Lungworm in cattle: a true survivor

27 Jun 2020

Morgan, E. R.

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In an era of highly productive herds, performance monitoring and planned health strategies, parasitic diseases were predicted to become a thing of the past. Parasites remain ubiquitous, of course, and eradicating them from farms is not feasible or economically viable, so the impacts of subclinical disease on performance continue. However, acute clinical cases of parasitism are something that, even 25 years ago, were supposed to be consigned to history.1

Highly effective anthelmintics were to ensure this, and while that narrative has been unravelling for some time for gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep, goats and cattle,2 anthelmintics still seem to be working against the lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus. By now, this parasite should be confined to the museum, or at least be a rare and notable clinical diagnosis, like thromboembolic colic caused by Strongylus vulgaris – a parasite suppressed by the long-term use of macrocyclic lactone anthelmintics in...