Horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans (Linnaeus), is an ectoparasite that feeds exclusively on the host’s blood, preferably cattle, whose biological cycle occurs in its feces. This insect is scattered throughout Brazil in areas favorable to its development and also in other South American countries. The insect remains most of the day time on the animal. The adult fly can live 3 to 7 weeks. At high infestation rates, skin lesions may occur, predisposing the animal to bacterial infections. Biting activity is one of the harmful aspects of this fly; the painful bites cause irritation and stress in animals, impairing their development, milk production, reproductive activities, etc. Homeopathy is among some alternatives for parasite control aimed to seek means to control the major internal and external parasites in cattle, which are more efficient and less aggressive to animals and the environment. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a homeopathic complex in 14 one-year-old Holstein heifers divided into two groups infested with H. irritans in a period of 60 days. There were statistically significant differences between groups in the number of horn flies on day 45 of the experiment, and the number of horn flies decreased in animals treated with the homeopathic complex. There were no significant differences between groups regarding hematocrit (%), total protein (g/dL), albumin (g/dL), and globulins (g/dL). The parasitic homeopathic complex proved to be effective against horn flies, with 64.7% reduction of these flies in animals at 45 days of experiment in treatment group animals.
Key words: Heifers, hematocrit, homeopathy, horn fly.
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