Cydectin Lice Treatment

Written by irene lang
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Cydectin Lice Treatment
Cydectin treats lice in beef and dairy cattle (Cattle 5 image by Lee O'Dell from

Cydectin is a veterinary antiparasitic that is used to treat both internal and external parasites in cattle, goats and sheep. In addition to lice treatment, Cydectin is approved by the FDA for the treatment of gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, cattle grubs, mites and horn flies. The active ingredient in Cydectin is moxidectin, which paralyses the parasites and allows for their elimination.

Cydectin for Cattle

Cydectin comes in two formulations for cattle, injectable and pour-on. Injectable Cydectin is only approved for use in cattle, and is administered via a subcutaneous injection in the shoulder region. Cydectin in pour-on form is also approved for use in cattle, and is literally poured on the animal externally, from head to tail, using the container provided. The pour-on is purple in colour, in order to simplify identification of treated animals.

Cydectin for Sheep

The oral formula is approved for use with sheep for the treatment of internal parasites only, and involves administration by mouth using specialised drenching equipment. While Cydectin is not approved for the treatment of lice in sheep, moxidectin is used in practice for controlling external parasites in sheep and goats. Dosages of all formulations are determined by animal weight, and are specified on the product packaging.

Benefits of Cydectin

Cydectin is highly effective in treating lice in beef and dairy cattle. In a study conducted prior to FDA approval, weekly lice counts showed that Cydectin was effective in reducing the number of lice on the animals in the study. At the conclusion of the trial, all cattle treated were free of the three species of lice being evaluated.

Adverse Effects of Cydectin

There were no serious adverse reactions during studies of Cydectin among the cattle involved in the research. Serious complications have been reported, however, when the drug has been used in sick or underweight animals. Cydectin may cause hair loss at the administration site when the pour-on formulation is used, although this has not been definitively proven. The injectable form of Cydectin has been shown to cause some temporary nervous system symptoms, including loss of muscle coordination in some animals when dosages well above the recommended levels are used.

Treatment Considerations with Cydectin

It is important, when using Cydectin to treat lice in cattle, that all cattle in the herd be treated to avoid reinfection. This is true when using either the pour-on or injectable formulation. Any new cattle should also be treated before being introduced into the herd. For a 21-day period after treatment with Cydectin injectable, cattle is not fit for human consumption. Cattle treated with Cydectin pour-on, however, can be milked or slaughtered at any point after treatment without risk to humans.

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