Gastrointestinal nematode infection and performance of weaned stocker calves in response to anthelmintic control strategies

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Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasite control recommendations are in a state of flux because of the increase in anthelmintic resistant cattle parasites, such as Cooperia spp. In addition, Cooperia spp. infection is typically high in warm-season grass pastures and can affect growth performance of grazing stocker calves in the Gulf Coast Region. This study evaluated the effects of moxidectin pour-on, oxfendazole oral suspension, or a combination of the two given at separate times on infection and performance of weaned beef calves grazing summer forages. Steers (n= 42) and heifers (n= 31) were stratified by sex, d-11 fecal egg count (FEC), and d-1 shrunk body weight (BW) to one of 10 pastures with four anthelmintic treatments and one control. Treatments included: (1) oxfendazole given on d 0 and moxidectin on d 73 (O. +. M), (2) moxidectin given on d 0 and oxfendazole on d 73 (M. +. O), (3) moxidectin given on d 0 (M), (4) oxfendazole given on d 0 (O) and (5) no anthelmintic given (CON). Calves grazed for d-110 beginning May 27th. Response variables were FEC (collected on d-11, 14, 31, 45, 59, 73, 87 and 108), coprocultures (evaluated for d 87 and 108), final shrunk BW, shrunk BW gain, average daily gain (ADG), and full BW gain (collected on d 31, 59, 73, 87, and 108). Calves treated with either oxfendazole (O. +. M and O) or moxidectin (M. +. O and M) on d 0 had significantly lower (P<. 0.001) FEC than the CON calves on d 14, 31 and 45. However, the M. +. O treated calves had significantly higher (P<. 0.001) FEC than both oxfendazole treated groups. In addition, calves treated with a second dewormer on d 73 (O. +. M and M. +. O) had significantly lower (P<. 0.001) FEC by d 87 than the CON or M treated calves. Shrunk BW gain and ADG were significantly greater (P= 0.005) for the O. +. M compared to the M treated and CON calves, but comparable with the M. +. O and O treated calves, respectively. Coprocultures sampled on d 87 and 108 for calves not receiving a second dewormer were predominantly Cooperia spp. and Ostertagia spp. On d 87, no larvae were recovered from the M. +. O treated calves, whereas the O. +. M treated calves had 94% Cooperia spp. and 3% Ostertagia spp. recovered. Providing a benzimidazole with a macrocyclic lactone given at two different periods may provide better GIN parasite control and improve animal gains for stocker calves grazing warm-season grass pastures. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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Veterinary Parasitology

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