Friday, November 16, 2012

'Tis the season - treat for lice

late winter hair loss due to lice
Now is the season in late autumn to treat cattle for lice, before further buildup occurs - this will prevent the clinical cases we're used to seeing in mid-late winter as cattle rub off hair. The denser winter coat and cooler favors survival of lice. The period from Halloween to Thanksgiving is an ideal time to treat.

Two types of lice occur in cattle, biting and sucking. Normal treatments are pour-on products(like Synergized De-Lice, pour-on avermectins, like Ivomec, Dectomax, or Cydectin). The pour-on avermectins also have the advantage of controlling internal parasites at the same time, also a good time of year to ensure no carry-over of worms picked up during the grazing season. If you are using Safeguard or Valbazen to deworm your herd in fall, consider also using a pour on like De-Lice or UltraBoss. One note - some of the pour-on avermectins will control just sucking lice, not biting lice. Check your labels and use as appropriate.

Treatment prevents the damaged coats, and hides of the animals. Additionally there is often damage on farms  of fencing or other items from the rubbing that is done. Once treatment is done, have a look in several week or at next herd visit to see the degree of infestation that is remaining, if any.  A secondary treatment may be necessary, but no adult live lice should be found at that time after initial treatment.

Have a good Thanksgiving!