Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Combination Treatments Recommended

The American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC) via an article by Dr. Ray Kaplan (University of Georgia) is now recommending combination treatments when deworming sheep and goats. Combination treatments involve giving dewormers from different dewormer groups to the same animal in a close time span.

In the US, there are only four groups of dewormers: 1) benzimidazoles (SafeGuard® and Valbazen®); 2) avermectins (Ivomec®, Dectomax®, and Eprinex®); 3) moxidectin (Cydectin®); and 4) levamisole (Prohibit®, LevaMed®). An example of a combination treatment would be Valbazen® + Cydectin® + Prohibit®.

The goal of a combination treatment is to increase the efficacy of deworming and slow the development of resistant worms. In New Zealand, it has been demonstrated that when combination treatments are used with “parasite best management practices,” there may be a reversion (of the drugs) back to susceptibility.

In other countries, there are dewormer products that contain multiple drug actives. In the US, combination dewormer products are not commercially available or FDA-approved. Thus, each dewormer will need to be purchased and administered separately. The dewormers can be given one after another, but should not be given in the same syringe. Mixing dewormers may not be safe or effective. It is not legal. It should not be done.

In Dr. Kaplan’s article, he recommends that all dewormers be given at the full recommended dose. The withdrawal period for the dewormer with the longest withdrawal period should be followed. For sheep and goat dewormers, this is usually Cydectin®.

It is essential that combination treatments not be given to all sheep and goats on the farm or in the same management group. Only those requiring deworming, based on FAMACHA© scores and/or the Five Point Check® should be dewormed. If refugia is not maintained, soon all deworming will fail and animals will die needlessly. Refugia are worms that have not been exposed to the dewormer(s); thus, remain susceptible to treatment.

To learn more about using combination treatments to deworm sheep and goats, be sure to read Dr. Kaplan’s article at www.wormx.info/combinations. Be sure to follow the advice of your veterinarian if your use of dewormers (or any animal health product) falls under extra-label drug law.

For sheep producers, there is an FDA-approved dewormer in each group. However, this is not the case for goats. Thus, it’s required that goat producers consult with a veterinarian before giving combination treatments. Only a veterinarian is legally allowed to use or prescribe drugs extra-label. The extra-label drug law requires a valid veterinarian-patient-client relationship.

Note:  Combination treatments were used in the Western Maryland Pasture-Based  Meat Goat Performance Test for many years. The three drugs (Valbazen® + Cydectin® + Prohibit®) were given sequentially in different syringes to each buck, upon arrival to the test site.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Goat Test Featured in Newsletter

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test is featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Wild & Woolly. Wild & Woolly is a quarterly newsletter for sheep and goat producers and anyone else interested in small ruminants. The newsletter is published by University of Maryland Extension.


The newsletter is available as a HTML or PDF file. It is also published on ISSUU. Mailed copies of the newsletter are available for a cost recovery fee of $10 per year, payable to the University of Maryland. Interested persons can subscribe to the newsletter listserv to receive an e-mail message when a new issue of the newsletter has been published. To subscribe, send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.umd.edu. In the body of the message, write:  subscribe sheepandgoatnews.

Fall 2016 - HTML
Fall 2016 - PDF
Fall 2016 - ISSUU
Previous issues

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Recap of 2016 Test

You can read a recap of this year's Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/recap2016test.

Congratulations to consigners of  top bucks:
Top-performing - John Weber (IL)
Top consignment - Jarred Dennison (KY)
Top-gaining - Jarred Dennison
Most resistant - David Peters (NC)
Most resilient - John Weber and P.J. Murphy (NJ)

Jarred Dennison had two top-10 bucks
photo courtesy of Jarred Dennison

Congratulations to consigners of top-10 bucks:
John Weber
Steven Yutzy (OH)
David Peters
P.J. Murphy
Thomas Davis (MO)
Richard Gamby (OH)
Angie Loos (IL)
Patricia Larr (IN)
Jarred Dennison

P.J. Murphy and Jarred Dennison each had two bucks in the top-10.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Performance & Carcass Contest Recap

You can read a recap of the Performance & Carcass Contest at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/2016carcasscontest.

Early in the feeding period
#4 (Res. Ch) and #10 (wether)

Congratulations to the winners:
Grand Champion:  Angie Loos (Illinois)
Reserve Champion:  Richard Gamby (Ohio)
3rd place:  William Winingear & Brittany White (Missouri)
4th place:  John Smith (Virginia)
5th place:  Patricia Larr (Indiana)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No Test in 2017

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test will not be held in 2017. After 11 years of the test and 13 years of small ruminant grazing, the test site will be rested. All of the vegetation has been killed, and the site will be planted  in row crops in 2017. It will be replanted in forages next fall.

The present test has run its course. High levels of parasite infection, coupled with lack of efficacy of the anthelmintics (dewormers) has resulted in too many goats being unable to adapt to test conditions.

2016 was the 11th year of the test.

A new test will be considered for 2018. Many changes would be necessary, including 1) lower stocking rates (fewer goats); 2) selection of out-of-state goats based on a lottery system; 3) strict enforcement of minimum weight requirement (40 lbs); 4) grass-free laneway; 5) different supplementation strategy; and 6) removal of sheep from the grazing system.

Dealing with the high level of anthelmintic resistance is a more difficult challenge. Requiring a fecal egg count reduction of 95% or more (the research standard) would result in few goats remaining in the test. Goats with zero or low egg counts would also have to be eliminated if their egg counts went up significantly after the sequential deworming, as this is indicative of resistant immature warms.

The dewormer resistance doesn't mean a goat can't be effectively treated, as combination treatments usually allieve clinical symptoms (anemia and bottle jaw), but resistance makes it difficult to get valid fecal egg count (resistance) data. Parasite resistance has always been the trademark of the Maryland test.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Send to schoen@umd.edu.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Our Favorite Bucks

Buckskin (621)
Buckskin (621) was Lexie's favorite buck.
Lexie provided daily care of the goats.
Johnny/Bama (635)
Johnny/Bama (635) quickly established himself as one of the favorites.
He's the only buck that ever jumped onto the work platform.
Nipper (648)
Nipper liked to bite people's bottoms. Nipper is not his politically
correct name. He was also a top 5 buck.
Baby (603)
Baby might be the all-time favorite buck in the Maryland test. He earned his
name, but would also challenge bucks much bigger than himself. If he hadn't
gone back to the farm, someone might have made a pet out of him.
Forest (643, on the left beside Baby)
After being in the sick pen a couple of times, Forest became very
friendly. He did very well the second half of the test.
Boomer (649)
After being the top-performing buck in the first half of the test, Boomer
sensed he was special. He was easily recognizable with his white front leg.
Louie (624)
In the early part of the test, Louie (624) got pinned under one of the grain
feeders. When he was found, he couldn't even hold his head up. Not only
did he recover quickly, but he ended up being a top 10 buck.
The Violator (650)
650 was the biggest buck in the test.
No explanation should be necessary for his nickname.