Three groups of 11 naturally infected crossbred beef calves were injected subcutaneously with moxidectin 1 per cent injectable at 0.2 or 0.3 mg moxidectin/kg bodyweight or with the unmedicated vehicle. Nematode infections had been acquired during grazing from December to April. Based on the faecal egg counts and total worm counts of the control calves at necropsy (11 to 13 days after treatment) most of the calves had heavy parasitic burdens. Ostertagia ostertagi was predominant and the mean numbers of adults, developing fourth stage larvae (L4) and inhibited early L4 were 45,906, 10,061 and 68,918, respectively. Haemonchus placei and Trichostrongylus axei were also present in the abomasa. Three species of Cooperia, Oesophagostomum radiatum L4 and T colubriformis adults were found in the intestinal tract. Both dosages of moxidectin were equally effective (P < 0.05) against all the abomasal nematodes (99.9 to 100 per cent) and the intestinal tract nematodes (99.4 to 100 per cent). No adverse reactions to the moxidectin treatment were observed. Abomasal pathology characteristic of heavy O ostertagi infection was observed in the control calves, but not in the treated calves.
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