The blood-sucking parasite, Barber’s Pole, can be a tough worm to control as it is a prolific egg layer and under ideal warm and moist conditions can have a short lifecycle of 14 days. These worms can cause life threatening disease as they are voracious feeders sucking up to 250mL of blood a day from a lamb – that’s 10% of a 25kg lambs’ blood volume!
Because both juvenile and adult worms suck blood, and the short lifecycle we can see clinical disease within our normal drench intervals of 4 weeks or less. For control in young sheep it may be necessary to use drenches with persistent activity to prevent larval establishment and control Barbers Pole. There are only two drugs, moxidectin (i.e. Exodus, Cydectin) and closantel, that do this. Moxidectin has a protection period of 35 days against Barbers Pole and for closantel (at a high dose) it is 42 days. Concern exists around the impacts of long-acting ‘mectins’ such as moxidectin on accelerating the emergence of drench resistance in gut worms due to its long sublethal tail effect. Where meat withholding is not an issue (replacements) closantel may be a better fit than moxidectin for Barber’s Pole control.
POLERIZE® is a new combination product on the market from Boehringer Ingelheim targeting Barbers Pole control. POLERIZE® takes the trusted GENESIS Ultra Hi-Mineral platform (abamectin and closantel) and adds albendazole to offer a new, unique combination product in the fight against parasites. POLERIZE® will give persistent Barber’s Pole control during the risk period without exposing any worm species to a long-acting moxidectin.
Targeted treatment opportunities with POLERIZE® exist around tupping when susceptible ewes will benefit from control of a Barber’s Pole challenge and at the same time cleaning out any adult liver fluke present. Pre-tup drenching can give large productivity benefits in younger ewes or those facing a high worm challenge as ewes with significant parasite burdens are less likely to have multiple ovulations.
With any pre-tup treatments criteria such as age of ewe, condition score, FEC’s and feed availability should be evaluated to help in identifying the most at-risk sheep to treat. Using a selection process will also allow the identification of healthy ewes that can be left untreated (to create refugia) or candidates for use of a shorter acting product. Untreated ewes help in reducing selection pressure for drench resistance development.
Any enquires regarding POLERIZE® or internal parasite management feel free to get in contact with Eastland Veterinary Services Wairoa or Gisborne.
Phil Ware (B.Agr)
Eastland Veterinary Services Trading Manager