Strategic Control of Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Dairy Calves in Florestal, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Following epidemiological studies of gastrointestinal helminthiasis in dairy cattle in Florestal County, Minas Gerais, 80 Swiss and crossbred Zebu×Holstein calves, 8–10-months old, were selected to test the efficacy of three treatment protocols using ivermectin for helminth control. The calves were treated in Brachiaria grass paddocks, naturally infected with Haemonchus, Cooperia, Oesophagostomum and Trichostrongylus species, and then divided into four groups of 20 animals each: group 1 was treated with 200 μg/kg body weight ivermectin in April (at the end of the rainy season) and October (beginning of the rainy season); group 2 was treated in April, August (middle of the dry season) and October; group 3 was treated in April, August, October and December (middle of the rainy season); and group 4 was left untreated as a control. The treatments effectively eliminated the worm burden only in groups 2 and 3 (p < 0.05), although the calves continued to excrete Cooperia eggs after each treatment with ivermectin.

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