Common Livestock Parasites

Use this list of as a reference when talking to your veterinarian about preventing common parasites from infecting your livestock.

by Dani Yokhna

Each livestock species is vulnerable to different parasites. The world of parasite control is constantly changing, and your veterinarian is your best ally to determine which parasites are impacting your herd and how to deal with them using medications and farm-management techniques.

Read below to find out what worms might be living in your barnyard and what anthelmintics—drugs used to combat internal parasites—might best control them. You’ll find these anthelmintics in different deworming medications. Don’t forget that many of the parasites listed below could be resistant to many of the dewormers listed. Follow veterinary recommendations to have your animals tested and treated accordingly.


Parasite: Stomach worm and lungworm
Anthelmintics: levamisole, fenbendazole, oxfendazole, albendazole, eprinomectin, doramectin, ivermectin, moxidectin

Parasite: Tapeworm
Anthelmintics: oxfendazole, albendazole

Parasite: Common liver fluke
Anthelmintic: clorsulon


Parasite: Large roundworm (Ascarids)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, fenbendazole, levamisole, pyrantel, dichlorvos, piperazine (adult stage); fenbendazole (migrating, infective); fenbendazole, pyrantel (infective)

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Parasite: Whipworm
Anthelmintics:  fenbendazole, dichlorvos

Parasite: Nodular worm
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, fenbendazole, levamisole, pyrantel, dichlorvos, piperazine

Parasite: Lungworm
Anthelmintics: fenbendazole, ivermectin, levamisole

Parasite: Kidneyworm (adult)
Anthelmintics: fenbendazole, levamisole

Parasite: Kidneyworm (larvae in liver)
Anthelmintic: fenbendazole

Parasite: Lungworm
Anthelmintic: fenbendazole

Parasite: Strongyloides
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, levamisole


Parasite: Roundworm (Ascarids)
Anthelmintics: albendazole, ivermectin, levamisole, piperazine 

Parasite: Cecal worms
Anthelmintics: albendazole, ivermectin, levamisole 

Parasite: Threadworms (Capillaria)
Anthelmintics: albendazole, ivermectin, levamisole 

Parasite: Tapeworms
Anthelmintic: albendazole

Parasite: Coccidia (Eimeria)
Anthelmintics: Vaccinate newly-hatched birds.

Note: Piperazine is the only dewormer approved for poultry. Other chemicals may be prescribed off-label by a veterinarian.


Parasite: Large strongyle (Strongylus vulgaris, S. equinus and S. endentatus) or bloodworm
Anthelmintics: broad-spectrum dewormers for adult stages, moxidectin, ivermectin and fenbendazol (administered at double dose for five days in a row) for migrating phase

Parasite: Small strongyle (cyathostome)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin and moxidectin for adult stages and moxidectin and fenbendazole (administered at double dose for five days in a row) for the adult and encysted stage. Ninety-five percent of populations have an inherited resistance to benzimidazole and 50 percent to pyrantel, so check with your vet before using a dewormer from this group.

Parasite: Roundworms (Ascarid)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, moxidectin, fenbendazole, pyrantel pamoate

Parasite: Bot (Gasterophilus intestinalis)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, moxidectin.

Parasite: Pinworm (Oxyuris equi, common pinworm; Probstmayria vivipara, minute pinworm)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, moxidectin, fenbendazole

Parasite: Tapeworm (Anoplocephala perfoliata, A. magna)
Anthelmintics: praziquantel


Small Ruminants
Parasite: Barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortis)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, moxidectin, levamisole, fenbendazole, albendazole  

Parasite: Small brown stomach worm (Ostertagia circumcinta)
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, moxidectin, levamisole, fenbendazole, albendazole

Parasite: Tapeworm
Anthelmintics: benzimidazoles

Parasite: Lungworm
Anthelmintics: ivermectin, moxidectin

Parasite: Liver fluke
Anthelmintics: albendazole, clorsulon

Parasite: Coccidia
Anthelmintics: sulfa drugs, amprolium

Parasite: Meningeal worm or deer or brain worm (a parasite of the white tail deer; Paralaphostrongylus tenius)
Anthelmintics: anti-inflammatory drugs, levamisol, ivermectin, albendazole, fenbendazole, thiabendazole

Note: Only fenbendazole and rumatel are FDA-approved for use in goats. Other classes must be prescribed off-label by a veterinarian.

About the Author: Sharon Biggs Waller is an award-winning writer and author of Advanced English Riding (BowTie Press, 2007). She lives on a 10-acre farm in northwestern Indiana with her husband, Mark, 75 chickens, two Lamancha goats, two horses and an assortment of cats and dogs.

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