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Voigt, Katja, Jaggy, Sissi, Scheuerle, Miriam, Rieger, Anna and Knubben-Schweizer, Gabriela (2019): Application of a clinical score for targeted selective treatment failed to identify goats with high strongylid egg excretion. In: Berliner und Munchener Tierarztliche Wochenschrift, Vol. 132, No. 3-4: pp. 166-177

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In light of increasing anthelmintic resistance in small ruminants sustainable approaches to parasite control are of paramount importance. Several clinical parameters have been shown to be helpful to guide targeted selective treatment decisions. Very little work has however been done in goats under European farm conditions. A combined clinical score incorporating the conjunctival colour (FAMACHA (c) score), body condition and faecal consistency was evaluated on two commercial dairy goat farms in Southern Germany operating pasture-based production systems. The colour of the vaginal mucosa was additionally evaluated as a potential substitute to the conjunctivae to allow potentially easier scoring in the milking parlour. Data collection took place between April and November 2014. The individual components and the combined clinical score were compared to faecal egg count results, and mucosa' colour scores were compared to haematocrit values. Larval cultures were performed to identify the strongylid genera present. While the conjunctival FAMACHA score was useful for the identification of anaemic animals (r = -0.279;p < 0.001), there was no significant correlation between the colour of the vaginal mucosa and the haematocrit (r = -0.076;p = 0.223). Correlation and ROC analyses indicated that neither the individual components of the score nor the combined score were suitable for the identification of animals with intermediate or high egg counts in our study population. Potential reasons include mixed strongylid populations with a varying percentage of Hoemonchus contortus throughout the grazing season and other (e.g. nutritional) influences on the clinical parameters examined.

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