Evaluation of Parasitological Homeopathic Complex in the Control of Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Peripartum Sheep
10 July 2018
07 February 2019
04 June 2019 (online)
Background The appearance of anthelmintic resistance has made it difficult to control verminosis in sheep, leading to increased research to find alternative nematode control. The use of homeopathy in veterinary medicine has been studied as an alternative for the treatment and control of some diseases. In this study, ewes received an anti-parasitic homeopathic complex medicine during the critical peripartum period of increased susceptibility to nematodes.
Methods Three randomized groups containing 16 animals each were assigned as follows: ‘H10’ received 10 g homeopathic complex added to concentrated food per day; ‘H20’ received 20 g homeopathic complex added to concentrated food per day; ‘C’ (control group) did not receive a homeopathic complex. Animals were tested to evaluate the effect of homeopathy on several health parameters during a period of 110 days.
Results The parasite that prevailed in the copro-cultures of both treatments throughout the experiment was Haemonchus contortus (78.26%). Packed cell volume averages did not present statistically significant differences between the treatments (24.5, 24.4 and 23.9% to C, H10 and H20, respectively; p < 0.05). For total white cell count, lower mean values ( ± standard error of mean) were observed for the H20 treatment (5,490.9 ± 0.02/µL; p < 0.05), whereas the H10 (5,919.4 ± 0.02/µL) and control (6,098.5 ± 0.02/µL) presented higher and similar averages (p > 0.05). The values for erythrocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes did not show differences between treatments (p > 0.05). Body weight was greater in the H10-treated animals compared with control. For the fecal egg count (FEC) of Trichostrongylidae and Strongyloides spp., respectively, the averages of the H20 treatment (1,523.0 and 30.6) were not different from control (1,616.0 and 31.6) and H10 (1,038.0 and 27.6); for Trichostrongylidae, however, H10 presented a lower FEC than the control (p = 0.02). For Cooperia, H10- and H20-treated animals showed FEC reductions of 97% and 98%, respectively.
Conclusions H20 treatment in peripartum sheep resulted in greater body weight and lower leukocyte count. H10 was associated with lower FEC for Trichostrongylidae. Both H10 and H20 justify a label of ‘effective anthelmintic’ for Cooperia.
• The appearance of anti-helminthic resistance has made it difficult to control verminosis in sheep and has raised interest in alternative nematode control research.
• Research on the performance of homeopathy in verminosis is the subject of recent studies.
• The supplementation of 10 g of a homeopathic complex (H10) in peripartum sheep decreased the egg count of Tricostrongylidae spp.
• The efficacy observed in the H10 and H20 treatments for Cooperia justifies the classification of these homeopathy formulations as effective against this parasitic genus.
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