Get the most pounds of gain possible by feeding cattle — and not parasites
Planning for parasite protection becomes top of mind for all producers before fall turnout each year. Parasites can leave a path of destruction on any herd, but controlling them can be as simple as remembering a few key tips.
1. Read and Understand the Label
To help ensure the best possible results from deworming products, it is important to be aware of the label indications for the product being used.
“When deworming time rolls around, it is extremely important to read the label every time to ensure you are dosing correctly, reducing the risk for side effects and not creating resistance,” says Gary Sides, Ph.D., Cattle Nutritionist, Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations. “Not giving cattle the full, labeled dose provides parasites the opportunity to become resistant and prevents cattle from reaching their performance potential.”
2. Injectable vs. Pour-On
Depending on geographic location, choosing an injectable or pour-on product may differ due to weather differences as well as different types of parasites in the area. Sides recommends treating cattle with DECTOMAX® 1% Injectable in the spring and DECTOMAX Pour-On in the fall. For producers in the Gulf States and northwest Oregon, Washington and California, treatment recommendations are reversed to accommodate different parasite control needs. Those producers should treat cattle with VALBAZEN® and/or DECTOMAX Pour-On in the spring and DECTOMAX Injectable in the fall.
“Injectables really do the best job on internal parasites, but lice control is better with pour-ons,” Sides says. “I tend to be more concerned with internal parasites since they can do the most to slow down growth, feed intake and feed efficiency.”
3. Store and Handle Products Carefully
Storage and handling also can have an effect on product efficacy. Most products list the appropriate temperature range for storage on the product packaging or label. It is important to follow label indications closely to ensure that producers are getting the most bang for their buck.
“Regardless of what animal health product you are administering, it is important to check the label before each use,” Dr. Sides says. “Too often, product labels are taken for granted. Help ensure product effectiveness by storing products at appropriate temperatures.”
4. Practice Proper Application Techniques
When using pour-on products, it is important to ensure proper application techniques. Avoid applying product onto dirty animals as it can be absorbed into the dirt rather than the hide. Also, it is possible that general herd behaviors such as rubbing and licking can reduce the amount of effective product on the animal.
“Convenience often has its drawbacks,” Dr. Sides says. “There are some circumstances that keep a pour-on from working as well as it could. Dirt and manure on the animal can reduce the amount of product absorbed into the hide, so it is important to apply pour-on onto animals that are as clean as possible. Rain, snow and sleet can often wash the product from the animal if not given sufficient absorption time, so when possible, plan application around the weather.”
When applying a pour-on dewormer, pour the proper dose down the entire backline of the animal and do not just pour the entire dose on one spot.
5. Deworm Based on Geographic Location
Deworming times can also vary depending on geographic location, but it is recommended that producers deworm at green up in the spring and turn out in the fall.
“Producers should collaborate with their veterinarian to develop a solid deworming program that is best suited for their herd,” Dr. Sides says. “These factors, as well as numerous other things, can change the recommendation for which products should be used from one herd to another.”
Important Safety Information: DECTOMAX Injectable has a 35 day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. DECTOMAX Pour-On has a 45-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. Do not use in dairy cows 20 months of age or older. DECTOMAX has been developed specifically for cattle and swine. Use in dogs may result in fatalities.
Important Safety Information: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 27 days after the last treatment with VALBAZEN. Not for use in lactating dairy cattle. Do not administer to female cattle during the first 45 days of pregnancy or for 45 days after removal of bulls.