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Wrong James Hawkins?

James W. Hawkins

Animal Program Director

National Institutes of Health

HQ Phone:  (301) 496-4000

Direct Phone: (301) ***-****direct phone

Email: h***@***.gov


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National Institutes of Health

31 Center Dr. MSC 2062 Building 31, Room B1-W30

Bethesda, Maryland,20892

United States

Company Description

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting bas...more

Background Information

Employment History

Veterinary Reviewer

Journal of Visualized Experiments

Program Director

National Institutes of Health

Adjunct Faculty

Aurora University

Life Coach

Hawkins & Associates in Life Coaching

Web References(44 Total References)

Editorial, Veterinarian Advisory, and Peer Review Board [cached]

James Hawkins
Animal Program Director NIH/NHLBI

The cattle fluke is most common and most widely distributed, according to Dr. James Hawkins, consultant for Merial Animal Health, Jackson, Miss.
"The deer fluke can be very difficult to control in cattle. Both species of flukes can kill cattle, but it is unusual to see cattle fluke actually killing cattle. Most of the time, we just see chronic slowly-developing disease that reduces weight gain or causes weight loss and reduces overall animal health. Cows can become poor doers and eventually get culled," says Hawkins. Flukes damage the liver, which may set up cattle for other problems, such as redwater disease. "Liver damage affects virtually everything the body needs to do in converting nutrients into utilizable proteins, energy, vitamins, etc. Liver flukes will affect gain in young cattle, but this is usually a slow-developing problem compared to the effect of gastrointestinal nematodes [worms]," says Hawkins. "One group was treated with injectable ivermectin - to kill GI [gastrointestinal] tract nematodes and nothing else," says Hawkins. Another group was treated for liver flukes only. Another group was treated for worms and flukes. The fourth group served as untreated controls. "They did this for many years, but the initial study was for 4 years. Dr. J.C. Williams and Dr. Loyacano published the results," Hawkins says. In young cattle the GI nematodes have the most profound impact on gain, the research shows. "These cattle were on pasture and in winter were on planted ryegrass, supplemented by corn-based concentrate ration so they would gain a pound per day, to reach breeding weight," he explains. The dewormed group gained an average of 23 to 25 pounds more than the control group, "which actually did pretty well, gaining approximately 1 pound per day. Hawkins says the untreated group gained 53 pounds, which was "more than necessary to be at their proper weight at breeding. Due to the extra 23 to 25 pounds gained by the dewormed group, "that group could have been backed off a little on feed and still attained breeding weight, which would have saved money," says Hawkins. The group that always did best, in all the years of the study, was the group receiving both treatments - worm and fluke control. "They had better weight gain and increased conception rates," he says. So they decided to keep that group and follow them all the way through calving, to try to see what was going on," Hawkins says. Hawkins also found a study in Spain where a theriogenologist had experimentally infected dairy heifers with liver flukes. This researcher felt that the low progesterone could cause the animals that did get pregnant to lose the pregnancy," says Hawkins. "This study was done with several thousand bulls over 9 years of breeding soundness exams," says Hawkins. If it costs you more to finish that animal than normal, you lose money," says Hawkins. Even if you find them, this doesn't indicate whether there is a significant enough level of infection to make a difference," says Hawkins. At that point the cow treats it as foreign and walls it off with a fibrous connective-tissue capsule, like an abscess," Hawkins says. "Because of the fibrous capsule surrounding the flukes, drugs can't touch them. So cattle are a dead-end host once these flukes are in the liver. They cause a lot of damage, however, before they get walled off. All we kill, when treating deer flukes, are the migrating immatures," Hawkins explains. There are products available elsewhere in the world, but we may never have them here because most of them are carcinogens," says Hawkins. At this point deer flukes are not as widespread as cattle flukes. "We find deer flukes along the Gulf Coast in certain parts of Texas and Louisiana. We also see them along the Great Lakes, such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and a few in North Dakota," he says. To know whether deer flukes are a problem in your area, contact the state diagnostic lab and ask if they ever see deer flukes in necropsies, and where, advises Hawkins. "With deer populations expanding, deer flukes are also expanding their areas. The same is happening with cattle liver flukes. We have ranchers contacting us who thought they never had flukes before but have them now," says Hawkins. Timing of treatment for cattle flukes is important. It will be different in different regions. "If people know they have flukes they should treat twice a year. Any time an animal dies on your place, get it necropsied or open it up yourself and check the liver. If there is severe damage, you can see it," Hawkins says. Your strategy there would be to treat for flukes each time you deworm," says Hawkins.

James Hawkins, a consultant for Merial located in Jackson, Miss., says cattle eventually develop a good immune response, but it takes time.
"Situations in which we see serious disease with coccidiosis are where young calves are kept in a drylot or small pen rather than on pasture. If there are high numbers of calves in a small area, this makes it worse because contamination is greater," Hawkins says. "People who run into problems are usually backgrounders who buy small calves from many sources and put them together - keeping them for 90 days or less and reselling them. Then they buy another group, putting new ones in the same facility." The number of coccidia organisms in these facilities builds up to high levels, he explains. "This parasite is a normal inhabitant of the intestines in healthy animals. We run into problems when calves haven't had time to develop an immune response and are exposed to high levels of infection," Hawkins says. "If you see coccidiosis in a group of calves, there is usually something else causing them to be more vulnerable, either severe stress, parasites or some other disease," Hawkins says. "Taking a group of calves off the cows, shipping them somewhere else and introducing them to a bunch of other calves from different places is enough stress to throw them into a problem." Hawkins emphasizes that is why producers need to take care of "everything else" healthwise. "We need good parasite control, a good vaccination program, and make sure calves have good nutrition," he advises.

Animal Health | AgNewsWire [cached]

"We've known for years that parasite control was critical to the profitable cattle producer, but this study is significant because it proves the value of parasite control in actual dollars and cents," says Dr. James Hawkins, Parasitologist and Consultant for Merial Veterinary Services.

ag chem | AgNewsWire | Page 2 [cached]

"This analysis confirms that producers who use parasite control in their cow herds can expect a significant increase in pregnancy rates, calf survival and weaning weights - three important factors to a cow/calf producers' bottom line," says Dr. James Hawkins, Associate Director of Merial Veterinary Professional Services.

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