Most areas of the country should receive rainfall this week, which will help grass growth recover on livestock farms.

But rain will also cause worm burdens to multiply, especially as daytime temperatures are holding in the high teens.

After such a long dry spell in July, worm burdens have been low. This means there will be young cattle that have had very little exposure to gut or lung worms.

A sudden burst in worm activity on grazing swards will put these animals at greater risk of respiratory issues.

Therefore, herd owners should keep a close eye to spring- and autumn-born calves over the next fortnight, along with stores for signs of an increased worm challenge.


Lungworm, or hoose, will be more of a problem during damp and warm conditions, so be alert for cattle panting and the tell-tale harsh coughing.

This will be easily picked up when herding animals from paddock to paddock, or feeding concentrate.

Make sure cattle are properly wormed once lungworm starts becoming a problem. It needs to be picked up early to stop cattle developing pneumonia.

Discuss with your vet the options for using an appropriate wormer, as some products give a rapid kill, while others give a more gradual kill.

In a calf with a heavy lungworm infestation, a rapid kill can put the animal under severe pressure as the calf struggles to cough up dead worms, which can trigger pneumonia or be fatal in itself.

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