Control of internal and external parasites is important for the optimal performance, health and overall well-being of calves. As with any animal health program, parasite control protocols should be developed with the herd veterinarian. These protocols should be designed to eliminate detrimental parasite loads as well as prevent development of parasite resistance, and should take into consideration the herd’s geographic location, climate and time of year.

Here are some Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) guidelines to consider when developing parasite control protocols:

  • Only use products approved for control of internal and external parasites of cattle
  • Apply topical, oral and/or injectable livestock pesticides at label dose rate appropriate for the animal’s weight
  • Document usage and observe all appropriate withdrawal times before marketing cattle

As with any animal health treatment, it’s important to keep track of parasite control measures. Here are some BQA record-keeping tips for use when administering parasite treatment protocols:

  • Follow label directions on all products
  • Avoid using products off-label
  • Train new employees on pest-control protocols, as well as diagnostic, treatment and safe handling procedures; review quarterly
  • Inspect cattle weekly for adequacy of parasite control programs
  • Discard expired or contaminated products, paying close attention to proper disposal of insecticides
  • Keep handwritten and/or computerized records of all treatments including:
    • Pen/group/lot/individual identification
    • Date treated
    • Product used including lot/serial number
    • Dosage used
    • Route and location of administration
    • Earliest date animal(s) will clear the withdrawal period
    • Outcome of treatment
    • Name of person administering product

To learn about parasite control tips, visit the Gold Standards III, the Dairy Animal Care Quality Assurance manual or

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