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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #187808


item Burke, Joan

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2006
Publication Date: 5/22/2006
Citation: Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E. 2006. Control of Haemonchus contortus in goats with a sustained-release multi-trace element/vitamin ruminal bolus containing copper. Veterinary Parasitology. 141:132-137.

Interpretive Summary: Widespread resistance of gastrointestinal worms to chemical dewormers has led to the need for alternative parasite control. Copper oxide wire particles, or abomasal copper oxide (COWP), have been used as an alternative to chemical dewormers in sheep, but a trace element bolus (TEB) with copper oxide, or reticulum copper oxide, has not been examined in mature sheep or goats. Scientists from Booneville, AR and Louisiana State University examined the effects of TEB and COWP on gastrointestinal worms in sheep and goats. Gastrointestinal worms appear to have been controlled in goats and sheep by both TEB and COWP. These results indicate that TEB may aid in control of parasites on pasture and this information is important to producers, extension agents, and scientists.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a sustained-release multi-trace element/vitamin ruminal bolus (TEB) containing copper administered to yearling ewes or does for control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN). Haemonchus contortus was the predominant nematode during these trials. Yearling Dorset ewes were untreated (n = 9), or administered TEB (n = 10) or 3.7 g copper oxide wire particles (COWP; n = 8) on Day 0 (May 2005). In another study, yearling Spanish does were untreated or administered TEB (n = 11/group) on Day 0 (August 2005). Fecal egg counts (FEC), blood packed cell volume (PCV), and plasma aspartate aminotransferase (AST; ewes only) activity were determined weekly between Days 0 and 21 in ewes and 42 in does. FEC increased in untreated ewes, were initially low and remained low in the TEB ewes, and decreased slightly in COWP ewes, but log transformed FEC means were similar among groups. PCV was similar over time in untreated ewes, increased in COWP-treated ewes, and initially increased in TEB-treated ewes, but was similar to the untreated and COWP-treated ewes after 21 days. AST activity tended to increase between Days 0 and 21 for the COWP and TEB ewes. After 21 days, AST activity of one TEB-treated ewe increased to a level that suggested copper toxicity. In goats, FEC were reduced within 7 days in TEB-treated does but tended to increase in untreated does. PCV was similar between treatment groups. These studies suggest that TEB may be an effective means of GIN control in mature goats, but because of the risk of copper toxicity, caution should be exercised with use of TEB in mature ewes.