Oct. 2 2012 07:27 AM

External parasites are not the only concern for dairy operations

Merial logo
Dairy producers could potentially be losing performance and returns if they are not treating for both internal and external parasites. But Tom Van Dyke, DVM, manager of Large Animal Veterinary Services, Merial, says producers can easily stop parasites from feeding on their bottom line.

Dr. Van Dyke recommends treating the entire herd with an endectocide that controls Chorioptic and Sarcoptic mange, biting and sucking lice, and internal parasites. "Taking a proactive approach by treating for internal and external parasites can preserve cow comfort and production," Dr. Van Dyke says.

In general, internal parasite issues are associated with herds exposed to pastures and not often linked to dairies with limited pasture exposure. This can result in a false sense of security among dairy managers as parasites could be affecting the health and productivity of cows. Dairy cows can still have internal and external parasites.1,2

A study of dairy herds in four states revealed 87% of farms had fecal samples positive for larvae and 50% of farms raising heifers in confinement also had positive fecal samples. In addition, 37% of cows raised in confinement had positive fecal samples. 3

"During early lactation, dairy cattle are affected more by the loss of nutrients due to parasite infections," 4 Dr. Van Dyke says. "Subclinical infections can cause decreased milk production, reduction in weight gain and lowered conception rates."4

Dairy managers can help control internal parasites in their herd with IVOMEC® EPRINEX® (eprinomectin). It is the only product that controls up to 99 percent of both Chorioptic mange and Sarcoptic mange mites in lactating dairy cows.5

"Producers should make sure they're using a product that effectively controls internal and external parasites and that is approved for lactating cows to avoid milk withholding. EPRINEX is the only drug that kills thirty-nine species and stages of internal and external parasites5," Dr. Van Dyke says.

A double blind clinical trial showed that "eliminating the present subclinical parasite burdens produced a consistent increase in milk production that can yield economic benefits for the dairy producer." 6 Specifically, the estimated increase in production per cow was 2 lbs. of milk per day.6

Producers also can see the impact of parasite control when it comes to reproduction. EPRINEX reduces parasites to help cows breed back sooner. Studies show that EPRINEX-treated animals have a significantly higher probability of conception and those not treated had the longest calving-to-conception intervals.7

"Never assume your herd is parasite-free just because you can't see outward signs of parasitism," Dr. Van Dyke says. "Taking a proactive approach to parasite control helps ensure cattle will be comfortable, efficient and produce to their full potential."

Producers can learn more about about EPRINEX by contacting their local Merial sales representative or visiting www.EPRINEXKillit.com.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: No meat or milk withdrawal is required when used according to label. Do not use in calves intended for veal or unapproved animal species as severe adverse reaction, including fatalities in dogs, may result.

About Merial
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2011 sales were more than $2.8 billion. Merial is a Sanofi Company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.