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"Super Bugs" in Cattle

Extension Education

Jennifer Patterson
Ext Ed Ag/4H


Internal parasite control has been an ongoing issue in the OK cattle industry for many years and there is an increasing concern of parasite resistance with several of the common over the counter anthelmintics. Resistance is determined if there is less than 95% reduction in fecal parasite ova 14 days post treatment. The resistance is due to many factors including, incorrect dosing, overusing the same products and rotating anthelmintics too frequently. This had led to what some may call “super bugs”, meaning because of the misuse of common dewormers we have developed resistant parasite populations that are no longer killed by the deworming products. OSU Extension in Adair County conducted a study to help gather data for a statewide study initiated by the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine to determine parasite resistance in Oklahoma beef cattle herds. A local producer provided twenty-nine calves to be used for this study. All had been weaned 30 days prior, average 500 pounds, with no deworming history. Fecal samples were collected on day one prior to being treated with Dectomax (doromectin) pour on, the producer’s normal anthelmintic for his mature cows. Post treatment fecal samples were collected on day 14. All samples pre/post treatment were analyzed using the fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT). Results as follows: Number of samples included in final analysis- 24, average pre-treatment egg count- 191.8, average post-treatment egg count- 207.3, resulting in zero efficacy of the dewormer and an actual 8% increase in fecal egg count post treatment. The Adair County Annual Pasture Tour allowed us to share these results and information with other producers.  We had an in the field demonstration and discussion with a local veterinarian as well as OSU Extension area specialists concerning parasite resistance in cattle. The discussions involved rotating through different classes of anthelmintics, pasture management, and animal care.  Evaluations reported that participants gained a better understanding of recommended management practices to improve overall herd heath. The study results were also presented to the Adair County Cattleman Association to educate more producers on the growing concerns of “super bugs.”

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. If NOT selected as a State winner, it will not be displayed at the AM/PIC and the abstract will not be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Jennifer Patterson, Earl Ward, Scott Clawson, Barry Whitworth, DVM
  1. Patterson, J. Ext Ed Ag/4H, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service , Oklahoma, 74960
  2. Ward, E. OSU Extension Area Livestock Specialist, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service , Oklahoma, 74401
  3. Clawson, S. OSU Extension Area Ag Economist, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service , Oklahoma, 74401
  4. Whitworth, DVM, B. OSU Extension Senior Extension Specialist, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service , Oklahoma, 74820