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Worms in Cow:

Cows are susceptible to parasite attacks from numerous sources and the most common parasites are stomach worms, lungworms, intestinal round worms, heel fly larva (grubs), ticks, lice, horn flies, liver flukes, cattle tape worms and coccidia. The parasite infestation is dependent upon the health of the element, location, rainfall, draught and other environmental conditions. While parasites may not kill the animal as its survival depends on the existence of the cow, it will cause a decrease in performance levels and cattle are severely threatened by worms or internal parasitic nematodes that are found in the intestines and stomach.

The symptoms of worms in cows include having a dry and dull coat of hair, rather unkempt in appearance and the cow is usually plagued with anaemia, diarrhoea and loss of weight. If the attack is severe, it may result in the death of the animal as well. But this is usually in calves and not cows. If the infection is only moderate, then it reduces the amount of milk production in cows. It is important to remember that putting out a sick parasite infected animal to pasture is potentially harmful to the other cows that graze there. Adult cows can pass faecal matter that contains parasite eggs and contaminate the pasture land. However, the contamination caused by calves is more harmful. If the cow has a dry, husky and persistent cough, it could be suffering from lung worm infection and the susceptibility to pulmonary infections and pneumonia is high. However, adult dairy cows are hardier and rarely pick up nematode infections, especially if they have been kept in a dry lot or under conditions of confinement. They are less likely to pick up worms and do not require frequent de-worming. If they are let out to pasture occasional monitoring of parasitic infection is necessary and this can be done by routine testing of their fecal matter rather than giving an expensive de-worming shot to a healthy animal. As regards treatment for cows with worms, you may want to consult your local veterinarian and be careful to not alter the dosage recommended. Do remember that it is not possible to give a blanket recommendation without identifying the nature of the worm infestation and the physical condition of the particular animal.  The necessity of treatment and the frequency at which it is administered is governed by climatic conditions such as rainfall, humidity and external temperature, the kind and amount of nutrition given to the animal, age and particular farm management practices. Cows have to be given accurate doses, both to prevent any economic loss due to parasitism and to avoid a stage wherein the parasite has become immune to the drug. Consult your veterinarian for dewormers for your cattle.

 
  Submitted on January 20, 2010  
 
 
 
 
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