DENVER, Colo. — The March ASI Research Update podcast focuses on External Parasite Control with Dr. Cassandra Olds of Kansas State University.
“While winter is still in full swing for most of us, longer days and warmer temperatures are right around the corner, and that means green grass, baby lambs and parasites,” said podcast host Jake Thorne of Texas A&M University. “The label ‘parasite’ is really quite all encompassing, and while considerable attention is placed on those that harm sheep from inside the GI tract, just as importantly many parasites create havoc for livestock from the outside.”
External parasites are diverse in nature, and include those who fly, bite, sting and suck blood while making a nuisance of themselves. But that nuisance can take a turn for the worse if left to its own devices.
“It really comes down to what your unique situation is,” Olds said. “The best thing you can do is get familiar with these insects and the biology. Then you can start making educated decisions on where is this insect breeding, what is it doing and how can I get rid of it to the best of my abilities.”
Olds said it’s possible for external parasites to create problems for multiple species of livestock and domestic animals on diverse operations. Some parasites might affect everything from sheep to cattle to horses and dogs, while others are specific to the host. Most animals suffer from lice, for example, but they all have their own species of lice.
“If it’s on the incorrect host, they don’t recognize it as a host,” she said. “Sheep and goats tend to share things a lot more. Goats are going to have the closest shareability if you want to call it that.”
–American Sheep Industry Association