Get more parasite coverage this fall

Four tips for getting the most parasite control

By Mark Alley, DVM, managing veterinarian, Zoetis

When you are deworming your cattle this fall with an oral drench dewormer, focus more on the amount of parasite control you get from the product and less about the dosage volume.

Don’t fret higher dosage volume.
A higher volume dose isn’t a bad thing for parasite control with oral drench. Benzimidazole products (e.g., Valbazen® Suspension) work best through prolonged exposure of parasites to “toxic” concentrations of dewormers.1,2 With a large rumen/abomasum, a higher volume dose is more likely to expose parasites to the active ingredient and help improve product efficacy.

Why you should fret about incomplete coverage.
With some benzimidazole oral drench products, you’re looking at about 25% to 47% less parasite and larval stage coverage.3 If you select certain oral drench products, you will also miss important control of liver flukes, both important species of tapeworms (Moniezia expansa and M. benedeni) and parasitic roundworms (Nematodirus spathiger).

These internal parasites are responsible for numerous problems, including suppressed appetite and reduced feed intake. Reduced feed intake leads to less nutrients, which can hinder an animal’s immune system and cause them to respond poorly to vaccines and disease challenges.

Here are more tips to help you get the most parasite control from your oral drench dewormer this fall:

1. Collaborate with your veterinarian each year, so you have a solid deworming program that is best suited for your herd.
2. Reduce feed or fast the animals prior to administration. This slows the rate of passage in the rumen, giving the product more time to work.1,2
3. Weigh the animals so you are administering the most accurate dosage.
4. Deworm based on your geographic location. Timing varies so you’ll need to work closely with your veterinarian.

Parasites are complicated and found in all forage situations. These tips can help improve your success this fall and remember to look for an oral drench product with the most coverage against damaging internal parasites.

For more information about time-tested parasite control options from Zoetis, including Valbazen and Dectomax®, talk to your veterinarian or local Zoetis representative and visit

Dectomax Injectable has a 35-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. Dectomax Pour-On has a 45-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Dectomax has been developed specifically for cattle and swine. Use in dogs may result in fatalities.

Cattle must not be slaughtered within 27 days or sheep and goats within 7 days after the last treatment with Valbazen. Do not use in female dairy cattle of breeding age or lactating goats. Do not administer to female cattle during the first 45 days of pregnancy or for 45 days after removal of bulls.

About the author
Mark Alley joined Zoetis in 2014 as a managing veterinarian with Zoetis Technical Services. He is a 1996 graduate from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to Zoetis, Dr. Alley practiced veterinary medicine at a small animal clinic in West Virginia and then at a mixed large-animal practice in eastern Tennessee. He also spent nearly 10 years at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine as an ambulatory clinician, working with veterinary students and taking them to visit beef and dairy operations across the state. 

About Zoetis
Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2017, the company generated annual revenue of $5.3 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Kathleen McGinty

Lori Maude
Bader Rutter

1 Benzimidazoles general information. Merck Veterinary Manual website. Accessed July 30, 2018.
2 Moreno L, Echevarria F, Munoz F, Alvarez L, Sanchez-Bruni S, Lanusse C. Dose-dependent activity of albendazole against benzimidazole-resistant nematodes in sheep: relationship between pharmacokinetics and efficacy. Exp Parasit. 2004;106:150-157.
3 Comparison of approved label indications for Valbazen, SafeGuard suspension and Synanthic Suspension 22.5%.



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