Parasites are a recognised cause of disease in farm animal practice. A parasite will live off the host animal at the animal’s expense, causing unthriftyness and reduced productivity. Our lab offers screening tests for the following parasites. Results are reported within 24 hours of receiving the sample.
All grazing animals will be exposed to gut parasites, in large numbers these will cause weight loss, scour or in severe cases, death. A faecal sample (either individual or pooled) can be examined for the presence of worm eggs, and give the level of infestation as well as individual worm types. The most effective treatment can then be used. Faecal egg counts are a valuable tool in assessing whether a herd / flock requires worming and in identifying resistant worms on your pasture. Lungworm can also be screened for; please note we need at least 60g of faeces for this.
For further information on worming your animals see here.
Liver fluke affects all ages and signs can range from weight loss and diarrhoea to sudden death. A faecal sample will identify the presence of fluke eggs indicating adult fluke infestation and the need for treatment. Usually the same sample is examined for worms and fluke.
A common problem in calves and lambs, coccidiosis causes weight loss / failure to gain weight despite good nutrition, +/- scouring, which may be bloody. Easily treated with a drench, cocci can be identified on individual or pooled faecal samples from animals showing these signs.
Flotation test for Eimeria Macosaniensis (E-mac) is also available for Camelids.
Cryptosporidium, E-Coli, Coronavirus and Rotavirus are common causes of diarrhoea and dehydration in calves less than 7 days old. A rapid, same day test on faecal sample will indicate the presence or absence of these pathoges.
Scratching, hair loss and decreased production can result from external parasites such as mites or lice. Ringworm (a fungal infection) is also common in cattle and presents with characteristic circular bald patches. Samples of hair / skin scrapings can be examined under the microscope for the presence of external parasites; usually a vet will visit your farm to take the samples and results will be reported soon after.
For further information on collecting a pooled sample see here