Get the Most Bang for Your Herd Health Buck

November 9th — Fall deworming can help cattle perform better, and ensure other herd health protocols are as effective as possible
As cattle come off summer pastures, fall herd health routines shift into high gear as producers vaccinate cattle and complete pregnancy checks.  But, if producers aren’t adding parasite control to their fall herd health protocol, they may not be getting the most bang for their herd health buck. 
“Our goal for our producers is to gain the most pounds of quality beef per acre,” says Arn Anderson, DVM, Cross Timbers Veterinary Hospital in Bowie, Texas. “That’s why we recommend parasite control to our producers. Healthy animals are able to respond to vaccines a lot better, so if producers aren’t deworming their cattle, they could be wasting their money.”
In fact, parasites also can suppress appetites, limiting intake and absorption of nutrients — ultimately reducing feed efficiency and gain.1 
What’s more, cold winter temperatures often aren’t enough to clear pastures of parasites — many parasites, like Ostertagia, simply overwinter in cattle or in pastures. In fact, studies have shown that infective larvae were able to survive on Minnesota pastures during winter months.2
“Parasites require grass and cattle to complete their life cycle, therefore if cattle have been grazing on grass, you can be almost certain they have parasites,” says Gary Sides, cattle nutritionist with Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations. “There are many different internal parasites that cause problems, but Ostertagia — or brown stomach worm — is the No. 1 most damaging internal parasite in cattle.” 
Internal parasites, like the brown stomach worm, can cause significant losses to the industry overall. It’s estimated that internal parasites cost the cattle industry an estimated $3 billion each year in lost weight gains, poor feed conversion and increased disease.3

To help protect cattle against economically important parasites like Ostertagia, Sides recommends producers look for a broad-spectrum dewormers like DECTOMAX® (doramectin) products. In fact, DECTOMAX Pour-On treats and controls Ostertagia for up to 28 days and is safe for pregnant cows, newborn calves and bulls.4 
“The label claims for internal parasites and external parasites is superior with DECTOMAX, and that’s why I recommend it,” Sides says. 
For Dr. Anderson, DECTOMAX is much more than a broad-spectrum dewormer — it’s an assurance of quality. 
“We recommend only name brand products,” Dr. Anderson says. “We think it’s better to use a brand like DECTOMAX and have an assurance of quality rather than spend less money with no assurance of quality. Plus, DECTOMAX fits into the majority of our operations because it’s easy to administer and we know it works. That’s why we continue to use it.”
Important Safety Information: DECTOMAX Pour-On has a 45-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. Do not use in dairy cows 20 months of age or older. DECTOMAX has been developed specifically for cattle and swine. Use in dogs may result in fatalities. 
For more information, contact:
Michelle Tollefson  
Pfizer Animal Health  

Rachel Torbert
Bader Rutter

1Corwin RM and Randle RF. Common internal parasites of cattle. University of Missouri Extension. October 1993.
2Arseneau J. Parasite control. University of Minnesota Extension. November 2000.
3Bagley C, Healey MC and Hansen D. Beef Cattle Handbook: Internal parasites in cattle. Iowa Beef Center. 1999.
4DECTOMAX Pour-On Product Label.



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