to see your dr for, say strep throat, and you tell the dr not to give you penicillin (due to your penicillin allergy), and the dr then proceeds to kill you by giving you a massive penicillin shot, is it your fault for not reading the label as the nurse prepped the shot? Or is it the dr's fault for breaching the standard of care?

As a practical matter, we can perhaps fault the OP for not having a worming program, or for not paying close enough attention to what the vet was doing, etc. But at the end of the day, if he'd told the vet to not give that treatment, it shouldn't have been given.

Note: I'm not bashing dr's or vets here. They do important work, under tremendous pressure, and should always be given the benefit of the doubt. I'm not even saying the OP should have recouped here; just saying that a vet, or dr., shouldn't administer meds w/o consent. Seems like a pretty basic principle was violated here, if in fact it went down as the OP says.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby branguscowgirl » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:03 am

Boondocks I hear what you are saying, and I agree. I deal with professional liability issues everyday in the medical profession. However, I would really like to hear the vets version of how the conversation went. The OP did say that he/she "went with the vets recommendation." So did the vet say, "they need to be wormed, but this is what could happen since you never worm them"?
To me, it is a no win situation for the vet. You have really wormy cattle in front of you, what do you do? (Most people would worm them.) Only the OP and the vet truely know the details.......I have a feeling that there is something we just don't know. :roll:
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby boondocks » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:14 am

branguscowgirl wrote:Boondocks I hear what you are saying, and I agree. I deal with professional liability issues everyday in the medical profession. However, I would really like to hear the vets version of how the conversation went. The OP did say that he/she "went with the vets recommendation." So did the vet say, "they need to be wormed, but this is what could happen since you never worm them"?
To me, it is a no win situation for the vet. You have really wormy cattle in front of you, what do you do? (Most people would worm them.) Only the OP and the vet truely know the details.......I have a feeling that there is something we just don't know. :roll:


Agree, there must be another side to the story. At least, I rather hope there is---I have utmost respect for vets (esp large animal ones) and find it difficult to believe one would intentionally administer a med the owner had said not to administer. (But, as I said, if that did indeed happen, it obviously shouldn't have).

You make a good point about the need to worm cattle. Intrigued and wanting to learn more, I've been reading this: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/digesti ... attle.html

Not good bedtime reading I'm afraid! :yuck: :lol:
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Ozhorse » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:45 am

I just had a read up on warble flies in cattle. We dont have them here in the Southern Hemisphere. If I was running cattle in a warble fly area I would use 'mectins each year at the suitable time so as not to have them in my cattle. The article I read was very clear that one would have to be careful about when grubicides were used.

The situation is similar in some ways to liver fluke here with sheep in that
AS Branguscowgirl said "You have really wormy cattle in front of you, what do you do? (Most people would worm them.)"
Once you had a warble fly build up in the cattle (like fluke in the sheep) it is a tricky and unknown situation to get them clean again.

My local private vet told me that he did not think that adult cattle in this area needed parasite control for fluke or nematode worms as they had no commercial effect on adult cows. He suggested I save money and not treat the adult cows. I followed this advice for two years and only treated young cattle. Then we got burnt out totally by a bushfire. Generous people took my cattle for me for some months. ALL usual stock work stopped , so the winter drench did not happen, while we did nothing but re-fence. It was a hard winter. The cattle did not do as well as the various people on different properties were expecting them to do. By early spring some thin young first calvers had bad lice. The older cows were knocked around too. I am sure in the circumstances they would then have been affected by fluke when they normally are strong enough to cope with them. How do you know in advance that your fat cows are not going to be doing it really tough six months down the track?

So everything appeared OK until something unexpected happens. THEN you should have already done the parasite control before the problem happened. No, the adult cows did not need parasite control here while everything was going normally but how does one know if something is going to happen?

And if I have found anything in my 7 years of farming, is that the unexpected happens more than you expect.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Ozhorse » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:03 am

Another note on 'mectins. It is known here that if you have sheep that are dehydrated (for example from being locked in the shed for shearing and crutching for a number of days without water, this is common practice and hard to avoid in wet weather when shearing is on) and then they are treated with 'mectins you can kill them in numbers, quickly.

Also very weak and sick and anaemic sheep can be killed by 'mectins. Also an overdose of small animals is easy particularly with one of the 'mectins (moxidectin? cant remember this evening) and there is a caution on worming mini horses and foals with this product, that would also apply to calves as if they get an overdose it can knock them.

It pays with livestock to be knowledgable about their parasites and the drugs. But there is a lot to know.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Lucky_P » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:58 am

"It pays with livestock to be knowledgable about their parasites and the drugs. But there is a lot to know."

Yes, there is...but you have to be careful...there is a LOT of MISINFORMATION available from Dr. Google these days.
I see plenty of it here on CT, interspersed with the good information, and if you get into some of the websites espousing 'organic' or 'natural' therapies, you'll find enough BS to sink an ocean liner.
I'm a firm believer in some 'alternative' treatment modalities, but some of the stuff that I see out there is dangerous and outright stupid, but believed with a religious fervor by its proponents.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby branguscowgirl » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:33 am

Lucky_P wrote:"It pays with livestock to be knowledgable about their parasites and the drugs. But there is a lot to know."

Yes, there is...but you have to be careful...there is a LOT of MISINFORMATION available from Dr. Google these days.
I see plenty of it here on CT, interspersed with the good information, and if you get into some of the websites espousing 'organic' or 'natural' therapies, you'll find enough BS to sink an ocean liner.
I'm a firm believer in some 'alternative' treatment modalities, but some of the stuff that I see out there is dangerous and outright stupid, but believed with a religious fervor by its proponents.

Old "wives tails" are dangerous also! A neighbor I once had, believed that he could keep his horses worm free by feeding them some of his tobacco once in awhile. One day he had a really nice bred mare dead in the pasture. When the vet opened her up to do a postmortem, the worms gushed out everywhere! It was gross! Saddest part was the nice big dead foal she had in her! :(
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby greybeard » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:02 pm

Lucky_P wrote:"It pays with livestock to be knowledgable about their parasites and the drugs. But there is a lot to know."

Yes, there is...but you have to be careful...there is a LOT of MISINFORMATION available from Dr. Google these days.
I see plenty of it here on CT, interspersed with the good information, and if you get into some of the websites espousing 'organic' or 'natural' therapies, you'll find enough BS to sink an ocean liner.
I'm a firm believer in some 'alternative' treatment modalities, but some of the stuff that I see out there is dangerous and outright stupid, but believed with a religious fervor by its proponents.



:D

Yep, just soak some pumpkin seeds in ACV for a few hours, pour 'em out in some organic, non-corn feed and you'll never have internal parasites in any of your livestock. The bigger the pmpkin seed, the better it works!!
:roll:

Morons abound.
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Re: CATTLE DEATHS FROM IVOMEC

Postby Double R Ranch » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:58 pm

There's a few little hiccups in the OP's story.
I get the feeling that he went along with the worming via the vets recommendation. The vet probably was going on what he saw. The conversation probably never got to the point of "I've never wormed my cattle". If it had I would bet the plan would have changed.
If your not going to run a regular parasite control program you should be running regular fecal's to detect over loads at the least.
I suspect, as others have already said, there's more to this than what we've read. I would bet now that the "case" has been dropped we won't hear from the OP again.
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