Boehringer Ingelheim

Drenching discussions and challenges are everywhere these days, and for good reason. New Zealand has some of the biggest challenges to face in this space with significant parasite resistance to all of the available drench products in our country.

Deciding what product to use can be the first mountain to climb, with a huge range of different combinations, delivery methods and brands in the New Zealand market. Combinations are essential due to the presence of resistance, and diagnostics are something that should always be used to check the need for treatment exists and measure the outcomes of treatments carried out. 

In young calves, oral triples (such as MATRIX C) are the best approach early on. They combine a macrocyclic lactone (or ‘mectin), levamisole and benzimidazole active, putting the 3 main drench active families into the one product. They often will also contain trace mineral or vitamins for support in growing stock as well. The use of combinations ensure that if parasites present are resistant to one or two of the drench actives, the other(s) will still kill them. There has been well established resistance in Cooperia species to the ‘mectin family of drenches, and in Ostertagia to levamisole for some time. More recently we have seen resistance to dual and even triple actives, particularly in intensive calf rearing systems, so the value of post drench faecal egg counts or FEC’s to assess effectiveness is essential.

As calves get bigger, orals can become more difficult to give. There is a variable limit for everyone as to how many kg of liveweight they are prepared to wrestle with! Once animals are too large for oral treatments, the options are pour-on or injectable treatments and these only exist as single active or dual active combination products. Regardless of what we are using, ensuring the animal weight estimates are as accurate as possible will ensure we are using the right dose. Calibration of any dosing applicators to ensure they are working as expected to deliver the dose required is also essential.

Pour-on products such as ECLIPSE POUR-ON FOR CATTLE offer simplicity and convenience of a combination of levamisole with a ‘mectin drench. They can be impacted by poor weather and should not be applied when animals are wet or heavy rain is expected. There are various on-label statements around weather impacts, but we want the weather to be good to ensure they do what you are paying for them to do. If you think it is going to rain, wait for good weather. If it unexpectedly rains, there are studies and data behind the label claims to help, so talk with your vet or the manufacturer’s technical support veterinarian – we can help when the best laid plans don’t go your way!

Injectable products such as ECLIPSE E INJECTION and ECLIPSE E INJECTION WITH B12 AND SELENIUM are a good alternative option. The ECLIPSE injections were the first combination injectable drenches ever made. They allow for accurate, fast dosing in experienced hands and the latter uniquely provides the nutritional support with vitamin B12 and selenium, which pour on and injectables in the market otherwise don’t provide. These are essential nutritional components for growth, energy, immune system function and reproduction and commonly utilized in our farms. New Zealand has relatively young, often volcanic derived soils that are often deficient in one or more mineral components, which is the reason supplementation is so common. While the most important aspect of feeding is to provide enough feed for growth and development, the makeup of that food beyond just ME and protein is also critical. 

Feed testing and animal testing are essential procedures to make sure animals have the right balance of nutrition in the feed allocated to them and are utilizing it effectively. Discussions with your vet and nutritionist (if you’re lucky this may be one person!) can help you to make determinations about what is required from a supplement and how best to deliver this. In many cases injectable products are a great option as they don’t get bound up in the gastrointestinal tract by antagonists or require cattle to compete for food or ingest a certain amount in food or water to get what they need. Treatments can be targeted and tailored to individual requirements.

So when your livestock are thriving, and it’s no longer safe to wrestle with them to get an oral drench in, talk with your vet about the ECLIPSE range of products. ECLIPSE is the brand you can trust to get the job done with options to suit your unique needs – pour-on, injectable and injectable with selenium and vitamin B12. We’ve got you covered.