WRML. WormFaxNSW-Feb 2012 now online

WormFax NSW – Feb 2012 is now online

Results, map and notes:




As discussed before, unseasonably wet conditions over the last several months in much of NSW means many paddocks are very wormy. Flow on effects from this will extend into Spring and beyond.

With the onset of colder weather, some of the more cold sensitive internal parasites (eg eggs of Haemonchus, Fasciola) will not be able to complete their life cycle (in winter months in colder areas), BUT they have produced plenty of infective stages (eg third stage (L3) larvae in the case of roundworms) on pasture up until now and many of these will make it through to spring, frosts notwithstanding.

What can you do?

* Keep up regular WEC monitoring (WormTest). Don’t guess, WormTest.

* Prepare low worm-risk paddocks for spring lambing. (You can’t rely on long-acting drenches for ever).

* When/if you drench, check that the drench worked i.e DrenchCheck ( WEC 10 days (sheep) or 14 days (cattle) after a drench, preferably matched with a WEC on or just before the day of drenching).

Get advice on when to DrenchCheck in the case of mid-length (eg Cydectin oral) and long-acting (eg Cydectin LA inj; capsules).

* On ‘flukey’ (Fasciola hepatica) farms, give the strategic April/May fluke drench , using a triclabendazole-based drench ( Nitromec(R) is another option in cattle). The April/May fluke drench is the most important fluke drench of the year. It’s important to use a ‘high efficiency’ flukicide at this time. Rotate to a flukicide from a different group if you can if drenching again in Spring.

* Move weaners (cattle, sheep) into low worm-risk paddocks with good tucker.

A case from Carinda (Slattery)

Shaun Slattery (Senior District Vet, North West LHPA) told me of this case:

Haemonchosis in lambs from a property near Carinda (Macquarie Marshes area). A lot of rain in January. Moderate signs of haemonchosis. 15 dead out of a few thousand. No signs of diarrhoea and sheep in fat condition.

Sample collected by Ranger from rectum of dead lamb, but ~ 15 hours post mortem. (Delay in collecting may have increased egg count (epg)????).

Notwithstanding the above, the lab reported a WEC of ~ 67,000 epg.

Investigators were surprised by the count given the relatively low mortality rate. (Yes fellow epidemiologists, I know this strictly is a proportion not a rate! At least I don’t confuse ‘incidence’ with ‘prevalence’ 🙂 SL)

Larval differentiation: Haemonchus: 63%, Trichostrongylus: 27%, Ostertagia (Teladorsagia): 10%. Such large scour worm counts were considered surprising given the absence of scouring (diarrhoea).

Another case of high WECs: https://wormmailinthecloud.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/redux-sky-high-counts-at-bre/

This one was mostly Trichostrongylus (~60,000 epg), which I think is amazing. As to Haemonchus, the highest I have come across is ~ 80,000 epg. Haemonchus of course is somewhat more fecund than scour worms, and Haemonchus – in pure infections anyway – tends to constipate (small,dry pellets) which I guess increases the egg count still further.




WRML. update on drench resistant cattle worms in Australia

WRML 20120329 update on drench resistant cattle worms in Australia

Further to earlier WormMails on this subject, attached is a PDF of some of the slides I currently use for farmer talks.

Australian cattle producers perhaps looked smugly at sheep producers, and (‘Kiwi’) cattle producers across the Tasman, who had problems with worms becoming drench resistant.

Until the last decade or so, the reports of cattle worm resistance in Australia were few and seemingly inconsequential (eg report(s) of BZ resistant T.axei by Eagleson and others).

Now the landscape has changed.

There are for example, published, peer-reviewed reports of cattle worm resistance by Lyndal-Murphy and others (Queensland) and Rendell (western Victoria).

As well as these, the attached PDF contains (previously) unpublished information (used with permission) from P I Veale (north east Victoria) and most recently, preliminary results of a survey in Western Australia (J Cotter and others. Cotter and Besier will present the full results of this survey at the Australian Veterinary Association Conference in May this year (2012)).



Links to some previous ‘WormMails’ on drench-resistant cattle worms:





http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/resources/periodicals/newsletters/turning-the-worm [ Turning
the Worm
(Issue 22, Dec 2007)

Love S.20120229-cattle worm resistance slides[PDF].pdf

WRML. Worms worsen with wet weather [Vet Talk – The Land newspaper 15 March 2012]

20120320103350.pdf Download this file

To: WormMail mailing list (recip. undisclosed)   cc Beef LOs, Jill C

WRML.2012-03-20.Worms worsen with wet weather [Vet Talk – The Land newspaper 15 March 2012]. Cattle worms.

The attached article, which appeared in last week’s ‘Land’, may be of use / interest.


I have some WormMails in mind on cattle worms, including an update on resistance of cattle worms in Australia to drenches, when time permits.

In the meantime most of you will be aware that the first combination* cattle drench for the Australia market was launched last week. Doubtless others are in the pipeline.

(*Combination of broad-spectrum actives, that is.   This one is a combination of abamectin+levamisole, and comes as a pour-on)

As is the case for small ruminants, I think you will find that independent expert advisors in Australia will recommend combination drenches for cattle as well.

(This one does, although I baulk at the term ‘expert’).

Common sense kit

From a friend’s website:


WormMail on WordPress, Posterous and Twitter

WormMails get posted to Posterous then automatically from Posterous to WordPress (see URLs in sig. block below). Posterous has been taken over by Twitter, so I am not sure about the future of Posterous. Posterous also automatically updates the @wormmail Twitter status (at least at present), and used to update a WormMail Facebook page, but that is now defunct. (No time (or desire?) to fix it at present).



WRML.2012-03-07. List of drenches for livestock (InfoPest) plus sundry and various

anthelmintics-various livestock-infopest July 2011-20120113.xls Download this file

To: WormMail list (recip. undisclosed)    WRML.2012-03-07 List of drenches for livestock (InfoPest) plus sundry and various

List of drenches from InfoPest July 2011

Many of you will be familiar with InfoPest AGVET DVD, a Queensland government imitative.

This DVD lists registered ‘ag and vet’ chemicals in Australia. Unfortunately July 2011 was the last issue.

From time to time I have extracted lists of drenches for ruminants and sent it out via WormMail.

Here it is again (Excel sheet attached), from the last issue of InfoPest.  

(I went mad this time and included data for animals other than ruminants).

Hopefully this will be of some use. Note that some new products have been registered since July 2011, so double check for up-to-date information at www.apvma.gov.au (go to PUBCRIS on that site).

What is there to replace InfoPest?   Three or four sources come to mind:  e.g. MIMS and APVMA.  Both have their limitations. For example MIMS does not list all registered products.

Also, for sheep drench information, you can go to WormBoss, which will be even better when the site is updated within the next few months.

NSW DPI also has a Primefact that lists registered sheep drenches, but this (the list at least) has not recently been updated.

Sundry and various

More on WormTests

As to how WormTest ‘Basic’ (i.e. two bulks of five) and WormTest ‘Gold’ for small ruminants is done in our State Vet Lab (NSW DPI):

Whether WormTest Gold or basic is requested, the kit used in the field is the same. Fresh dung samples are collected and put into the vials (10) in the kit.

Normally each vial represents dung from one animal or pile of manure. Whether we change in the future to collecting from a larger number of animals/piles of manure and sending one bulk sample to the lab is another matter.

At the lab, if WormTest Gold was requested, 2.5 g faeces is weighed out from each vial and prepared for counting….   ie 10 individual counts (using the standard McMaster technique. The details can vary between labs).   See here for more information: Nematode Parasites ANZSDP (Hutchinson) (which revises the earlier version by M. Lyndal-Murphy).

At present, if ‘Basic’ was requested, 0.5 g faeces is taken from each vial (from the top of the sample in the vial), resulting in two bulk samples each adding up to 2.5 g. These two are then processed and counted.

Lab staff conducted a small informal study and found that mean worm egg counts from the Basic technique were very similar to that for the Gold technique. (Which is consistent, for example, with the findings of Eysker et al (2008),  "A very high correlation between the faecal egg counts in pooled samples and the mean faecal egg counts was seen and also between the faecal egg counts in pooled samples and larval counts from pooled faecal larval cultures" Eysker M, Bakker J, van den Berg M, et al. The use of age-clustered pooled faecal samples for monitoring worm control in horses. Vet Parasitol 2008;151:249-255).Brought to my attention by Dr W Schulaw, OR, USA).

When reporting the strongyle egg count results, the lab gives the mean WEC plus the range (at least for ‘Gold), i.e. lowest and highest individual WEC.

As mentioned in a recent WormMail (2012-02-23), there is some discussion currently in Australia (WormBoss technical team and others) about bulk worm egg counts, including sampling more animals with a view to getting a better estimate of the mean WEC of a mob, especially larger mobs.  In this scenario, one might collect one or more pellets (depending on which procedure you follow) from 20 or more piles of fresh dung in mobs up to say 200. In mobs greater than say 200 animals, one might collect  from say 40 piles of dung. The samples would be bulked  and when counted (on farm (some farmers have learnt to do their own), or at the lab) the sample would be thoroughly mixed and then one or more samples from the bulk sample would be processed for counting.


Liver fluke – comment from the guru

"…Steve, talking about more rain, it also means more snails. I would treat sheep now  and again in April. Lots of immature flukes will be around.
Regards,  Joe Boray (Feb. 2012)

What drenches are showing up in residue surveys?

From a colleague:

"Hi Steve

Just got the 2010-11 NRS (National Residue Survey) report.

Interestingly it shows that from 326 sheep sampled (various Australian abattoirs), 5 had  residues of levamisole detected, 4 had closantel and 67 (18%) had moxidectin.   (All  were ‘legal’ i.e. below MRL (maximum residue level))."

A bit wet

A grazier who rang me from the Monaro today told me that one farm at Cooma (average annual rainfall: 475 mm or 19") received 427 mm (17") of rain last month (February, 2012).

New Akabane like disease in Europe and UK


Brought to my attention by Dr Barbara Vanselow.

Most common password revealed


Fumble Rules of Grammar