Liver flukes?

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Liver flukes?

Post by True Grit Farms » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:15 am

What's the best treatment for liver flukes, and treatment to prevent them? We brought a bull that has been sorta bloated on and off for a few weeks to the UGA Veterinary teaching hospital in Athens yesterday to find out what was going on. He ended up having a few issues with his gut, small intestine, liver flukes and some other types of worms. He ended up getting a nasty looking probiotics drench from a donor Holstein bull, and a bunch of other stuff. UGA also recommended us worming him next week for liver flukes using a Valbazen drench and injectable wormer, just fishing for some other ideas and things we can do.
If you've never taken a sick bovine to a university teaching school I highly recommend that you do so. UGA animal hospital was very impressive and has very up to date Veterinary facilities.


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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Katpau » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:07 am

Liver Flukes are a pretty serious problem in the wetter west side of Oregon. They are found on the wetter grasses and the animals ingest them. Ivermectin Plus (injectable) and Valbazen are the only two products available to treat adult Flukes. I don't think anything will control the immature Fluke, so you need to repeat treatment. If you can get them wormed a few weeks after a hard freeze, that is best because there is less chance of picking them up again right away. There are some issues with Valbazen and fertility, so I think they say not to give it to a bull just before turn out. I don't remember the timing on that.

Once the liver has been damaged by Flukes the damage is permanent I believe. We almost always see some liver damage when we butcher, but fortunately it takes quite a bit of damage to cause visible symptoms. I think trying to keep the animals out of wetter areas, like swamps, would be the best way to reduce access to the worms. They can't live on dry grasses, so maybe wait to graze those areas at hot dry times of the year or after a hard freeze. I don't suppose you get many hard freezes in Georgia, so that might not be an option.

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Caustic Burno » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:46 pm

Ivomec injectable is the only thing I know of that takes them out.
They can be an issue here in this rain forest. One of the signs of heavy infestation is swollen looking under the jaw.
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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Dave » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:08 pm

I think if you look up liver flukes in the veterinary books you will find a picture of my old pasture in Western Washington. I often thought I should be running water buffalo instead of cattle. I would give them two rounds of Ivomec Plus about 3 or 4 weeks apart starting in mid October. And another round in May before turning them out. It was reasonably difficult to treat them once they were turned out. That schedule seemed to keep things controlled enough that they didn't create any issues.

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Stocker Steve » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:13 pm

Avoid areas with snails.
Leave more pasture residual.
Shoot more deer. Food Shelf will take them here.
Use injectable + on incoming breeding stock, and on cows after freeze up.
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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Putangitangi » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:42 pm

We've had Liver Fluke on our place for the two decades I've been farming here. Before we started treating, cows would go down in drains (mostly) and not have the strength to get up. They were also really low in copper.

After twenty years of varying levels of treatment with Triclabendazole, (the label says it kills all phases of fluke in cattle and we can get it in oral or a pour-on combination), I began to suspect that ensuring that the cattle had good levels of copper in their livers was somewhat protective for fluke.

Over many years I've tested cull cow livers for copper and recorded their levels of supplementation and also noted how often any of them were reported to have had live liver fluke at slaughter or other liver damage indicating earlier infestation. The years my copper program was good, there was no fluke reported. In a couple of years I wasn't on the ball, the fluke were back again.

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Katpau » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:01 pm

That is an interesting theory, Copper tends to be insufficient in this area also. We supplement, but I have never tested for it on a cull cow.

The active ingrediant in Valbazen is Albendazole. Clorsulan is listed as the ingrediant in Ivomec Plus that gets adult Liver Flukes. I don't know if there is a US product containing Triclabendazole for Cattle, but Novartis apparently makes the product for human Liver Flukes. Maybe there is not enough of a market for it in the US to make it profitable after all of the required Government studies are completed?

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by True Grit Farms » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:29 pm

Putangitangi wrote:We've had Liver Fluke on our place for the two decades I've been farming here. Before we started treating, cows would go down in drains (mostly) and not have the strength to get up. They were also really low in copper.

After twenty years of varying levels of treatment with Triclabendazole, (the label says it kills all phases of fluke in cattle and we can get it in oral or a pour-on combination), I began to suspect that ensuring that the cattle had good levels of copper in their livers was somewhat protective for fluke.

Over many years I've tested cull cow livers for copper and recorded their levels of supplementation and also noted how often any of them were reported to have had live liver fluke at slaughter or other liver damage indicating earlier infestation. The years my copper program was good, there was no fluke reported. In a couple of years I wasn't on the ball, the fluke were back again.

Triclabendazole that's exactly what Dr Ryan said, thank you I've been trying to find that word all day. So much was being said so fast I couldn't keep.
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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by wbvs58 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:43 pm

Triclabendazole is the one to use if you are serious about fluke.

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Caustic Burno » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:48 pm

wbvs58 wrote:Triclabendazole is the one to use if you are serious about fluke.

Ken


Never seen it marketed under that.

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by True Grit Farms » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:13 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
wbvs58 wrote:Triclabendazole is the one to use if you are serious about fluke.

Ken


Never seen it marketed under that.

https://www.beefmagazine.com/health/liv ... -26-states

Good read thanks CB.
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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Redgully » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:38 am

Putangitangi wrote:We've had Liver Fluke on our place for the two decades I've been farming here. Before we started treating, cows would go down in drains (mostly) and not have the strength to get up. They were also really low in copper.

After twenty years of varying levels of treatment with Triclabendazole, (the label says it kills all phases of fluke in cattle and we can get it in oral or a pour-on combination), I began to suspect that ensuring that the cattle had good levels of copper in their livers was somewhat protective for fluke.

Over many years I've tested cull cow livers for copper and recorded their levels of supplementation and also noted how often any of them were reported to have had live liver fluke at slaughter or other liver damage indicating earlier infestation. The years my copper program was good, there was no fluke reported. In a couple of years I wasn't on the ball, the fluke were back again.


Interesting work and results. In Pat Coleby's book 'healthy cattle naturally' she talks of total control of fluke and worms using copper. She mixes 1 part copper sulfate to 3 parts dolomite from memory. Ive not taken much notice of it until you mentioned it was working for you. I should do some more experiments myself. Her book was a very interesting read but some of the claims were dubious and kind of discredited the book in my opinion. For those wondering what I'm waffling about https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Natural-Cat ... SwVFlT4KDp

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Stocker Steve » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:13 am

Putangitangi wrote:Over many years I've tested cull cow livers for copper and recorded their levels of supplementation and also noted how often any of them were reported to have had live liver fluke at slaughter or other liver damage indicating earlier infestation. The years my copper program was good, there was no fluke reported. In a couple of years I wasn't on the ball, the fluke were back again.


I think some things are concentrated in the liver, and copper can be toxic.

What is the supplement level that you consider "good" vs. "bad" for copper?
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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Lucky_P » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:19 am

If you're in an area where flukes are present, they're a problem. If not, you don't need to be using a 'flukicide' like Ivomec Plus; it's unnecessary.
I spent 40 years in veterinary practice and diagnostic pathology in east-central AL, middle TN, mid-MO, and western KY, working primarily in food animal medicine. I've seen exactly two cases of liver flukes in that time - one in an elk from who knows where, and one in a heifer that had recently arrived from TX.
As far as I'm concerned, most, if not all of KY/TN/MO... and most, if not all of, AL should be considered fluke-free.

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Re: Liver flukes?

Post by Putangitangi » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:26 pm

Redgully wrote:Interesting work and results. In Pat Coleby's book 'healthy cattle naturally' she talks of total control of fluke and worms using copper. She mixes 1 part copper sulfate to 3 parts dolomite from memory. Ive not taken much notice of it until you mentioned it was working for you. I should do some more experiments myself. Her book was a very interesting read but some of the claims were dubious and kind of discredited the book in my opinion....


I read some of the Coleby book and felt much the same about it. The copper suggestion came from a book written by a local author on organic approaches and I followed up with some of the local vets, always asking if any work had been done to see if there was real value in the assertion. My observations were encouraging but I can't say for sure they were valuable. Nobody was really interested if there wasn't a marked, economically valuable improvement in growth. For me there's always value in improved health and reduced stress in the animals.

Stocker Steve wrote:
Putangitangi wrote:Over many years I've tested cull cow livers for copper and recorded their levels of supplementation and also noted how often any of them were reported to have had live liver fluke at slaughter or other liver damage indicating earlier infestation. The years my copper program was good, there was no fluke reported. In a couple of years I wasn't on the ball, the fluke were back again.


I think some things are concentrated in the liver, and copper can be toxic.

What is the supplement level that you consider "good" vs. "bad" for copper?


I have always used the laboratory stated ranges for low, adequate and good levels in cows, against which they report the levels in my cows' livers.

In my environment there's plenty of copper in the soil and pasture but also too much iron, which appears to be binding it and preventing absorption by the animals. Without supplementation, they become deficient and begin to show serious health effects (weight loss, scouring, poor coats, etc.) which I've not seen since we first identified the problem and began regularly supplementing.

Currently I give them 10mls/year of Calcium Copper Edetate in four doses. I've recently upped that from 2mls/dose x 4 because the cull cow copper levels were still coming back as only just in the adequate range, never toward the upper end, so I figure I'm in no danger of causing toxicity.

While it is reportedly very stressful for the cows to receive the copper (not sure if it's entirely about the injection or more the handling through yards) and recommended that it be given at least two weeks before mating, on most occasions I've failed to be that organised and they get a shot a day or two before mating starts. It would appear that they're better off with the copper then than not having it: compared with years I've missed that opportunity, when they have sufficient copper on board, they cycle really well and conception rates are excellent.

I've only ever seen one of my cattle go a bit wobbly after an injection.

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