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Targeted selective treatment of ewes

Brazilian researchers evaluated a Targeted Selective Treatment (TST) methodology for adult ewes based on FAMACHA©, body condition score (BCS), and submandibular edema (bottle jaw).  Ewes were treated when FAMACHA© ≥ 3, BCS ≤ 2.0 (when FAMACHA© = 2), or submandibular edema was observed.

Forty ewes (crossbred of Texel, Ile de France, Suffolk, and Hampshire Down) were monitored from December 2021 to June 2022. They were assessed weekly to determine FAMACHA© and body condition scores. They were dewormed when necessary, with their physiological states recorded. Fecal egg counts and blood hematocrit (packed cell volumes; PVC) were determined monthly to assess the efficiency of the TST methodology.

It was verified that ewes in late pregnancy and lactation received, in proportion, relatively increased instances of anthelmintic treatment. In addition, these ewes exhibited the lowest mean hematocrit values compared with those in the other physiological states and higher mean FEC values compared with those in ewes in early pregnancy. Ewes with an ideal BCS had higher mean PCV and lower mean FEC values.

The TST methodology based on FAMACHA© scores, body condition, and submandibular edema effectively identified individuals needing anthelmintic treatment, identifying 13 % additional cases requiring treatment as compared to using only FAMACHA©.

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