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Effects of repeat fenbendazole treatment in dairy calves with giardiosis on cyst excretion, clinical signs and production.

Abstract
In this 90-day study, 60 male Holstein dairy calves were experimentally infected with Giardia duodenalis. Calves were randomly blocked by weight into treatment (N=30) and placebo (N=30) groups. Beginning on study Day 0, calves in the treatment group were administered an oral dose of 5mg/kg of fenbendazole once daily for three consecutive days. Calves in the placebo group received a daily oral treatment of 5 ml of saline for 3 days. These treatments were repeated on Days 30 and 60 of the study. Fecal samples were collected from calves once per week and examined for the presence of Giardia cysts. Calves were monitored daily for clinical signs of intestinal disease and all episodes of diarrhea recorded. Calves were weighed once per week and total feed intake, on a dry matter basis, was calculated daily. Following each treatment, the number of calves shedding Giardia cysts in the fenbendazole group was reduced (p<0.001) compared to the saline group. Also, calves in the fenbendazole group had fewer cysts (p<0.05) detected in their feces following treatment compared with calves that received saline. Within 2 weeks post treatment, the number of infected animals and fecal Giardia cysts returned to placebo levels. This pattern of reinfection was consistent after every treatment period. Calves receiving fenbendazole had fewer total days with diarrhea (p<0.01) and the average number of days each calf had diarrhea was reduced (p<0.05), compared to the placebo group. There were no differences in mean body weight, average daily gain, or feed intake between the treatment or placebo groups. This study demonstrates that fenbendazole is an effective treatment for giardiosis, resulting in a clinical benefit and reducing the number of infective cysts shed by calves. However, this treatment regime had no impact on production parameters and reinfection occurred rapidly in these calves.
AuthorsR M O'Handley, C Cockwill, M Jelinski, T A McAllister, M E Olson
JournalVeterinary parasitology (Vet Parasitol) Vol. 89 Issue 3 Pg. 209-18 (Apr 28 2000) ISSN: 0304-4017 [Print] NETHERLANDS
PMID10760411 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Antinematodal Agents
  • Fenbendazole
Topics
  • Animals
  • Antinematodal Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases (drug therapy)
  • Dairying (methods)
  • Feces (parasitology)
  • Fenbendazole (therapeutic use)
  • Giardiasis (drug therapy, veterinary)
  • Male
  • Parasite Egg Count (veterinary)

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