WRML. WormfaxNSW March and April 2013 and more …

TO: WormMail list ( recip. undisclosed) WormFax, liver fluke drench, another liver fluke pic, WormBoss News, FWEC Course, District Vets Conference Proceedings, Ecology of Voltaren?, diesel.

The latest WormFax is online.


(Many thanks to the NSW DPI Web Team (Craig Bratby), the NSW DPI State Vet Lab (notably Kathy Cooper and colleagues), and Veterinary Health Research, Armidale).

Surprisingly there are still some WormTests with fairly high egg counts, despite very dry conditions over much of NSW.

In short: Don’t guess, WormTest. More info: http://www.wormboss.com.au/tests-tools.php

WormBoss News http://www.wormboss.com.au/news.php

The latest issue of W/B News has hit the net (and a multitude of inboxes).

If you have not yet subscribed, check out this latest issue of W/Boss News for expert, regionally relevant updates on what is happening worm-wise.

April/May liver fluke drench done?

A dry autumn is often the time you find clinical liver fluke disease (in addition to production losses). (Is ‘clinical disease’ a tautology?).

By way of one-upmanship, having seen Jim Meckiff’s liver fluke photo, Armidale-based Senior District Veterinarian offered this one. (Attached, with permission. Please respect ownership of this image).

(Thanks also to F Malan for his ‘nice’ pictures of livers).

More info:

FWEC Course Tamworth – June

See attached PDF.

Proceedings of District Veterinarian’s (NSW) Conferences

and other goodies….

can be found at: http://www.flockandherd.net.au/edition/conference_2013.html

Ecology of Voltaren?


Yes, in the wikipedia article on same, check out the section on ecological effects. Very interesting.


Do you use diesel?



SL. Armidale. 20130527


FEC Flyer TAM JUNE 2013.pdf


WRML. 1 pictorial follow-up to yesterday’s post on liver fluke. 2 Unexpected positives for liver fluke.

WRML. pictorial follow-up to the recent post on liver fluke

The recent post: https://wormmailinthecloud.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/wrml-aprilmay-fluke-drench-and-feeding-sheep-and-other-livestock/

A nice pic

Photo source/owner: Jim Meckiff There are also nice pics in Dr Boray’s Primefact: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/sheep/health/liverfluke-disease-sheep-cattle

Last Friday Armidale Sheep and Wool Officer Jim Meckiff was at Tamworth abattoir to see lambs from a prime lamb competition.

260 lambs about 7 months old from ~ 25 properties were slaughtered. ~20 lambs out of the 260 had ‘flukey’ livers.

Jim was not in a position to ascertain from which or how many farms the ‘flukey’ lambs came.

Despite the low-res image, you can see adult fluke on the surface of the liver which have escaped from bile ducts after the liver has been sliced open post-mortem.

Some of the liver appears fibrosed (an attempt at healing) and the lobe to the right shows signs of necrotic tracts (dead tissue associated with immature migrating fluke). (nekros(Gk)=dead)

Quite possibly this liver contains fluke of varying ages: from immatures right through to adults.

If you are not sure whether or not you have liver fluke, now is a good time to test (despite the dry conditions).

Talk to your vet or other well-informed advisor about which test to use.

Most labs (e.g. DPI, VHR) offer a liver fluke egg count. (This uses a different technique from roundworm egg counting, because liver fluke eggs are relatively dense and do not float in saturated NaCl (salt) solution).

The NSW DPI lab, and possibly others offers a blood test which detects antibodies to liver fluke.

The lab at CSU Wagga also have a kit-based test from Europe that detects liver fluke antigen in faeces. (Virbac (Dr G Kelly et al) assisted in the validation of the test). You will need to ring CSU Wagga about this (or talk to your vet etc): unfortunately the CSU website website at this stage tells you very little about the test. http://www.csu.edu.au/vetservices/vdl

More information on fluke control (incl. drenches) in sheep (see also Boray of course!) : http://www.wormboss.com.au/programs/tas/appendices/liver-fluke-control.php

Information on tests: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/vetmanual/specimens-by-discipline/parasitology/fasciola

Don’t assume you don’t have or won’t get fluke (‘don’t guess, test’)

‘Some interesting information from Liz Braddon, Senior District Vet, Lachlan LHPA (based at Young).

The ELISA Liz refers to is an ELISA detecting antibodies to Fasciola hepatica. See: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/vetmanual/specimens-by-discipline/parasitology/fasciola

The ‘pools’ are blood samples that are pooled and tested at EMAI/the State Vet Lab (NSW DPI).

"We have actually had a positive (all >150 ELISA positive pools in 20 head) on a property that suffered flooding in the past two summers. Cows still looked pretty good but had a couple that were a bit ordinary. Producer had never had confirmed liver fluke in previous 20 years. I was bleeding for Q fever project and offered to do liver fluke to prove / disprove the theory … bit of a surprise. We are going to check a few others that have flooded as well to see if they have action as well. Eliz Braddon 9/4/13 (or 4/9/13 given that Liz is from North America 🙂 – Editor)

We have “checked a few others” with some interesting results:
* One property all pools >150 – Limousin cattle, mixed ages but good body condition and soft shiny coats – eg. no evidence of clinical disease!
* One had 1 pool 240, rest negative (<30) – mixed bunch but nothing out of the ordinary noticed when testing
* One all negative (<30) "

Nik’s comment was that she was surprised that with this level of infestation, there were no visible signs of production loss. Belinda threw out the possibility that older cattle can develop immunity to a certain extent which minimises losses but obviously act then as a reservoir for the disease!?- Eliz Braddon 9/5/13."

(Nik Cronin and Belinda Edmonstone are District Vets in the Lachlan LHPA (located at Forbes)

(Image source: http://www.lhpa.org.au/districts/lachlan )

Cattle, if not young cattle, tend to handle liver fluke better than small ruminants and alpacas. However, just as with roundworms, they can suffer significant if not obvious production losses (especially in high producing animals like lactating dairy cattle) in the absence of clinical disease. Clinical disease is the tip of the iceberg.




WRML. April/May fluke drench ! and…. feeding sheep and other livestock

To WormMail list (recip. undisclosed). WRML.20130507. April/May fluke drench ! and…. feeding sheep and other livestock

April/May liver fluke drench

For those of you who have liver fluke on your property, the single most important time to give a flukicide is now (late autumn/early winter).

And while, for resistance management reasons, we suggest rotation between flukicides from different families (from drench to drench), the April/May drench is the time to trot out your most effective flukicide.

Generally this means a flukicide based on triclabendazole. In cattle you also have the option of Nitromec(R) (Virbac).

More information:


http://www.wormboss.com.au/worms/flukes/liver-fluke.php (<< This includes a link to Dr Boray’s Primefact on liver fluke)


I got all these links by typing ‘liver fluke’ in to the search box in the top right hand corner of the WormBoss homepage. www.wormboss.com.au

Feeding livestock

It’s very dry across much of NSW and many will be looking at hand-feeding sheep and other livestock.

‘Till now, one of the best sources of information in NSW on this subject, as with other aspects of livestock production, was your local NSW DPI livestock officer (LO) (sheep and wool officers, and beef cattle officers). However most of these positions are affected (will be deleted) under the current NSW DPI restructure. Some of the LOs will retire early (e.g. Chris Shands, Sheepo at Glen Innes), others may join Local Land Services, some will take up other positions in DPI (e.g. Ed Joshua (Dubbo), Trudie Atkinson (Trangie), Geoff Casburn (Wagga), or other organisations (e.g. Jane Kelly (Orange), who has gone to Charles Sturt University). Others may work as consultants/in the private sector (e.g. Geoff Duddy (Yanco), Doug Alcock (Cooma), Megan Rogers (Forbes), Sally Martin (Young). These are the ‘sheepos’ I know about. The picture for the beef cattle officers is similar to that for the ‘sheepos’.

Fortunately the LOs as a group along with others have produced a lot of useful material to help you with livestock production, including feeding livestock.

Of immediate use, here is some good information (used with permission) from Ed Joshua on feeding livestock:

“There are very good resources on the internet to assist feeding inquiries and here is an old but still useful article on the topic”.(See attached doc).

There are plenty of Managing Drought books at the store in Orange which is a useful guide to ruminant nutrition.” – EJ, Dubbo, 7 May 2013.


Don’t ask me about feeding livestock. It’s not my area of expertise.

By the way, dry autumns are often one of the times that livestock come down with liver fluke disease. Keep that in your list of “differential diagnoses”.

Feeding sheep from the internet2.doc

WRML. Supply-by-veterinarians-of-repackaged-drenches-for-large-animals

WRML.20130501. Supply-by-veterinarians-of-repackaged-drenches-for-large-animals

An inquiry from a colleague (Kylie G) today prompted me to republish a link to a document on Supply-by-veterinarians-of-repackaged-drenches-for-large-animals in NSW.

The inquiry brought up the perennial issue of smaller land-holders having to buy large drums of drench to get the right sort of drench. That is, we ask all producers to test the drenches they use (e.g. DrenchCheck or DrenchTest) regularly, in order to make sure they are not unwittingly using ineffective drenches (a VERY common problem!)

Having done that, small land-holders in particular face the issue of possibly being only able to get the right drench in a large drum (which they might use in a decade or so, somewhat beyond the shelf-life).

Probably for economic reasons, drench companies are reluctant to provide all their products in small as well as larger quantities.

An alternative may be for private vets – if they are willing of course – to dispense smaller quantities, following various rules (as outlined in the document at the end of the URL/link below). I know of at least one South Coast (NSW) practice who happily and proactively does this. Prompted by the lead this vet practice took, I encouraged my colleague Dr Lee Cook (now retired from NSW DPI) to put the instructions for this into writing.




Two WormMails in one day, seeing it is International Workers’ Day 🙂

Yep, yet again there is a link to WormBoss in this email. Why? Because the re-vamped WormBoss is a terrific resource for Australian sheep producers and their advisors. (And that’s an understatement).

WRML. Want to get the equivalent of a $5.20 price rise/head of sheep?

To: WormMail list (recip. undisclosed. ~ 400 subscribers). www.wormmailinthecloud.wordpress.com

Surely you are all by now subscribed to the Monthly WormBoss News.


If not, consider the great information you are missing out on.

Here is the lead article from the April 2013 edition:

Want to get the equivalent of a $5.20 price rise/head? Here’s how.

Lewis Kahn, Associate Professor Animal Science, University of New England
April 2013

We all know there are two types of concerns for sheep producers. Those that are outside our control and those that are within our control. It’s common to focus on those concerns outside our control because, given we can’t do anything about them, there is no extra work and it’s a scapegoat that dominates our conversation.

Think about issues like the weather and prices for sheep and wool. It’s natural to think this way but there’s not much we can do to influence these factors: so why do we do it? Now if you want to remove all those outside issues and concentrate on controllable issues – (feeling better already?) – one of the big issues is worm control.

Some benchmarking groups have shown that the differences between most and least profitable sheep businesses has almost nothing to do with differences in prices received. It’s mostly to do with on-farm productivity, in other words producing more commodity and in so doing reducing the cost per unit of that commodity.

Worms are a major reason for low productivity, either through deaths or production loss. Sheep produce less wool, meat and lambs from what they consume at pasture when they have worms. Worms make sheep less efficient and sheep death has a big impact on efficiency.

In a trial conducted over two years*, on six farms with 1440 Merino ewes in the New England region of NSW, good worm control – using the WormBoss regional program – reduced the annual cost of worms by $5.20 per ewe.

Let’s think about this in terms of efficiency and productivity. Traditional ways of managing worms meant a producer spent $2.00/ewe to control worms: mostly as drench but worms still reduced income by $11.00/ewe. The WormBoss regional program cost more, at $3.25/ewe to control worms (because of the cost of monitoring worm egg count and if drenches were effective) but worms only reduced income by $5.80: delivering the $5.20 advantage to WormBoss. Spending more on worm control meant the total cost of worms reduced, delivering improvements in efficiency and productivity.

Who would have thought that worm control was a major driver of sheep productivity and that WormBoss regional programs provide a way to do something about an issue which is within our control? Visit www.wormboss.com.au

* PhD studies by Dr Gareth Kelly (Supervisors: Kahn and Walkden-Brown).