Rumen fluke - information
30 April 2012
A case of rumen fluke has been diagnosed in a Soil Association licensee's cattle in Somerset.
Rumen fluke (paramphistomosis) is pretty rare in England (5 published cases). It is very prevalent in the tropics but is also common in Ireland. The cases in England have mainly been in Cornwall in Devon, so it is good to be aware of it as it seems to be working its way north (slowly).
Rumen fluke operate in the same way as liver fluke but attach themselves to the rumen lining (first stomach) instead of the liver. Like liver fluke the rumen fluke need a secondary host to be able to complete their life cycle. They use a similar snail as the liver fluke, therefore cases are more likely to occur where stock have access to wet areas of land.
The rumen fluke is more resilient than the liver fluke and the only anthelmintic to affect the parasite is Oxyclosanide. Only 2 products are on the market containing this chemical; Levafas Diamond and Downland Fluke and Worm.
It is likely that stock may carry rumen fluke eggs, but they should only be treated if the animal is clinical, not just because some eggs are present.Clinical signs: Dehydration, rapid weight loss, watery scour (may contain blood), anaemia, low blood protein and bottle jaw.
For more info and pictures please go to the website:http://www.animalhealthireland.ie/pdf/AHI-RumenFluke-Aug2011.pdf