PAKISTAN IS an agricultural country most of people depends on livestock for their earning and an estimated 42% of animals are affected by different kind of worms in our country .The worms are adversely affecting the efficiency of animals and are causing a huge financial loss to their owners. In our country the areas where animals are mostly fed on grazing, animals have heavy infestation of worms.
There are two types of parasites which cause harm to the animals i.e. ectoparasites and endoparasites. Ectoparasites are those which attack on the skin of the animal and damage the skin and enter the causative agent. Ectoparasites include mosquitoes, flies, fleas, ticks, mites, bugs and lice. They all cause a number of diseases. Some damage the skin by biting and rupturing it, some are the vector of many disease causing agents which are all a great havoc on the animal body whereas endoparasites contain roundworms, flatworms and tapeworms. Some of the roundworms are hook worms which contains ancylostoma species other are trichenella, strongyloides and ascaries whereas flatworms are generally flukes. There are other species also but most effective are these introduce earlier causing different losses to body of the animal. The last are the cestodes which are also known as tapeworms, mainly tenia species.
They are all the causes of many kind of severe disease and are spread by the direct or in direct contact to the host. In direct, the parasites come in contact to its host directly whereas indirectly it requires a vector or carrier to reach its host. To overcome this parasitic problem, dewormers are used. There are many other reasons of worm infestation such as improper time of deworming, wrong selection of dewormer and unawareness of rotation of deworming.
Worm infestation is the main cause of weight loss in beef and mutton farming. Worm infestation also has a great impact on human life as there are many worms which can spread from animals to humans. In our country about 70% people are unaware of deworming and people who know something about deworming not know what kind of dewormer should be used, which is more effective and what its dose is.
Generally, signs of infestation are weakness, rough skin, soil licking, slow growth, loss of weight and decrease in milk production. Dewormers are used in order to cope with the situation. Dewormers are the substances either herbal or chemical used against worms; there are many kinds of dewormers but main are Albendazole, Febendazole, Levamizole and Oxfendazole.
Deworming time, rotation and product selection are the important factors of increasing deworming efficiency. Deworming should be done twice or thrice in a year but in case of cattle buffalo it should be done after every three months. Febendazole, ivermectin, oxfendazole are not approved for use during pregnancy of dairy cattle but some dewormers like Albendazole, Mebendazole, Preziquantel can be used during first trimester of pregnancy.
Dewormers are available in many forms such as oral i.e. (Albendazole, mebendazole, oxfendazole etc.) in injectable (ivermectin, Duramectin, imidocarb, buparvaquinone etc.) and in skin application chloroflouro preparations. They are all used against external and internal parasites. A good dewormer should be broad spectrum in nature, it should be easily available, it should be affordable, and it should have no toxic effect and can easily be handled.
Dewormer should be given in oral form and care must be taken. Efficiency of dewormer also depends on the way it is delivered to the animal. It should be in liquid form and oral route is best for the gastrointestinal parasites. It should be deposited on the tongue and if we empty our drencher just in the mouth of animal then it will bypass the ruminant and drug will have low effect so drug should be emptied on the tongue for maximum efficacy.
Dewormers should be given to the animal in their proper amount sufficient to kill the parasites. In using dewormers care should be taken about dose of dewormer because high dose of dewormer cause toxicity in the body of animals whereas under or low dose of dewormer have no effect on worms.
These days, the aim of people is to increase the immunity of their animals which can decrease the consumption of dewormers and also to overcome the resistance problems. Beside this the use of dewormers is not first priority of the people who are dealing with livestock because they are chemical in nature and the country we living most of the people always try to find other sources which are not chemical in nature. This thinking of alternative source is also due to the residues of such chemicals in the products of livestock which are used for the humans and are detrimental for human health. Another reason is that all the farmers in Pakistan have no easy access to good quality dewormers because good quality dewormers are somewhat expensive and are not in the range of small producers thats why small producers always try to find another way to save their animals from this parasitic threat.
There are many other ways to overcome these parasitic infection mainly are biological control of parasites, increasing the immunity of animals and the use of medicinal plants which can be used against parasites. The best way is the use of medicinal plants because such plants are easily approachable to every farmer even on small scale. With the help of these three strategies we can reduce a huge burden of worms from the body of animal.
In immunity boosting, we can feed our animals such kind of feedstuffs which have a vital role in immunity boosting. Many minerals if given in increased amount can boost up the immunity and animal can resist against any kind of parasitic infection. Minerals like copper, zinc, selenium, iron, magnesium and cobalt all have a great role in immunity and their deficiencies can cause severe problems in the body of animal but if they are in sufficient amount then there is no need to worry about most of the diseases which can even cause the death of animal. Secondly, in control strategies there is a biological control. According to this strategy we have to adjust such kind of environment where there is minimum parasitic growth and proliferation such as proper hygienic measures, adopting quarantine measures. Most of the parasites are transmitted with the help of vectors if we control vectors we can control parasites. Similarly some parasites spread by drinking contaminated water or by feeding fodder having large number of parasitic stages in them if we check these parameters then there will be no parasitic infection. In the biological control we can also clean the sheds with the help of good insecticides. In last there is the use of medicinal plant which can be used as anthelmintics.
There are many plants that can be used against worm infestation. Some plants locally available in Pakistan and their local names are as follows: Adhatoda vesica (arusa), Artemisia brevifolia (afsanteen), Butea monosperma (Dhak), Calotropis gigantean (aak), Carum copticum (ajwain), Azadirachta indica (neem), Nicotiana tabacum (tambaku), Swertia chirata (chirata), Vernonia anthelmintica (kali zeeri) and Zingiber officinale (adrak). These plants are now being used by many farmers and have very good results and are very easy to use. Some of these showed an anthelmintic activity of about 80% and their dose is about 3g/kg body weight. Different parts of these plants are used for deworming.