Autumn is looming over us, and some of your machinery will soon be cleaned up, serviced, and put away until next year. It is wise to look after important pieces of equipment that are vital to the running of your farm, but is it possible you have missed something, something that can affect the health of your stock, the efficiency of your farm and can even your own wellbeing.
Working dogs are as valuable as any piece of machinery, which is subject to servicing each year, so consider the reasons to apply the same ethos to sheep dogs. The impact of worms on livestock is well recognised, backed up by many trials over the years, and farmers undertake dosing a regime to combat this, but how many apply the same care and attention to their working dogs? It is vital to worm your dogs, and for the sake of the equivalent cost of a couple of cans of marker spray, your hard-working dog can benefit from improved energy and longevity, and it can also have impacts on your commercial stock.
Firstly, and most commonly, dogs along with humans, are the final host for tapeworm. Some species of tapeworm have the sheep as its intermediate host. Although tapeworm is harmless in dogs, it can cause cysts that are fatal to sheep. The worm is spread when dogs eat infected sheep carcass or their dung. Making it important to treat both dogs and sheep.
Secondly, any burden of worms a dog may be harbouring is consuming away vital vitamins, minerals and water your dog needs. Taking away these precious resources reduces the efficiency of the dogs’ gut, reducing their energy levels and putting strain on their immune system. A large enough burden especially in puppies or weaker, older animals can be fatal.
Finally, a couple of other diseases found in livestock can be spread by dogs. These include Neosporosis and Sarcocytosis which are particularly nasty for livestock. Neosporosis can cause abortion in cattle and Sarcocystosis can cause abortion in sheep and sometimes death.
By worming your dogs efficiently at least every three months, you can reduce the risk to your dog and your livestock. It may be advisable to provide a flea and tick control at the same time.
At Carrs Billington we value the importance of animal health medicines and this applies to canines as much as ruminants. Our highly qualified SQP staff are in every branch and are qualified to advise on all aspects of parasite control including resistance levels. Chat to your local animal health specialist next time you are in branch.