Parasitic Gastroenteritis and Hoose

Athlone RVL has observed several cases of parasitic gastroenteritis in both lambs and weanling carcases presented to the laboratory in recent weeks. A high proportion of cases presented are calves and lambs in their first grazing season and counts of worm eggs in gut contents have been high in several cases. Over the grazing season there is a gradual build-up of parasite contamination on pasture and this, together with favourable environmental conditions for larvae normally results in a peak of parasitic gastroenteritis cases after mid-July in Ireland. The mild weather of the past month appears to have led to substantial worm burdens on pasture in certain areas.


Figure 1: Severe inflammation of the lining of the fourth stomach caused by parasitic abomasitis/gastroenteritis in a five-month-old calf from a Roscommon herd; post-mortem examination carried out on the 13th September 2021


Athlone RVL has also seen a substantial number of lungworm cases (hoose) in cattle in recent weeks. One case involved a yearling animal that had not grazed until this summer.

Farmers are advised to engage with their vet to advise on faecal egg counts to inform their decision making on treatment and control of roundworm diseases. In addition, farmers are encouraged to seek a referral from their vet to their local RVL to investigate the cause of deaths in their livestock.

Species: Bovine
3:31 PM on Tue, 5 October