During the first grazing season a group of calves treated with an oxfendazole pulse release bolus achieved a mean (+/- sem) weight gain of 140.7 (+/- 6.7) kg compared with 106.5 (+/- 5.7) kg by a group treated once with ivermectin mid-season, and 116.9 (+/- 6.9) kg by a group which received no treatment. This economic advantage was maintained during the period of winter housing. By the end of the second grazing season, during which the animals received no anthelmintic medication, they weighed on average 20 kg more than the wholly untreated group, a difference which was not statistically significant. No signs of clinical disease were observed in either the animals dosed with a pulse release bolus or the undosed control animals during the two year trial period. The treatment with the oxfendazole pulse release bolus greatly reduced the degree of pasture contamination in the first year but in the second year those animals that had been treated in the first year developed higher worm egg counts (P less than 0.001) and thus augmented the levels of pasture contamination compared with the untreated control animals. Nematodirus battus and N filicollis both produced low grade but fertile infestations in the calves.
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