The efficacy of the oxfendazole pulse release bolus system for the control of parasitic gastroenteritis and parasitic bronchitis in first-season grazing calves was evaluated in Belgium. Twenty-two calves were allocated to two groups. The calves in one group received a bolus at the time of turn out, while the other group remained untreated. The efficacy of the bolus was assessed by comparison of faecal worm egg counts, plasma pepsinogen concentrations, the antibody response to Ostertagia, Cooperia and Dictyocaulus species total plasma protein and albumin concentrations, and weight gains throughout the grazing season and the housing period. The oxfendazole pulse release bolus provided good control of parasitic gastroenteritis dominated by ostertagia. The effects of parasitic gastritis were greatly reduced as shown by the significantly lower values of serum pepsinogen and ostertagia antibody titres. The use of the bolus further reduced the adverse effects of parasitism as indicated by better liveweight gains and normal total plasma protein and albumin concentrations whereas in the untreated control group hypoproteinaemia and hypoalbuminaemia were observed. Most animals exhibited clinical signs of parasitic bronchitis at the end of the grazing season, and the bolus may not adequately control parasitic bronchitis in all cases at all times.
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