Article Text

Effect of repeated doses of levamisole on grazing cattle infected with Dictyocaulus viviparus
  1. GA Oakley

Abstract

Seventy-one worm-free Friesian calves were allocated by weight to three trial groups (1, 3 and 4) of 18 and a control group (2) of 17 animals. Calves in group 1 were vaccinated with a bovine lungworm oral vaccine on days 0 and 28, and on day 42 all groups were turned out to graze together on pasture known to be infected with Dictyocaulus viviparus larvae. Twenty-eight days after first exposure to infection one control calf died of parasitic bronchitis. Anthelmintic medication consisting of two doses of levamisole (7 . 5 mg/kg) at 14 day intervals was promptly administered to group 3 calves and three doses at the same intervals to group 4 calves. All calves were challenged with 20,000 infective D viviparus larvae on day 147. Calves were weighed every 14 days throughout the trial which ended 42 days after challenge. Pasture contamination and infectivity were monitored by pasture larval counts and tracer calves. Statistically there was no significant difference between the performances of treated and vaccinated groups before challenge but all were significantly superior to the control group. After challenge the productivity of all experimental groups was temporarily depressed but the levamisole treated cattle recovered more rapidly becoming significantly heavier than the vaccinates at the end of the trial. The mean group weight gains over the trial period were 89 . 92, 63 . 87, 88 . 67 and 98 . 70 kg in groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively.

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