Our first newsletter of 2013 gives us an opportunity to inform you all of the extension of the business following the decision of Churchwalk Veterinary Centre to cease all farm work. We would like to welcome the new clients from Ulverston who have transferred their work to us, and assure our existing clients that we aim to maintain the level of service that you have been used to.
We feel it is vitally important that farmers in this south west corner of Cumbria have a local veterinary practice willing and able to provide care for their livestock, without the need to have to travel further afield, or wait for a vet to travel 25-30 miles! We would remind everyone that when the main telephone line 01229 716230 into the office is engaged then you may be able to get through on 01229 716625 (during office hours only).
Now to other practice news- Laurrie Shephard will be going on maternity leave later this month and her replacement is Fiona Johnson. Coming from a farming background we feel confident that she should be able to deal with your calls efficiently.
You will probably all have heard of the problems with liver fluke this year, and still we are seeing yet more cases. We have found fluke on 4 different farms showing resistance to triclabendazole, following on from 1 farm last year. If you are having problems then we are here to help, providing independent advice on which product to use and when.
As always the message is to make sure you have stored the product correctly, weighed your sheep and dosed for the heaviest animal and have calibrated your dosing gun correctly. Doing this will reduce the chances of resistance developing on your farm.
If you would like to find out more about fluke then Cumbria Farmer Network have organised a meeting at Ulverston Auction Mart on Wednesday 20th February at 7-30pm, where we will be speaking along with Mark Duerden from Dawn Duerden. There will also be representatives there from 2 drug companies, Norbrook and Pfizer. For more information or to book a place contact The Farmer Network 01768 868615 or e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHMALLENBERG virus is also giving cause for concern as we have seen affected lambs on 3 separate farms this month. The lambs have been born with bent legs and twisted neck and in 2 cases were delivered by Caesarean. Blood testing the ewe (at a cost of £6.20) confirmed she had been exposed to the infection in 2 cases. In the third case virus was found in the affected lamb (at a cost of £16.50).
A ewe that is infected during the second month of pregnancy is most likely to produce affected lambs as it is at this stage that the brain and nervous system is developing in the foetus. Damage to the nervous system results in reduced movement of the limbs so they lose their flexibility.
Consider Schmallenberg if you are having difficulty lambing a ewe – the sooner we see her the better chance of a successful outcome after Caesarean. There have been reports of up to 40% of a flock being affected but on the positive side it is usually only 2-5 %. There is also a vaccine being developed which will hopefully be available later this year, and may be worth considering its use.
With lambing time approaching are you and your sheep prepared? Ensuring adequate nutrition for your ewes is essential, especially where they have been affected by fluke—this may mean feeding them sooner than usual, but they will certainly need extra protein and energy to maintain their own condition as well as give birth to viable lambs and have sufficient colostrum for them. Do you have the necessary medication (in date) to deal with problems as they arise? Give us a ring to order the drugs you need. We can also dispose of any old drugs or empty bottles for you to comply with farm assurance standards—cost will depend on quantity but as a guide a 22 litre bucketful of bottles is £30 + VAT.
ROTAVEC corona vaccination for cows to offer protection against scour in calves is slowly becoming available again– we have some in stock at present. If you need some for this spring then please order it as soon as possible and we will try and get enough for you. Remember keeping calving pens clean and dry and ensuring calves receive an adequate supply of colostrum is as important as vaccinating your cows!
HUSKVAC orders to protect your replacement heifers can now be taken. This is still the best way to protect your cows against the damaging effects of lungworm. Calves can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age, with a second dose being given 4 weeks later. They can then be turned out to grass 2 weeks after that.
Booster vaccinations to protect cows against BVD and Leptospira will be due for many of you before turnout. Please telephone to place your order, remembering heifers starting off will require 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart.