Fluke in sheep is a threat to more than an individual farm. This parasitic worm is extremely well adapted and can be deadly, but the wider impact of infection could cost the UK agricultural industry up to £300m every year. To join the fight back, arm yourself with knowledge shared in the infographic below.
The two types of disease caused by fluke are enough to tell you how serious the condition is:
Chronic Fluke can result in unpleasant conditions like Bottle Jaw, anaemia and terminal diarrhoea. Farmers also commonly see reduced lambing percentage, which hits profits.
Acute Fluke can present symptoms of lethargy and liver failure but also results in sudden death and therefore, an absolute loss
As well as the clinical attack on your sheep, fluke leaves further harm in its wake. Typically, farmers see reduced live-weight gains and nutritional conditions such as twin lamb disease. There is also a recognised fall in conception rates and sheep become more likely to catch other diseases too.
All year round
Fluke are found in wet areas of a farm since their life cycle is dependent on the mud snail. The eggs move down the bile duct of the host and into the intestines before they are deposited in faeces and develop into the infective stage on the very pasture your flock feeds from. Once ingested, parasitic fluke pass into the liver of your sheep and they’re then in a prime position to inflict damage.
Acute Fluke is most prevalent September to December, but also appear from the end of August right through to January. Chronic Fluke is most common November to April. Therefore, there aren’t many months of the year that can be thought of as free from fluke.
Plan your attack
Adult fluke lay hundreds of eggs every day, which leaves you significantly outnumbered in your fight against them. As the bar graph in our infographic clearly shows, the overall prevalence of parasitic fluke has visibly increased since the year 2000. Year after year fluke numbers rise. This is not just adult fluke laying eggs, but immature fluke too, both of which contribute to disease. Timing your treatment and managing the risk factors will help you defend your flock.
CYDECTIN® TriclaMox® is a potent combination of moxidectin and triclabendazole, that treats immature and adult fluke and gives up to 35 days persistence against common gut worms, making it a good choice for mixed infections. To avoid hit-and-miss treatment of parasitic fluke, take a look at our infographic below to learn how to target them appropriately.
CYDECTIN® TriclaMox® 1 MG/ML + 50 mg/ml Oral Solution for Sheep contains moxidectin and triclabendazole. POM-VPS. For further information please see the product’s SPC or contact Zoetis UK Limited, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7NS. www.zoetis.co.uk. Customer Support: 0845 300 8034. Use medicines responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible). Date of preparation: August 2016 AH486/16
Dave is an RCVS advanced practitioner in Sheep Health and Production. He qualified from the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in 2004, working mainly as a production animal veterinary surgeon, until joining Zoetis (previously known as Pfizer Animal Health) in 2010 as an Area Veterinary Manager. In 2015 Dave joined the Zoetis National Veterinary Manager team.
Dave’s areas of interest are the health and production of sheep and the sustainable control of parasites in farm animals. He is the chair of the NOAH anti-parasitics committee and sits on various national cross industry bodies including the sustainable control of parasites in sheep (SCOPS) board.
Dave is from a farming background and still manages his own flock of pedigree Texel and commercial mule sheep on the Welsh-Shropshire border.