Review/Oorsig Volume 23, Issue 01 - Page 23

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2019 was working. It makes one cautious, some have even speculated that the DE used in some trials could be spiked with a registered product (I am not saying that, there is no evidence). The point is that we need well conducted trials done by independent investigators. The other matter relates to safety. I have some material that I took from the internet that cautions on the use of DE in confined spaces because of fears of what it may do to the lungs, at least of the humans. The source was apparently official, but I did not follow this up. The use of DE to control insects in grain silos is well documented and proven so its potential cannot just be discarded. What is needed is good scientific evaluation of its use against parasites in livestock by independent researchers, but this is lacking thus far. CvdW – 12 Feb 2014 Have anyone heard about something called Diatoms that you put in the feed of ruminants and horses, apparently it is an anthelmintic. As well as "roll material" it is something you spread on the ground that the animals roll in, and it controls ectoparasites. JvR – 12 Feb 2014 There is a law controlling stuff like Diatoms. It states: "There is an endless supply of fools." My clients have tried it for the past ten years and not one did a controlled trial. They all believed it worked but stopped using it. I think there is definitely some nutritional effect. At Grootfontein Agricultural College we offered to do controlled trials for the suppliers and had no response. They supplied us with literature, but none were controlled trials. Aloe powder in feed to treat ticks follows the same trend. I believe there is some truth in it but no serious (statistically significant) evidence that I am aware of. But, there is possibly something to be said for farmers believing natural remedies. It prevents the dumping of tonnes of anthelmintics that are drenched every year (for no reason) in the environment. JB - 12 Feb 2014 Faffa Malan will tell you that Prof. Ivan Horak did trials and that the animals that were treated with diatoms and aloe actually had more worms and ectoparasites. Especially those that had aloe……. (Translated from Afr. – Ed) JvR - 12 February 2014 I have witnessed for years that Ribbok will eat certain aloes in the winter (perhaps to prevent Dry Gallsickness?). Some of the old herdsmen, with their veld knowledge, would tell me that you can reduce the incidence of lice on cattle with aloe. I also have clients that claim that sheep that are given aloe are “safe” to go into camps with Karoo Paralysis Ticks. No scientific trials, just observations. In the Grootfontein area we frequently see that that the environment plays a huge role in the effectiveness of supplements and treatments. Due to the incredibly complex interactions of, for instance trace elements, you will sometimes get results in one area that cannot be repeated in another area. Years ago, a local pharmacist started to sell a cheap “new drug”. A farmer brought 4 sets of sheep droppings to me; A & B samples - before and after dosing samples of 4 herds. The active ingredient was a big secret. A few weeks later the farmer managed to kill 120 lambs with this new “drug”. Turns out it was all the Carbontetrachloride with Vit A in it that did it. (translated from Afr. – Ed) TS – 13 Feb 2014 Clinvet in Bloemfontein did a controlled study with aloe in dogs against ticks a few years ago. If I remember correctly during tick counts after treatment the untreated control animals had less ticks than the treated animals! This is proof that aloe does not kill ticks. If you speak to farmers in the North West province (Stella area) they will tell you that cattle tend to eat aloe certain times of the year and that they then have less ticks on them. My theory behind these "natural" products and why animals "consume" them is: We know that aloe is for instance high in anti-oxidants. That's why some aloe products are sold and used by some people (Timjan etc. so bitter it makes your toes curl!) as an immune booster. Anti-oxidants do play an important role as an immune booster. We also know that healthy animals of which the immune system is optimal carry less parasites or have a better "resistance" to parasites than animals suffering from some underlying disease or which are stressed due to poor nutrition etc. Trace elements and minerals also play a big role in the maintenance of the immune system and I am sure diatomes may be high in some trace elements and minerals. A year or two ago there was an article in Landbouweekblad of increased horn growth experienced in sable after feeding them diatomes in their ration over a period of time. Therefore, there may be value in feeding natural products (with a high nutritional value which may boost the immune system) over a period to animals which may keep parasite numbers low. The question will be, how much 23