Specializing in Small Ruminant Parasitology
On this tab we hope to include links to useful articles on parasiology, anthelmintics, herbal alternative therapies, research and any other helpful associated information.
There is a lot of information on the web, some of it helpful, some of it well intended but misguided. Everyone seems to have a different opinion. This can be very confusing so we are trying to provide links to legitimate and trustworthy resources. Please remember there are good scholarly resources to help you as opposed to trying to sort through 95 opinions on a FaceBook post. In the end, it all boils down to a management decision based on what is best for your herd and your circumstances.
Here is something very important to remember, especially people that try to give well intended assistance to others without considering the big picture.
Every farm has its own unique population of parasites. What they will or will not respond to varies greatly. There is no "one size fits all" deworming regimen.
People who purchase a few goats or sheep and create new pastures for them may have little to no parasite issues as long as the purchased goats come in clean. If they do not bring more animals in, they may never require anthelmintics. Yet such people are frequently advised to treat their animals with dual or even triple class dewormers simultaneously. YES there are many farms that now require that. But that should NEVER be universally recommended.
It is fairly easy (and we hope to make the process highly affordable)to determine whether you have anthelmintic resistance in your herd and if so, to what. The most current research advocates for NOT rotating dewormers. Use the anthelmintic that works for your herd and nothing else. In this manner, the selective resistance to other anthelmintics becomes diluted and eventually lost. Per recent Zoetis research, it has been found that previous strains of ivermectin resistant parasites lose the selective resistance in about a 3 year period. If you use ivermectin to treat for lice and or mites, this would not work, there has to be zero exposure to the compound. Personally we are working on alternative ecto parasite management so that we will be able to use ivermectin again effectively in the future.
One of the most valuable, reliable resources is American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control. They have an abundance of articles, videos, and even a monthly newsletter.
Ohio State University excellent article explaining hypobiosis (dormant periods) and excellent strategies. This article has about the best take-away Pearl of wisdom, we cannot stress this enough.
"Remember that the goal of a sustainable parasite control program is to limit the economic and animal welfare effects of internal parasitism, not to kill every worm"
Colorado State University has a strong small ruminant program and provides many continuing education seminars for veterinarians all over the country
This is a helpful video explaining the FAMACHA process and how to incorporate it in your management system. My personal philosophy is learn the differences in eyelid color, it is more important than carrying the card around. Make a habit of making bi-weekly or at least monthly FAMACHA checks. Do not treat animals that do not need to be treated, we cannot stress that enough. Roughly 20% of the herd will carry 70-80% of the parasite burden. Performing individual fecal samples can help you identify the goats that require more intensive management.
A great article with information on the use of copper supplementation as part of the parasite management program (note that copper should be used with caution as over supplementation can be lethal).
Dewormer chart (University of Georgia) Note that the majority of these will be off label use, especially for goats Many meat and milk withdrawal times have not been legally established
There are many people who prefer to use holistic and or organic management techniques for their herd. Lab results are always confidential but in some circumstances our customers request that we consult with their herbalist. Although I come from an R&D Animal Health Pharma background, I have been impressed with many of the results I have seen. That being said, holistic management is an intensive, every day management lifestyle. For people who are willing to put the time into it, it can be very successful.
There are other companies out there but I have only worked professionally with one which is Land of Havilah and is owned by a master herbologist. Her company also offers online herbology classes for those who may be interested in learning more. here is a link to the home page if you wish to explore further.