The aim of this study was to analyse the oxidative and anti-oxidant status in serum samples from dairy cows naturally infected by Dictyocaulus viviparus and its relation with pathological analyses. The diagnosis of the disease was confirmed by necropsy of one dairy cow with heavy infection by the parasite in the lungs and bronchi. Later, blood and faeces were collected from another 22 cows from the same farm to measure reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities on day 0 (pre-treatment) and day 10 (post-treatment with eprinomectin). Faecal examination confirmed the infection in all lactating cows. However, the number of D. viviparus larvae per gram of faeces varied between animals. Cows showed different degrees of severity according to respiratory clinical signs of the disease (cough and nasal secretion). Further, they were classified and divided into two groups: those with mild (n = 10) and severe disease (n = 12). Increased levels of TBARS (P < 0.001), ROS (P = 0.002) and SOD activity (P < 0.001), as well as reduced CAT activity (P < 0.001) were observed in cows with severe clinical signs of the disease compared to those with mild clinical signs. Eprinomectin treatment (day 10) caused a reduction of ROS levels (P = 0.006) and SOD activity (P < 0.001), and an increase of CAT activity (P = 0.05) compared to day 0 (pre-treatment). TBARS levels did not differ with treatment (P = 0.11). In summary, increased ROS production and lipid peroxidation altered CAT and SOD activities, as an adaptive response against D. viviparus infection, contributing to the occurrence of oxidative stress and severity of the disease. Treatment with eprinomectin eliminated the infection, and thus minimized oxidative stress in dairy cows.