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The parasite

Lungworm infestation occurs as a result of infection with the worm Dictyocaulus viviparus.

Grazing cattle ingest the infective larvae from the pasture and within four weeks of ingesting these larvae, the cow or calf can be shedding millions of fresh larvae onto the pasture.

The disease

Lungworm outbreaks are mainly seen in the late summer or autumn. Signs in cattle range from a mild cough and slightly increased breathing rate to severe and persistent coughing and difficulty breathing.

In youngstock the main effect is a depression in growth rates, leading to a longer finishing period or time to first service. In older cattle the disease can depress milk yields, compromise fertility and even kill animals.

Disease management

The number of cases of lungworm has risen dramatically since the 1990s, driven by wet summers, high stocking densities and poor immunity. Effective control strategies include vaccination, effective use of wormers and strategic grazing management.

Lungworm vaccination: Bovilis® Huskvac

Vaccination with Bovilis® Huskvac provides protection against lungworm when given to cattle before they meet natural challenge on pasture, and helps effective control in herds with a history of lungworm.

When you consider how much is invested in cattle genetics and the value of first and second year grazers, it makes no sense at all not to vaccinate against lungworm in herds with a history of disease.

Bovilis® Huskvac on your farm

  • Vaccinate only healthy animals of 8 weeks of age and above
  • Shake the bottle well and give the full 25ml dose by the oral route
  • Primary vaccination requires 2 doses, approx. 4 weeks part
  • Allow at least 2 weeks from the 2nd dose to turnout
  • Do not use wormers until 14 days after the 2nd dose of Huskvac
  • The vaccine should be stored in a refrigerator at 2c – 8c
  • Always remember to consult your vet about effective use of Bovilis® Huskvac

1. Murphy, T.M. Preventing lungworm infection in adult cattle. Veterinary Ireland Journal. April 2013, Vol. 3 Issue 4.

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