Treatment and prevention.



Worming is a very complicated subject and more information can be found on the NADIS and SCOPS websites.  There are many different types of wormer.

We are currently trying to steer away from routine interval worm dosing as this is thought to increase resistance to wormers in the worm population.  It is recommended that if possible animals are now wormed on the basis of need which can be diagnosed based on worm egg counts or clinical signs.  Management practices such as quarantining newly purchased stock, co grazing with different species and pasture rotation can also help.

A vet will usually need to discuss with you your management practices, the time of year and any results from worm egg counts to help choose appropriate an appropriate wormer.

Liver Fluke treatment

A liver fluke is an internal parasite of sheep and cattle which can also affect other species such as camelids and occasionally horses.  They have different lifestages which migrate through different parts of the body, but the adult fluke live mainly in the liver, causing structural damage to it.  Liver fluke are controlled by using flukicidal medicines such as Triclabendazole, Nitroxynil and Oxyclozanide. Which one you need will depend on what type of stock you have and the time of year.  Liver fluke are more prevalent in wet marshy areas because there are more water snails (they also have a life stage inside the snail) so it is a common problem in Devon.  As a general rule most stock should be dosed at least twice a year in this area but sometimes more often.  Camelids are especially susceptible.  Diagnosis of liver fluke can be made by blood test for antibodies, faecal examination at an external lab (need at least 40g of faeces) or by post mortem examination of the liver.  Occasionally we are now diagnosing a second type of fluke called Rumen Fluke.  These live in the rumen of the animal and are only thought to cause disease if present in significant numbers.  They are only susceptible to Oxyclozanide.  They can be diagnosed by faecal examination or post mortem examination of the rumen and may be considered in cases of ill thrift in animals.

Treatment for ectoparasites

Stock can be affected by a number of ectoparasites (parasites that live outside of the animal).  These include flies, lice and mites.  Flies are more of a bother during the summer and may be treated using fly pour ons or spot ons.  Depending on the product many of these will treat lice as well.  Lice are often visible using the naked eye and are often worse in winter when the animals are housed, they can be biting lice or sucking lice.  Mites, especially mange mites often require different treatments such as injectable Ivermectin over a period of several weeks to get rid of them.  However Ivermectin belongs to a class of wormers to which resistance can develop so we need to avoid using this product when it is not necessary.  This is why we like to try and get a positive diagnosis between lice and mites using microscopy before we use these treatments.

Vitamin ADE supplementation for camelids

During the winter in this country it is difficult for Camelids to make enough vitamin D as the day length is too short and the vitamin needs UV light for its production.  It is recommended that camelids such as Llamas and Alpacas are given supplemental vitamins between October and March. Vitamin D is essential for growth and maintenance of the skeleton and a lack of it can cause abnormalities in the extremities. Crias (baby alpacas) are most sensitive to Vitamin D deficiency. You may choose to do this by oral paste every 4 weeks which can sometimes be obtained online through livestock feed sellers.  Unfortunately due to manufacturing shortages sometimes these cannot be obtained.  There is also conflicting evidence as to whether the absorption of these vitamins through the animal’s stomachs is adequate enough.

As an alternative we can offer vitamin ADE in injectable form, which will need to be given every 3 months in the winter months.  We try to keep bottle on the shelf if possible to dispense individual doses, however this is not always possible due to expiry dates.  The product has to be imported from Spain under a home office license as there is not a UK licensed product to do this job.  This means that unfortunately if we do not have any in stock you may have to wait a few weeks until it has arrived.  It is best to be prepared if possible and arrange it ahead of time.


We can vaccinate against a large number of diseases and in many cases this is better than treating them when they arise as it reduces fatalities and reduces antibiotic usage.  You will need to discuss what you want to vaccinate against with your vet as it will vary depending on management practices and risks at your particular farm.

Some of the common things we can vaccinate against (there are many more):

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)

Clostridial diseases

Enzootic abortion (EAE)



Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR)




Pneumonia (many different types)

Rotavirus/coronavirus/E. coli




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