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17th February, 2019

Clinical outbreak of Stomach Fluke in Dairy Cattle

On a farm visit in County Limerick a farmer had a severe outbreak of stomach fluke associated with severe debilitation in the health of a dairy herd.  He could not understand because the animals had been treated during the dry cow period and the time of calving to manage stomach fluke.  However, in further discussions with him, he informed me that he had been feeding grass to the cows from an outside farm.  Cows were not given the opportunity to selectively graze in this situation.  In this case, zero grazing would have infected the cows with stomach fluke.
Clinical symptoms of this condition include: severe debilitation, loss of appetite, excessive body condition loss, drop in milk yield, high temperatures.  Once the animals were treated for stomach fluke, they responded within 48 hours and started to gain weight rapidly.