Suckler farmers should be alert to the presence of lungworm or hoose in calves and yearling cattle in the days ahead.

Most parts of the country got rain over the weekend, with the majority of downpours occurring in the west and northern regions.

With daytime temperatures in the high teens, the combination of heat following rainfall will see worm populations quickly multiplying on grazing ground.

Where cattle have been grazing in relatively dry conditions this summer, exposure to worms will have been low.

But if there is a sharp rise in worm burdens, naive animals can quickly develop respiratory problems as a result of lungworm.


The common signs of lungworm are cattle panting and the tell-tale harsh coughing. The coughing will be most prominent as cattle activity increases moving from paddock to paddock, or coming to a feed trough for meal.

Young calves and yearling animals will be at most risk. Mature cattle should be immune. Plan your treatment as soon as you notice the problem.

Be careful of which product you treat cattle with. Some products give a rapid kill and if calves are already experiencing respiratory problems, this can intensify the problem as animals cough up the dead worms.

Discuss the control options with your vet to get the most effective control without adding to stress levels in young stock.

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