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Control Against 
Cattle Tick


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Dectomax® Injectable provides superior control against all stages of cattle tick

Cattle tick represents a significant threat to animal health and production throughout the tick infested zones of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Kimberley region of Western Australia. Periodic outbreaks also occur in the tick free zones of these states as well as in northern New South Wales.1 This document outlines the key benefits of Dectomax Injectable for cattle tick control and eradication and for use in movement of cattle across the ‘tick line’.

Changes to terminology

The cattle tick found in Australia, formerly referred to as Boophilus microplus, has recently been reclassified and is now referred to as Rhipicephalus australis. It will take some time for product labels to be updated to reflect this change of name and all product label claims that refer to Boophilus microplus also apply to Rhipicephalus australis.

Why is Dectomax Injectable so effective at controlling cattle ticks?

Dectomax Injectable is highly effective at controlling all stages of cattle tick present on cattle at the time of treatment.2-4 Some stages of cattle tick are more difficult to control. Larval ticks suck relatively little blood and this makes them more difficult to kill with the ML class of chemicals which only kill ticks after sucking a blood meal. Larval ticks are also harder to find on inspection of treated cattle. The levels of Doramectin in the blood provided by Dectomax Injectable ensure an effective kill against larval ticks and all other stages of cattle tick at the time of treatment.2 Dectomax Injectable also provides persistent activity, preventing the development of viable egg laying cattle ticks for at least 28 days after treatment.2,3

Note that this period includes the life cycle of the cattle tick and is determined by infesting cattle with larval ticks after treatment with the product and measuring the time until viable engorged female cattle ticks begin to drop of treated cattle.2,3

How quickly will Dectomax Injectable kill cattle ticks?

The active ingredient, Doramectin, reaches levels in the blood that are lethal to cattle tick within 24 hours of treatment, peaking 3 days after administration and remaining at lethal levels for at least 14 days after treatment.2,4 These persistent lethal blood levels are the key to Dectomax Injectable’s excellent control against all stages of cattle tick and its persistent activity, preventing larval ticks attaching for at least 28 days after treatment from developing to the egg laying stage.2-4

Dectomax Injectable impacts tick viability up to 49 days after a single treatment

In studies conducted in south-east Queensland, viability of cattle ticks detaching from cattle treated with Dectomax Injectable was impacted for up to 49 days after a single treatment. Ticks feeding off treated cattle laid fewer eggs and the viability of those eggs was greatly reduced during this time period.3

How rapidly will cattle become free of ticks after treatment with Dectomax Injectable?

The time it takes for cattle to become ‘tick free’ after treatment with any ML chemical, including Dectomax Injectable is limited by the biology of cattle ticks and the mode of action of these chemicals.4 They do not kill by contact, but require ticks to suck blood from treated cattle in order to work. MLs kill ticks by paralysing them, meaning that they may not drop off cattle when they die. Engorged female ticks nearing the end of their life cycle (days 19-21 after attachment) may not suck sufficient blood from treated cattle to kill them.4  Treated cattle may therefore drop ticks which lay viable eggs for 3 days after treatment with Dectomax injectable and there is a statement to this effect on the product label (and on most other ML chemicals).

It would be wise for producers wanting to eradicate ticks from their property or to reduce larval contamination of paddocks to wait at least 3 days after treating cattle with Dectomax Injectable or another ML chemical prior to moving them to ‘clean’ paddocks, or to other properties, unless they have been carefully inspected and found to be free of ticks. Engorged female ticks are relatively easy to find on inspection. Where rapid tick knockdown and detachment from treated cattle is required, ‘contact’ tickicide dips or sprays like the OP/SP based Barricade S® or Amitraz based products may be used directly after Dectomax Injectable has been administered, assuming ticks on the cattle are not resistant to these chemicals. Alternatively, they could be used 28-35 days after treatment with Dectomax Injectable to prolong treatment effect and to reduce the risk of resistance developing to Dectomax. Dectomax Injectable is in a totally different chemical class to these compounds and interaction between these chemicals has not been documented, so WHP and ESI are not affected when they are used together.

Note that for movement across the ‘tick line’, legislated time periods between treatment and movement must be observed. These are available on the DAFF website.1

Dectomax Injectable is safe to use in all weights and classes of cattle with no market restrictions

To control cattle ticks with the ML class of chemicals, all cattle must to be treated at the same time, including calves and bulls. Dectomax Injectable is safe to use on all classes of cattle, from day old calves to mature bulls at the same dose rate and with the same WHP and ESI. Dectomax Injectable is also safe for use on cattle with low body fat reserves such as drought affected cattle. Cattle treated with Dectomax Injection are also free to go to all markets, including live export, provided WHP and ESI and label re-treatment intervals are observed.

Dectomax Injectable is easy to use. Simply inject cattle under the skin on the side of the neck. The sesame oil base of Dectomax Injectable is low irritant and ‘sting free’.

Achieving season long cattle tick control

Tick activity is related to temperature and moisture. The season normally commences during spring, although in coastal north Queensland, the season may be year-round. The ‘spring rise’ generally comes from the population of eggs and larvae that ‘over-winter’ on pasture. This is the first generation of the new season. The 21 day cycle sees numbers increase quickly, especially during the warmest and wettest months early in the year. It is the magnitude of the peak in numbers affecting cattle that determines the severity of disease. It also determines the population destined to ‘over-winter’ and become the ‘spring rise’ for next season. The ticks that you see on cattle are often only a small proportion of the total cattle tick population.

The persistent activity of Dectomax Injectable is long enough to break the cattle tick life cycle and achieve season long tick control if treatments are strategically timed at the ‘spring rise’. Eradication can be achieved with a series of treatments at 28-35 day intervals. Dectomax Injectable may also be combined with topical fluazuron based tick growth inhibitors during the spring rise for prolonged tick control. Fluazuron is in a different chemical class to Dectomax Injectable so concurrent treatments do not impact the WHP or ESI of either chemical.

Figure 1. Pattern of tick populations on cattle (Queensland)


Key Benefits of Dectomax Injectable

Starts killing cattle ticks within 24 hours of treatment
Provides persistent activity, preventing establishment of viable egg laying cattle ticks for 28 days after treatment
Low irritant and provides reliable dosing
Contains doramectin which offers broad-spectrum efficacy and days of persistent activity
Provides longer protection for your cattle, which means fewer treatments and reduced pasture contamination
Higher safety margin in all classes of stock regardless of body condition with easy administration
Treated cattle are free to go to all markets provided WHP and ESI are observed

Cattle Dip and Spray

Barricade S controls external parasites on cattle, including cattle tick, buffalo fly and cattle lice


  • Control of external parasites on cattle including cattle tick, buffalo fly and cattle lice
  • Suitable and safe for beef cattle
  • It is easy to maintain the effectiveness of Barricade 'S' dip. No messy powders
  • Kills susceptible ticks on contact
  • 21 days control of buffalo fly
  • Export Slaughter Interval (ESI): 21 days
  • Do NOT use in dairy cattle
  • May be used to control cattle ticks (Boophilus microplus), New Zealand bush ticks (Haemaphysalls longicornis) and paralysis ticks (Ixodes holocyclus) on cattle, horses, deer, goats and working dogs. It also gives protection for up to 21 days against buffalo fly (Haematobia Irritans) in these species
  • Effectively controls cattle lice (Linognathus vitull, Damalinia bovis and Haematopinus eurysternus). Treat in early autumn when lice infestations first occur and ensure thorough wetting of each animal


For more information about Dectomax contact your Professional Sales Representative on 1800 814 883.


2. George JE, Davey RB (2004). Therapeutic and Persistent Efficacy of a Single Application of Doramectin Applied Either as a Pour-on or Injection to Cattle Infested with Boophilus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) J. Med. Entomol. 41(3): 402- 407.
3. Cox JW, Watson TG (1998). Doramectin injectable as a practical and effective management tool to control Boophilus microplus infestation of cattle in Queensland: In: Proc World Assoc for Buiatrics, Sydney.
4. Davey RB et al (2007). Efficacy of a Single Doramectin Injection against adult female Boophilus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the final stages of engorgement before detachment, J. Med. Entomol. 44(2): 277-282.
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