Watch Dewormer Dosage

September 2, 2011 06:38 AM

Source: Pfizer Animal Health

Operating costs continue to rise, making it more critical than ever for producers to ensure they are getting optimal results from their cattle dewormer. To get the best result, it pays to dose and store the product correctly since both factors can affect product efficacy. 

To determine proper dosage, it is essential to have an accurate weight of each animal — underestimating weight can lead to underdosing of dewormers. Several methods are available for determining an animal’s weight, including weight tapes and visual observation; however, using approved and properly calibrated livestock scales are the most accurate and consistent for determining body weight. Visual observation is usually very inaccurate and not recommended for use when determining medication dosages for which weight is important.

“The average cow in the United States weighs about 1,350 pounds,” Gary Sides, Ph.D., Cattle Nutritionist, Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations. “However, most producers are generally dosing to a 1,000-pound cow when many weigh much more than that. By underdosing, we run the risk of allowing parasites to become resistant.”.

By taking extra precautions with the storage and handling of dewormers, producers can help ensure a product’s effectiveness. Be sure to check the label for storage temperature instructions and follow them closely.

“Read the label directions before using any animal health product,” Dr. Sides says. “This reduces the risk of side effects, tissue residues, along with a multitude of other reasons besides efficacy and cost.”

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