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Lungworm outbreaks in adult dairy cows: estimating economic losses and lessons to be learned
  1. M. Holzhauer, DVM, PhD, EVS1,
  2. G. van Schaik, MSc, PhD1,
  3. H. W. Saatkamp, MSc, PhD2 and
  4. H. W. Ploeger, MSc, PhD3
  1. Animal Health Service, PO Box 9, 7400 AA Deventer, The Netherlands
  2. Department of Business Economics, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
  3. Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Veterinary Faculty, Utrecht University, PO Box 80165, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to H. W. Ploeger, e-mail: h.w.ploeger{at}

Two lungworm outbreaks in dairy herds were investigated in order to estimate the resulting economic costs. On the two farms, with 110 and 95 cows, total costs were estimated at €159 and €167 per cow, respectively. Overall, milk production reduced by 15 to 20 per cent during the outbreaks. Five cows died on one farm, while on the other farm seven cows died as a result of the lungworm outbreak. On one farm, 51.7 per cent of the total costs was due to reduced milk production and 33.1 per cent was due to disposal of dead animals. On the other farm, it was 36.3 and 50.9 per cent, respectively. The remaining 13 to 15 per cent of the total costs were due to extra inseminations, laboratory diagnosis and treatments. The history and development of the outbreaks are described. One lesson from these outbreaks is that recognising that potentially lungworm-naïve animals are to be introduced into the adult herd allows for timely measures (for example, vaccination) to prevent a lungworm outbreak.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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