Once the diagnosis of theileriosis is made, the most appropriate treatment depends on a variety of aspects including the clinical signs, the number of affected animals and feed availability.


Immediately reducing pressure on the affected animals.  This can be achieved by:

  • Once a day milking
  • Minimised handling
  • When bringing into the shed, let them go at their own pace (don’t push them)
  • Good quality feed

Medical intervention – Click on the option for more information

  • Treatment of concurrent illnesses (e.g. ketosis or black mastitis)
  • Supplementation of trace minerals and iron (hemo15 multi-mineral injection)
  • Blood transfusions

Blood transfusions are required in cases of severe blood loss. In order to assess how severe a cows blood loss is, we take a blood sample and look at the packed cell volume (PCV). If this is less than 10 % then a blood transfusion is necessary to save her life. If the PCV is 10-12% then a blood transfusion will drastically help to shorten her recovery time and will increase the chances of keeping her in milk.

A cow can donate a large volume of blood without any ill effect. Donor cows are ideally related to the recipient cow, although not essential. Donors must be large healthy cows who are as far away from calving as possible.

Blood collection takes around 20-30 minutes with a small injection of sedation if needed.

During the transfusion process, the cow is restrained with sedation if needed. Blood is given into the large neck vien (jugular). The transfusion will take around 20 minutes and Adrenalin will be on hand in the unlikely event of a reaction.

We have seen great responses from bloods transfusions and they have become the mainstay of treatment (with our own vet Sarah Briggs speaking at a national event to teach other veterinary clinicians how to do them). We believe this treatment offers the best prognosis for an animal to remain productive and will decrease their recovery time.

In total it costs $180 plus GST. We have streamlined the whole process so that costs are reduced and the benefits can be captured by all farms facing Theileria issues.

  • Buparvoquone (Butalex)
This is a specially imported drug which has not been licensed for use in this country and can only be administered by a vet. We were the first vets in New Zealand to import it for treatment of our client’s stock; this product has subsequently become available to all vets in the country. A study carried out by meat and livestock Australia showed that Buparvoquone (Butalex) is highly effective at treating Theileria Ikeda infections in calves. Unfortunately, because this product is not licensed it has long withhold periods; 43 days for milk and 18 months for meat. This limits its use in most cases, however, it is still an important weapon in our arsenal.