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Integrated Parasite Management for Small Ruminants. Slides contributed by Marguerite Frongillo, Steve Hart, Susan Schoenian, Mary Smith DVM and tatiana Stanton. Know your weapons. Effective management Effective drug use Effective surveillance. Integrated Parasite Management (IPM).

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Integrated Parasite Management for Small Ruminants

Slides contributed by Marguerite Frongillo, Steve Hart, Susan Schoenian, Mary Smith DVM and tatiana Stanton

know your weapons
Know your weapons
  • Effective management
  • Effective drug use
  • Effective surveillance
integrated parasite management ipm
Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)

Goal is not to create parasite-free animals. It is normal for sheep and goats to have parasites. Goal is to prevent clinical disease and production losses.

parasite control begins with good management and common sense
Parasite control begins with good management and common sense
  • Good sanitation
  • Feeders which prevent wastage and contamination.
  • Clean water, free from fecal matter.
  • Not overstocking pens and pastures.
  • Isolation and deworming of new animals in an area where you can retrieve their manure easily.
pasture management to reduce barber pole worm problems
Pasture Management to reduce barber pole worm problems
  • Use clean or safe pastures – easy to say, difficult to implement for entire grazing cycle
  • Use multispecies grazing
  • Use alternative forages
  • Make wise management decisions about pasture height, pasture rest, and pasture rotation
use clean or safe pastures
Use “clean or safe” pastures

What is a truly safe pasture?

  • New pasture
  • Pasture that has been renovated with tillage
  • A pasture that has not been grazed by sheep or goats for the past 6 to 12 months – however,worm population does start to drop sharply after 2 months.
  • Pasture grazed solely by horses and/or cattle for the past 6 to 12 months.
  • Pasture in which a hay, baleage or silage crop has been removed.
  • Pasture that has been rotated with row crops.
  • Burnt pasture
dilute worm population by grazing multiple species
Dilute worm population by grazing multiple species
  • Sheep and goats share the same internal parasites, but they are different from the parasites that generally affect cattle and horses.
  • Cattle and horses “vacuum” sheep/goat pastures.
  • Other benefits  complimentary grazing habits.
alternative forages
Alternative forages
  • Livestock that browse have fewer parasite problems (excepting deer worm).
  • Livestock grazing tall-growing forages will have less parasite problems.
    • 80% of parasites live in the first 2 inches of the vegetation.
  • Grazing high-tannin forages may reduce the effects of parasitism.

Forage Chicory

Sericea Lespedeza

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Pure stands of chicory, birdsfoot trefoil, and Sericea lespedeza have been shown to reduce fecal egg counts and/or larval development.

pasture height 80 of the internal parasites found in bottom 2 inches of vegetation
Pasture Height – 80% of the internal parasites found in bottom 2 inches of vegetation

Not a big concern during first pass through your rotational pastures after winter. Big concern in later passes.

in a grazing system for small ruminants we are
In a grazing system for small ruminants we are:
  • Generally trying to move animals before the pasture is below 3 inches and get back in before pasture gets too mature
Too high and mature  high lignin  less nutritious and palatable for small ruminants  trampling losses , etcetera
problems with intensive rotational grazing and small ruminant parasites
Problems with intensive rotational grazing and small ruminant parasites -
  • In a rotational grazing system with the primary purpose of controlling worm populations, sheep/goats should not be returned to the same pasture for at least 45 to 60 days
  • This conflicts with the use of intensive rotational grazing to increase the nutritional off-take from a pasture
  • Due to increased stocking rates and rapid grazing intervals, management intensive grazing may increase internal parasite problems in sheep and goats as the grazing season progresses.
in summary
In summary
  • If animals are left in a grazing paddock for longer than 5 to 10 days, depending on weather, may be exposed to infectious larvae
  • Pasture rest periods to control internal parasites need to be longer than normal recommendations for either pasture health or nutritional value
things to consider when using intensive rotational grazing
Things to consider when using intensive rotational grazing
  • Are there safe pastures that animals can be moved onto as grazing season progresses?
    • Brush pastures
    • Hayfield regrowth
    • Pastures that your cattle or horses have been grazing
    • Crop stubble or seeded annuals
  • Can you disrupt the worm cycle by mowing the pasture extremely short, grazing other species, or harvesting a crop of hay or baleage before resuming grazing?
Rotational grazing in the spring appears to reduce the “barnyard effect” and delay the onset of summer parasite problems
barnyard effect
Barnyard Effect
  • Barnyards with grass or other good forage
  •  Lead to high concentration of manure and internal parasites in grazing material
  •  Can contribute greatly to herd contamination with internal parasites
  •  May have a “barnyard effect” in pastures that border barn and are not rotated

Manure pile right in yard – kids born late April – barn situated in very large pasture but kids and does tend to graze right by barn where manure concentration (and worm contamination) is highest. By late July  kid loss to worms and coccidia


Please note that we are talking about herds that are rotating in the spring and summer and that by late July most of these also had high worm loads



Goats free range on woodlands during the day and locked in very large compound 5 pm to 8 am compound seeded to pasture in 2004herdsman noticed in Spring 2005 that kids did not go to woods with dams, instead stayed & grazed at compound  kid loss by mid July to worms and coccidia.


Please note that we are talking about herds that are rotating in the spring and summer and that by late July most of these also had high worm loads





On these two farms, shelter and grain troughs move with the herd from pasture to pasture eliminating barnyard effect

some options to help reduce barnyard effect can you implement any of them
Some options to help reduce barnyard effect –Can you implement any of them?
  • make barnyard small enough that very little forage present
  • lay down gravel, concrete, or herbicides
  • close off access to barnyard during day and on full moon nights
  • provide hay in barn at night when animals come in from pasture to cut down on night grazing in the barnyard
  • replace barnyards with narrow lanes from pastures to barn
  • leave animals in rotated pastures 24 hours a day with portable shelter, water and feeders
zero grazing
“Zero” grazing
  • Sheep/goats raised in confinement or dry lot (with no grass) have fewer stomach worm problems.
  • Sheep/goats put in confinement or dry lot do not usually get re-infected with stomach worms.
  • Coccidiosis could be more of a problem in confinement.
one farm s forage management strategy to control worms
hay feeding 30 Boer X breeding does from mid Dec through April. Herd kids in April and adult does wormed May1st.

rotational grazing of conventional pastures (6 acres) from May through July, goats stay on each area ~1 wk before rotating to next pasture – returned to each pasture in ~ 45 days. Horses follow 2 weeks after goats in most fields. Individual animals are wormed as needed. Entire herd wormed at end of July at weaning.

One farm’s forage management strategy to control worms
management strategy continued
Management Strategy continued
  • month-long grazing of two brush pastures Aug through Sept (3 acres). Individuals wormed as needed. In 2006, entire herd fasted and wormed with 2 wormers for deer worm in October – wormers used are ones that barberpole worm already shows resistance to in herd
  • strip grazing of hay field regrowth from Oct until mid Dec (7 acres), animals moved to new strip every 5 to 9 days and never repeated on same strip. Individuals wormed as needed. Some years entire herd wormed Dec 15, some years entire herd wormed March 15th, some years neither worming necessary and only a few individuals wormed
nutritional management
Nutritional Management
  • Animals on a high plane of nutrition and in better body condition are better able to withstand worm burdens.
  • Nutrition in early pregnancy (fat stores) can affect the immune response to internal parasites.
  • Sheep receiving higher levels of protein prior to lambing have lower fecal egg counts.
immune response
Immune Response
  • Good nutrition stimulates immune system
  • Can select goats and sheep for low fecal egg counts
  • Other diseases which depress immune system (e.g. coccidiosis, Johnes) can cause increased worm problems
immune response32
Immune Response
  • When goat/sheep are lactating, immune system is suppressed and does not fight parasites. Arrested larvae acquired during the fall all mature simultaneously in the spring during lactation. Rationale for deworming before kidding.
  • Protein consumption at 130% of daily requirements reduced flush of egg laying at parturition in sheep
genetic management
Genetic Management
  • Try to select for “resistant” animals
resistant breeds some sheep and goat breeds are more resistant to worms

Gulf Coast Native

Hair sheep

Barbados Blackbelly

St. Croix


Dorper (?)

Royal White (?)


Traditional wooled breeds


Possibly –




Kiko (?)


Boer goats

Dairy goats

Angora goats


“Resistant” BreedsSome sheep and goat breeds are more resistant to worms.
resistant individuals parasite resistance varies between individual animals of the same breed type
“Resistant” IndividualsParasite resistance varies between individual animals of the same breed type.
  • 20-30 percent of flock shed most of the parasite eggs.
  • Focusing deworming on susceptible animals will significantly reduce pasture contamination.
  • BUT - Lactation and weaning are examples of environmental effects that render an animal more worm-susceptible.
  • Culling worm-susceptible animals that have no environmental excuse for being “wormy” should increase flock resistance and reduce pasture contamination.

A valuable, limited resource that must be managed properly.

three drug families
Three drug families
  • Benzimidazoles

Chemical name ends in '..dazole

Fenbendazole, Albendazole, Oxybendazole

  • Nicotinics

Levamisole, Morantel, Pyrantel

  • MacrolidesAvermectins

Ivermectin, Doramectin


benzimidazoles white drenches
Fenbendazole – SafeGuard® or Panacur®

Albendazole – Valbazen®

Oxyfendazole – Synantic ®

Broad spectrum

Wide margin of safety

Effective against tapeworms


Effective against adult liver flukes.

Should not be administered to pregnant animals.

Benzimidazoles – “white drenches”
Levamisole - (clear drench). Tramisol ®, Levasole®, Prohibit®

Morantel– Rumatel®, Positive Goat Pellet

Pyrantel - Strongid®


Oral feed additive

Only effective against adult worms


Only effective against adult worms


Broad spectrum

Effective against arrested larvae

Narrower margin of safety, especially injectable product

Ivermectin –Ivomec®, Zimecterin ®, Eprinex ®, Promectin®

Doramectin - Dectomax ®

Moxidectin – Cydectin ®, Quest ®

Broad spectrum

Wide margin of safety

Effective against (biting) external parasites


Newest drug

Has “Persistent activity”

extra label drug use
Extra-label drug use
  • Only Fenbendazole (SafeGuard®) and Morantel (Rumatel®) are FDA-approved for goats.
  • Only Albendazole (Valbazen ®), Ivomec ® drench, and Levamisole (drench and bolus) are FDA-approved for sheep.
  • Use of a product that is different than its label constitutes extra-label drug use and requires a veterinary prescription in context of valid veterinarian-patient-client relationship.
  • Should use exaggerated withdrawals when using drugs extra label (keep records). Check with
non chemical dewormers not yet
Non-chemical dewormers – not yet!
  • Botanical dewormers - herbs
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • No scientific studies have shown DE or other non-chemical treatments to reduce fecal egg counts
  • Many natural “dewormers” would have to be given at toxic levels in order to be effective
  • Garlic juice has shown promise?


    • Tannins, fungus
    • Copper boluses (goats)
    • vaccine
epazote study
Epazote Study
  • 1) Oil of Chenopodium administered in gel capsules at a rate of 0.15ml/kg body weight is ineffective in reducing the number or viability of internal parasite eggs in NY sheep and goats. Higher dose  toxic to host animal.
  • A commercial organic worm discourager and a soluble soap, Basic H, were equally ineffective.
  • Developed in South Africa in response to the emergence of severe anthelmintic resistance
  • A system to assess Haemonchus contortis (barber pole worm) infection in sheep and goats and the need for deworming individual animals
  • Named for its originator:

Dr. Francois “Faffa” MAlan CHArt

  • Reduces the number of treatments by determining which animals to treat vs. treating whole flock.
  • Reduces rate at which worms become resistant to drugs by increasing “refugia” – worms that are still susceptible to drug treatment.
  • Identifies animals that need treatment most often and vice versa; thus offering the opportunity for genetic selection for parasite resistance assuming they have no environmental “excuse’.

Treat adults at scores 4 and 5*Treat lambs and kids at categories 3, 4, and 5

*South Africa recommends goats be treated at categories 3, 4, and 5

precautions when using famacha
Precautions when using FAMACHA©
  • Only useful where Haemonchus contortis is the primary parasite species.
  • Cannot be used in a vacuum; other factors need to be considered when making treatment decisions.
  • There are other causes of pale (e.g. liver fluke) or red (e.g. fever) eye lids
  • Should be incorporated into an integrated parasite management (IPM) program that includes proper drug use, pasture rest and rotation, fecal egg counting, mixed species grazing, etc.)
precautions when using famacha48
Precautions when using FAMACHA©
  • How often should you check?
  • Must know if anthelmintic is effective.
    • FECRT
    • DrenchRite®
  • Always use card! Compare eye color to chart. Replace card after 12 months of use
  • Should only be used by properly trained individuals; improper use can lead to death of animals.
  • Indirect or direct life cycle
  • Severe infestations cause coughing, fluid in lungs, pneumonia
  • Transmitted in feces
  • Take fecal sample direct from animal (otherwise can confuse with soil nematodes)
  • Same control program as stomach and intestinal worms.

Pasture mite

Life Cycle

  • Worms live in small intestines.
  • Eggs pass out through feces.
  • The egg is eaten by a pasture mite.
  • The egg hatches.
  • The mite is eaten by the sheep or goat.
  • Light loads of tapeworms tend not to be a problem, but severe infestations can cause problems.
coccidia eimera sp species specific
CoccidiaEimera sp. (species-specific)
  • Single-cell protozoa that damage lining of small intestines.
    • Can cause bloody diarrhea that may be smeared with mucous
    • Damage can be permanent!
  • Prevent with good sanitation and proper stocking
  • Suspect when animals get diarrhea after 3 weeks of age
  • “mucky butt” in lambs
  • many Eimeria species, host specific, variable pathogenicity
  • immunity to each species of coccidia develops with exposure
  • warmth and moisture permit sporulation
    • From Egg to infectious 1-2 days but easily survive 2-3 mo and can survive 1 year in optimum conditions
    • Killed by direct sunlight and low humidity (<25%)
Severe coccidiosis in goats/sheep causes many small white foci in the intestinal wall – absorption impaired
fecal exams for coccidia
Fecal exams for coccidia
  • may have 10,000 or 100,000 per gram without disease
  • Egg count drops only for a short time after treatment then rebounds
  • none in older animal? You didn’t look!
  • raise dairy kids away from adults
  • If possible, separate lambs and kids by age, ideally only a 2 weeks spread in age in a group
  • milk is protective, weaning precipitates diarrhea
  • coccidiostats in the milk and starter feed – decoquinate, monensin, lasalocid
can use coccidiostats as additives in the feed salt or water to help prevent
Can use coccidiostats as additives in the feed, salt or water to help prevent:
  • Especially in pregnant females starting 1 month before parturition until weaning of their young. Continue in young animals after weaning.
  • Lasalocid (Bovatec®)1,3
  • Monensin (Rumensin®)2,3
  • Dequinate (Deccox®)1,2
  • Amprolium (Corid®) in water
  • 1 - FDA-approved for sheep
  • 2 - FDA-approved for goats3 - TOXIC to EQUINES!!!!!!
sanitation clean and dry
Sanitation – clean and dry

keep kids and lambs out of feeders !

treatment of coccidiosis
Treatment of coccidiosis
  • oral sulfonamides –Sulmet, Albon, etc.
  • amprolium 25-50 mg/kg per day for 5 days = 1 ml Corid 9.6% per 8 pounds
  • can add to milk or directly drench
  • treatment temporarily decreases shedding but does not eradicate parasite – rebound in oocyst count
  • adequate selenium for immunity
meningeal worm deer brain worm parelaphostrongylus tenuis
Meningeal worm (deer, brain worm)Parelaphostrongylus tenuis
  • Parasite of White Tail Deer
  • Small ruminants are an abnormal host (sheep, goats, llama, alpaca)
  • Parasite has indirect life cycle – snails and slugs needed for infection

Larva travel from intestinal tract to spinal cord to brain, causing 

Nerve damage (can include lameness, gait abnormality, itching)  can be as extreme as paralysis or even DEATH

 Animals maintain appetite

differential diagnoses

fracture, vertebral body abscess

copper deficiency

tail docking infection

foot rot, white muscle disease



brain abscess



Differential diagnoses
treatment of p tenuis in aberrant hosts
Treatment of P. tenuisin aberrant hosts
  • no controlled studies
  • escalation of drug dosages
  • ivermectin 0.2 to 1.0 mg/kg for 1-5 d
  • fenbendazole 10 to 50 mg/kg for 1-5 d
  • usually both simultaneously
  • anti-inflammatories important
    • corticosteroids if not pregnant: dexamethasone 0.1 mg/kg s.i.d. for 3-5 d
    • flunixin 1 mg/kg s.i.d. or b.i.d. for 3 d
prevention of exposure
Prevention of exposure
  • do not pasture at edge of woods especially during wet season
  • avoid low-lying poorly drained fields except under very dry conditions
  • fence off deer watering spots
  • use fields deer prefer for hay, not grazing
  • guardian dog may help
  • take advantage of hunting season!
prophylaxis in aberrant host
Prophylaxis in aberrant host
  • for camelids, probably not for sheep and goats (Haemonchus resistance)
  • injectable ivermectin q 4-6 wk pour-ons? (not sheep or goats)
  • newer avermectins with longer duration?
  • fenbendazole
  • daily pyrantel not effective
liver flukes
Liver flukes
  • Some farms in NE US have acute or chronic liver fluke populations
  • Requires open water, snails (wet conditions)
  • Can kill adult liver flukes with Albendazole (Valbazen®) or Ivomec® Plus)
fasciola hepatica
Fasciola hepatica
  • common liver fluke
  • cycle includes fresh water snails
  • acute peritonitis (during migration)
  • Often causes chronic problems afterwards
  • hypoproteinemia, anemia (blood leaks into bile)
fascioloides magna
Fascioloides magna
  • American deer fluke
  • natural parasite of deer and elk
  • sheep and goats abnormal hosts
  • larval stages continue to migrate through liver - sheep and goats don’t excrete eggs
  • ACUTE disease - usually fatal within 6 months
treatment of liver flukes
Treatment of liver flukes
  • fence off wet areas
  • albendazole – 15 to 20 mg/kg, adult flukes
  • clorsulon orally - adult Fasciola
    • 3.5 mg/kg sheep, 7 mg/kg goats
  • clorsulon orally – 8 wk Fasciola
    • 7 mg/kg sheep, 15 mg/kg goats
  • clorsulon for Fascioloides – 21 mg/kg