Monday 26 August, 2013
Back in June, when we gave the lambs their second Heptavac injection (A sheepy week), we did a faecal worm egg count, which indicated that there was a potential Nematodirus issue. We treated with Panacur and a subsequent f.e.c. 14 days later (15th July) showed no Nematodirus and a low level of round worm and tapeworm.
We’re preparing to wean the lambs and will give them a fluke drench then, but decided to f.e.c. before deciding whether or not to worm.
So, got the results back – no Nematodirus (yay!), no fluke eggs (means nothing), medium level of roundworm eggs and high tapeworm. So we need to worm, for sure. Although tapeworm doesn’t cause disease in lambs, it does inhibit growth and we don’t want that!
I’ve consulted our vet about a suitable wormer – the ones we have used in the past aren’t effective against tapeworm – and we’ve to use one with albendazole as the active ingredient.
A search in NOAH for albendazole threw up Albex 2.5% or 10% - the 10% one does cattle as well as sheep. Albex (I’d never heard of it before) works against tapeworm, roundworms and adult fluke, and is also effective against fluke eggs and worm eggs. It contains selenium and cobalt and since we’re in an area where the soil is deficient in almost every trace element, this seems to be a positive thing. And it’s cheap.
Of course, there may be issues of resistance (it’s a white wormer) so we will do a second f.e.c. 14 days after administering the wormer to check effectiveness. But on balance, Albex seems to be the thing we need, so I’ve ordered a litre.
As soon as it comes, we’ll get the lambs drenched and weaned.
Although I know it’s the right thing to do, I’m not sure that f.e.c. are cost effective for small numbers of stock. At £8.50 a go (via Westgate Laboratories, about whom I have no complaints as they provide a great service), it would be cheaper just to worm willy-nilly. But we’ll do the right thing anyway. :-)