Demonstration of the sustained anthelmintic activity of a controlled-release capsule formulation of ivermectin in ewes under field conditions in New Zealand

Demonstration of the sustained anthelmintic activity of a controlled-release capsule formulation of ivermectin in ewes under field conditions in New Zealand
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Ten field trials were conducted in the North and South Islands of New Zealand to evaluate the anthelmintic efficacy of an intraruminal controlled-release capsule formulation of ivermectin. A total of 810 Coopworth, Perendale, Romney or Coopworth ` Romney ewes, weighing on average 42-70 kg, were used. Ewes were either untreated or treated shortly before lambing in late winter-early spring (eight trials) or in late spring (two trials) with an ivermectin controlled-release capsule which delivers ivermectin at 1.6 mg per day for 100 days (minimum dose rate 20µg/kg/day). Bodyweights, faecal nematode egg counts and dag scores were
determined before treatment and at about 2 and/or 4, 6 or 8, 10 or 12, 14 and 16 weeks after treatment. Ewes treated with the ivermectin controlled-release capsule gained on average 1.1kg more than untreated sheep over the 16 weeks of the trials, but this difference was not significant (p > 0.10). Before treatment, faecal strongylid egg counts were equivalent (p > 0.10), but at each time point thereafter, egg counts in ivermectin controlled-release capsule treated sheep were significantly lower (p < 0.01; p < 0.05 at Week 2). Dag scores were not different at the start of the trial (p > 0.10), but at the end of the trial ivermectin controlled-release capsule treated ewes had significantly lower scores (p < 0.01) than untreated ewes. These findings indicated that treated animals shed significantly fewer nematode eggs and therefore pasture contamination with nematode eggs should be significantly reduced for at least 112 days. The control of dags should result in reduced direct losses due to the decreased value of dag wool, and indirect losses due to the cost of dagging sheep and the cost associated with the treatment and control of flystrike initiated by dags in the breech area.

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