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Internal parasites (sometimes known as worms) can limit production and can be complex to manage. Having an animal health plan, developed with a veterinarian, can help minimise the effects of parasites.

  • Parasites of the deer stomachs and intestinal tract are known as Gastrointestinal tract parasites or gutworms.
  • Parasites of the airways and lungs are known as lungworm.

Parasite Management Handbook

Deer Industry New Zealand with support from the New Zealand Deer Farmers Association ran a series of workshops throughout the country from February - April 2020 focusing on parasite management on deer farms. The workshops were focused on technical discussion and sharing suggestions for best practice, and best practical parasite management processes amongst farmers and vets.

The workshops were based on the Deer Industry Parasite Management Handbook. To download a current copy of the handbook click here >> 

To download a copy of the workbook from the workshops click here >> 

These workshops are funded by the Passion2Profit Programme, a Primary Growth Partnership between Deer Industry New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Funding is also provided by the NZ Deer Farmers Association and Ian Spiers Memorial Trust.

Parasite control plan and risk assessment

You've read about which parasites affect your stock and how, but may don’t know whether, or the extent to which, they are actually a problem for your own farm.

Check out the guide to Assessing Risk Factors for Parasites and Risk Factors for Drench Resistance.

Some gastrointestinal (GI) parasites are specific just to deer while others affect deer, sheep and cattle.

Deer Parasites
How does the problem spread?
Effect on deer production
Control and treatment
Which stock to treat
Preventing worm resistance

Lungworm (Dictyocaulus eckerti) is the most important and serious parasitic disease of young farmed deer. The cattle lungworm (D. viviparus) has also been shown to affect deer, although it is less well adapted to red deer.

How does the problem spread?
What are the symptoms?
Effect on deer production
Control and treatment
Which stock to treat
When to treat
Which anthelmintic?
Preventing and addressing drench resistance
Strategies to prevent worm resistance

More resources

Information on internal parasites is available in a convenient DINZ Deer Fact sheet (August 2021). Download your own copy here >>

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