Lungworm Disease in Cattle

Moredun-logoSummary written by Jacqui Matthews BVMS,PhD, DipEVPC, MRCVS

Taken from Moredun Foundation Newsheet Volume 3 No. 5 (1999)



  • white park cattleLungworm (Dictyocaulus viviparus) is a parasitic nematode (roundworm) that infects grazing cattle of all ages
  • Disease is usually seen mid-late summer
  • All animals remain susceptible to this parasite unnless immunized through natural pasture challenge or vaccination.
  • Outbreaks of this disease have increased over the last decade, largely through to a reduction in vaccine usage.
  • Clinical disease can be severe in all animals and, in adult cattle, can lead to substantial production losses.
  • Diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical signs and history. Where necessary, this can be supplemented by laboratory methods.
  • Clinical lungworm disease is treated using modern anthelmintics
  • Lungworm can be controlled using anthelmintics or vaccination.
  • Vaccination is by far the best way of controlling lungworm disease in cattle


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