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Liver Fluke (Fasciolosis)

What is it?

Fasciolosis is caused by a parasitic nematode worm that can cause substantial liver damage.  Fluke is historically more common in wet marshy areas but is now seen in large areas of the UK. Most development of the larval stages takes place during the spring and summer months and ceases during the winter. The 'summer' infection of snails results from the hatching of overwintering eggs or eggs passed in the spring. The larvae then appear on pasture from August to October.  Cows and sheep can ingest these larvae and can become infected. The fluke can then migrate up the bile duct and reside within the liver, causing substantial damage. If you live in an area where fluke prevalence is high, speak to your farm vet about forecasting and prevention.

Symptoms:
  • Condition loss
  • Reduced growth
  • Milk yield loss
  • Milk quality loss
  • Anaemia
  • Oedema (bottle jaw)
Prevention of Liver Fluke can involve:
  • Draining boggy ground
  • Avoiding summer grazing of snail-infested ground
  • Isolating new livestock away from boggy pasture
  • Flukicides (remember that treatment requires milk withdrawal for lactating animals)
Guidance should be sought from your vet on treatment and control options.

What testing is available?

Through our labs, we can offer the following testing option:
  • Bulk milk antibody ELISA (for dairy herds)
For detailed information on our Liver Fluke Testing Services, please visit the NML website or contact Customer Services.

NML Liver Fluke Testing Services