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To Worm, or Not to Worm?
Uploaded April 2006

To worm or not to worm, that is the question? Actually, its not really the question, because pigs should be wormed regularly, the question should be, what do I worm my pigs with and how often?

Parasites can be internal (worms) or external e.g. mange/lice. Both internal and external parasites have a detrimental effect on the well being of the pig and in younger pigs the external parasite, mange, can lead to septicaemia and can cause death. Internal worms can cause damage to all the main organs of the body, particularly the liver and lungs. Some times kidney damage can occur with disastrous results.

A recent article on mange issued by National Animal Disease Information Service is attached. Mange is highlighted specifically because it is carried by foxes and unfortunately, with a growing fox population, it is a parasite problem we all need to be aware of.

Worming frequency will largely depend upon your own circumstances. A general guide is for pigs to be wormed every six months as a minimum. The more stock you have in a smaller area may mean that this you should increase this frequency. Your vet will need to advise on the best health programme for your circumstances.

There are less pig wormers than for sheep or cattle wormers on the market. Some of the products that cover both external and internal parasites are available in large volumes for commercial herds, which can make it difficult or cost ineffective for smaller herds to make use of these products.

Injectable wormers that cover a range of internal (roundworm and lungworm) and external parasites (lice and mange) are Ivermectin and Doramectin. These go under the following brand names:



Injecting pigs is a bit of an art, some are alcohol based, which stings, so check before use. Dectomax is not but once opened has to be used within 28 days.

Ivomec do an in feed premix but in large quantities.

For internal parasites, roundworm and lungworm there are the following brands available:

Brand Name Type of Wormer
Curazole 5%
Powder or Premix
Powder or Premix
Oral Drench

All of the powder or premix have a withdrawal period of less than 21 days. The Ivermectin injections have a 28 day withdrawal period and Dectomax is 56 days, so preplanning is essential when using these for finishing pigs.

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This page updated 27/10/2007 01:00