With turnout hopefully not too far around the corner now is the opportune time to get Lungworm control fresh in your minds to avoid losses at a later date.

Lungworm (also known as ‘husk’, ‘hoose’ and ‘parasitic bronchitis’) is caused by the parasite Dictyocaulus viviparus. Animals are infected after grazing on contaminated pasture and eating larvae. These larvae then migrate via blood vessels and lymphatic system to the lungs where they break out into the airways, and become egg producing adults. The cycle continues with immature larvae crawling up the trachea, getting coughed up, swallowed and passed out in the faeces again.

Lungworm can present in a dramatic fashion, where an airway full of adult worms can lead to severe respiratory distress, or even death! Animals often present at grass with coughing, particularly after running around. Other signs of increased respiratory effort are also seen – not surprising considering hundreds of adult worms can be blocking the airways!

  • Economic losses result from:
  • Reduced growth rates
  • Poor fertility performance
  • Lost milk
  • Mortality
  • Treatment and veterinary costs

Although often thought of as a disease of first grazing calves, lungworm has the potential to infect any animal that has not built up immunity following exposure.

Fortunately there is a product that can allow exposure to the lungworm larvae, without the development of clinical signs, thus allowing the animal to build up immunity prior to turnout. If you haven’t heard of Huskvac before, where have you been?! It’s a two dose vaccine given four weeks apart that can be used in animals eight weeks or over. Animals can then be turned out two weeks later. With the increasing resistance in anthelmintics we really think this is the path to go down if you have recurrent lungworm problems or a history of it on farm. Control the controllable!

Orders need to be placed in advance and the pharmacy team will automatically order your second dose at the right time for you.