Ewes worm/fluke/heamonchus

Stockwell

Member
0EBB072E-22CD-4FF5-AD4A-6A3C2FD56986.jpeg
hello there,
Our ewes aren’t in as good fettle as usual (could just be down to this summers severe grass shortage). Also there’s the odd one doing a bit of coughing and a few dirty bums which is unusual.

Had a FEC test done coming back with moderate worm level. Is this enough to be a problem? Had thought about testing for heamonchus as I’ve heard of a number of people that have had a problem. Fluke was negative. Thoughts would be much appreciated
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
View attachment 738780 hello there,
Our ewes aren’t in as good fettle as usual (could just be down to this summers severe grass shortage). Also there’s the odd one doing a bit of coughing and a few dirty bums which is unusual.

Had a FEC test done coming back with moderate worm level. Is this enough to be a problem? Had thought about testing for heamonchus as I’ve heard of a number of people that have had a problem. Fluke was negative. Thoughts would be much appreciated
Typically haemonchus shows up as very high egg counts. However it does have a tendency to hit certain individuals particularly hard so if you have the odd one particularly poor it may be worth checking for anaemia. (Haemonchus eggs would be counted under the Trichostrongyle type so are included in your test )
Are you able to give better grazing or supplementary feed now?
The autumn flush of grass may be enough to cause the dirty bums.
Beyond that is guesswork really without further testing
 

Stockwell

Member
I see, thank you @Poorbuthappy
The ewes are on quite good grazing now and we have an abundance of forage crops to see them through until lambing. Might get a few bloods done aswell.
 

spin cycle

Member
Location
north norfolk
getting on top of haemonchus has been a revelation here....orf dissapeared....losses down to 1%......if you've a moderate worm burden then would it harm to worm with ivermectin?....that'd cover haemonchus
 
Not sure I entirely agree with that, though not specifically studied it.
Older ewes tend to have been exposed more and develop a degree of resistance.
The Moredun has developed a vaccine Barbervax which is used in Australia, South Africa and soon South America.
This vaccine helps to develop resistance but needs to be injected a number of times.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Older ewes tend to have been exposed more and develop a degree of resistance.
The Moredun has developed a vaccine Barbervax which is used in Australia, South Africa and soon South America.
This vaccine helps to develop resistance but needs to be injected a number of times.
The vaccine is very short acting. It only promotes resistance for a short time, rather than a number of injections promoting resistance.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I thought that was what I said/meant!!
Fair enough. Point being ewes don't really develop much resistance to it, though no doubt there are genetic differences which @Tim W will breed in for us:D
In my limited experience ewes with good worm resistance for other worms aren't necessarily particularly good with haemonchus.

On the vaccine, one of the vets in our practice was involved in work I think in Australia with it, but was pretty hesitant about me placing much hope in it being significant help here. Partly I think due to the unpredictable nature of when highest challenges would be, whereas In Aus this was more predictable.
That said, I would be interested to learn more. Maybe the post partuant rise would be worth targeting?
 
Fair enough. Point being ewes don't really develop much resistance to it, though no doubt there are genetic differences which @Tim W will breed in for us:D
In my limited experience ewes with good worm resistance for other worms aren't necessarily particularly good with haemonchus.

On the vaccine, one of the vets in our practice was involved in work I think in Australia with it, but was pretty hesitant about me placing much hope in it being significant help here. Partly I think due to the unpredictable nature of when highest challenges would be, whereas In Aus this was more predictable.
That said, I would be interested to learn more. Maybe the post partuant rise would be worth targeting?
True that Haemonchus is very unpredictable here and the Vaccine would never be used here.
You are also correct in that no sheep is resistant to Haemonchus, however in my personal experience and in the South East we have climatic conditions more often that cause Haemonchus problems similar to Australia as we get long drought periods followed by periods of rainfall when the temperature is still above 15'C causing massive hatches of worms.

It is always young ewes that die from the worm very quickly.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
True that Haemonchus is very unpredictable here and the Vaccine would never be used here.
You are also correct in that no sheep is resistant to Haemonchus, however in my personal experience and in the South East we have climatic conditions more often that cause Haemonchus problems similar to Australia as we get long drought periods followed by periods of rainfall when the temperature is still above 15'C causing massive hatches of worms.

It is always young ewes that die from the worm very quickly.
It interests me that a group of sheep can be relatively untroubled yet 1 or 2 ewes can succumb, with massive egg counts, emaciation and/ or anaemia and death if not quickly intervened. Whether that is genetic, or environmental or other stress reasons?

I'm pretty sure it's not entirely a young ewe issue here. Will take more notice in future.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I see, thank you @Poorbuthappy
The ewes are on quite good grazing now and we have an abundance of forage crops to see them through until lambing. Might get a few bloods done aswell.
I was going to ask about the trace element status. On several farms where I know they have to address issues normally (here being one), deficiencies seem to be much worse this year.
 

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