Acute fluke diagnosed as a cause of death on a local farm on the 14th October 2019.
As expected, due to the wet summer, we’ve found lots of fluke eggs in faecal samples that we have tested all summer and autumn. However, yesterday a ewe was found dead due to fluke larvae damaging the liver. This is particularly harmful as fluke larvae are too young to produce eggs yet.
In these cases we rely on abattoir reports and post-mortem samples. Faecal testing is still very useful but if a copra-antigen test or fluke egg count are negative, fluke larvae could still be present.
We occasionally blood sample home bred lambs at this time of year to check for exposure but there is a lag between exposure and the test proving positive.
Risk varies from farm to farm so please speak to your vet for advice.