April 20, 2024

New product helps control parasites in cattle

Mark Alley

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Cattlemen have a new product to control internal and external parasites in cattle.

“Valcor is the first approved dual active endectocide available by prescription,” said Mark Alley, veterinarian with the Zoetis Beef Technical Services team. “It is a combination of doramectin and levamisole to control and treat up to 35 different parasites at their different stages.”

Valcor can be used to treat beef cattle two months of age and older and replacement dairy heifers less than 20 months of age, the veterinarian said during a webinar. “It is not intended for use in beef bulls over one year of age, dairy or veal calves,” he added.

With the inclusion of levamisole, Alley said, it improves the control of internal parasites while maintaining the control of external parasites. “The dose is 1 mil per 55 pounds of body weight as a subcutaneous injection in the neck,” he added.

With both doramectin and levamisole, there are two different mechanisms of action in Valcor. “We end up with better overall parasite control because the parasites become paralyzed so we improve the efficacy,” the veterinarian said. “This product provides the treatment and control of GI roundworms, lungworms, eyeworms, grubs, sucking lice and range mites.”

Alley talked about a study with Valcor that included 1,500 cattle. “We were able to demonstrate 99% efficacy based on fecal egg count reduction,” Alley reported. “We also saw production benefits of 9.3 pounds over the 56-day study.”

The clinical signs of a parasite problem in cattle are diarrhea and a rough hair coat. “Some calves will loose appetite which results in weight loss and poor productivity,” the veterinarian said.

“Some parasites are blood suckers so the cattle can get some pretty severe anemia and bottle jaw caused by the loss of protein in the diet,” Alley said. “You may see some issues with poor fertility in cows and immune suppression for the ability to respond to a virus or vaccine.”

In extreme situations with heavy parasitism, the veterinarian said, cattle will die.

According to data from 2005, if cattlemen did not have access to parasiticide control, they would loose $190 per head, Alley stated. “Those numbers are likely different today,” he added.

A lot of factors impact parasites, including the conditions in the pasture as well as climate variations in heat and moisture. “Younger animals are more susceptible to parasites,” Alley said.

According to research completed a couple of years ago with 230 beef producers and 18 veterinarians, both groups perceived parasite resistance as a significant problem in the cattle industry.

“Only 30% of the producers have done anything to identify parasite resistance in the operation,” Alley said. “Their biggest barrier to identify parasite resistance is they don’t have enough knowledge and veterinarians agree that producers need to do more and increase their knowledge base for parasite resistance.”

In 2012, the FDA evaluated practices that cattlemen do that increases dewormer resistance. “The things they identified were treating too often, treating the entire herd, strategic deworming, inadequate quarantine procedures for new arrival animals and under dosing,” the veterinarian said.

“The things that are becoming very important for decreasing the chance of dewormer resistance is making sure we select the right dewormer and making sure there are susceptible worms on the pasture,” Alley stated.

“Selecting your parasiticide family becomes everything,” the veterinarian said. “We have three families of parasiticides so selecting the family of parasiticide is important to reduce the resistance and the overall parasite control.”

For more information about Zoetis and Valcor, go to www.zoetis.com.

Martha Blum

Martha Blum

Field Editor