Red Cell & Dewormers
Red Cell: Is it Going To Make A Difference?
Although it is a fairly common practice for goat owners to treat anemic animals with Red Cell after deworming, there had not been any research on whether it was helpful — until now.
Joan Burke, PhD, Research Animal Scientist at the USDA, ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center, is one of the co-authors of a study that looked at whether using Red Cell could help an anemic goat or sheep recover more quickly after being treated with a dewormer.
Dr. Burke talks about the 4 different experiments that were done, using different dewormers, with and without Red Cell. She talks about how much Red Cell was used and the effect on the animals’ packed cell volume (PCV) and fecal egg count (FEC) after one week and two weeks.
We also get into a similar study that was done using injectable iron, and she even gives you a bonus tip at the end on treating strogyloides (threadworm).
So, in each of the studies, Red Cell was used in combination with a dewormer. So, the dewormer and the Red Cell were used one time, and only one dose of Red Cell was used. So, in each case, 30 mLs was given. And, Red Cell is a product developed for racehorses. So, Dr. Whitley had gotten word from a lot of producers that they were using Red Cell to help animals recover from severe parasitism. So, that’s why she did the control study. The dewormers used were albendazole or Valbazen. Levamisole or Prohibit was used in two of the studies. And then, moxidectin or Cydectin was used in the last study. If any benefit to the Red Cell was going to be viewed, we would see it within that 14-day period. And, what we’d want to see is a faster recovery in packed cell volume.
I think one day is fine, giving Red Cell. Maybe three days are fine. But, if you’re giving it more than that, there’s a chance of giving iron toxicity. And, it’s hard to tell what the other sources of iron are; you’d be surprised by all the different sources of iron an animal can get hold of just from feed troughs, or water, or even feed or minerals.
- Goats do not need extra iron in their diet unless they are severely anemic thus Red Cell is not something you would give on a regular or daily basis.
There really wasn’t much difference among the dewormer with or without the Red Cell, so both for fecal egg counts and packed cell volume.
There’s been a lot of research done on increasing protein or energy, but protein consistently will help animals be more tolerant to parasites, so you’ll have less need to give dewormer because they won’t get to that critical, anemic state. And then, certainly, if they do get to that critical state, you know, that’s when you should back up and say, “Well, maybe I need to re-evaluate the plane of nutrition."
Dr. Joan Burke: my recommendation, rather than relying on dewormers, is to really pay attention to management during those critical time points. Kind of fine-tuning nutrition and protein. Make sure a good-quality mineral is used, so no cafeteria-style minerals (mineral blocks), but rather a good, loose mineral with a reputable source.
Conclusion: AppleJo Farms is making a switch away from using Red Cell to using a high-quality B-Complex oral supplement to boost my goats at stress times and "off" times.