A vaccine (Bovilis SBV) to protect sheep and cattle against Schmallenberg virus has just been released onto the market which is licensed for sheep and cattle to reduce infection in the animal and thereby the number of abnormal offspring being born. In our practice we are aware of 6 ewes and 5 cows having given birth to deformed young as a result of Schmallenberg, all except one requiring a Caesarean to deliver them.
Both cattle and sheep should be vaccinated whilst they are not pregnant. Cows require 2 doses injected into the muscle 4 weeks apart, while sheep only need 1 dose which should be injected under the skin ; it is a 2 ml dose for both cows and sheep. They will be fully protected 3 weeks after vaccination is completed, but as yet there is no data to determine how long this immunity will last so we don’t know if they will need vaccinated every year.
It cannot be used in pregnant animals or breeding males. Some sheep have produced a swelling after vaccination so care is needed in show animals. Bovilis SBV is available in 50 dose bottles at a cost of £160.00 + VAT or 10 dose bottles at a cost of £34.00 + VAT. We have no idea as to what supply and demand will be so would encourage you to contact us if you have decided you are going to vaccinate your stock. We will only get vaccine delivered once we have received definite orders from you.
The worm forecast for Nematodirus in lambs this spring is still high, with the risk period continuing into June. Repeated treatments may be necessary to reduce the risk of your lambs being affected—please ring us to discuss if you are concerned or are having problems with scouring lambs. Remember white drenches are still effective against Nematodirus despite all the concern of increasing resistance.
Worm resistance is a subject that is not going to go away!!
There is now an opportunity, in conjunction with Zoetis, formerly Pfizer, to check for resistant worms in your flock. Zoetis are sponsoring the cost of performing faecal egg counts on your lambs after you have wormed them to look for worm eggs. If eggs are present then there is concern that you may have resistant worms on your holding. As always you need to be sure you have calibrated your gun properly, stored the product correctly and dosed for the correct weight of sheep. If you are interested in finding out more then you contact Zoetis on 0800 292 2070 or at www.zoetis.co.uk. This is a good opportunity for you to avail yourself of useful information regarding future worm control on your farm. Zoetis will also be involving us in this testing and delivering the results and we would encourage you to make use of it.
If you want to find out a bit more we will be happy to discuss it with you first. The most important part of the procedure will be collecting the faeces samples at the correct time after dosing, depending on which wormer you have used, and ensuring they are stored correctly before they get to the lab.
Are your cows showing signs of bulling and getting back in calf? After a long winter, and in some cases, silage of poorer quality than usual we are now seeing problems with fertility. Regular checks on problem cows is advisable as well as confirming cows you think are pregnant are actually in calf!
Various computer programmes are available to purchase to keep records of cows not seen bulling, which will then produce action lists of cows that warrant investigation or are due for pregnancy diagnosis. Some of these are run in conjunction with National Milk Records. If you are interested in us helping with your herd fertility by purchasing one of these programmes then give us a call at the office.
Rotavac corona is currently unavailable due to a manufacturing problem, with no date given as to when it will be back on the market.
Erythrocin sachets for control of digital dermatitis is also unavailable, although there are alternative products on the market. Please give us a ring to discuss these before you use them.
Sheep abortion vaccine (Enzovax and Toxovax) needs to be given 1 month before tupping. Please place your order as soon as possible to give us the best chance of ensuring you get enough. If you had sheep abort last year and don’t know why then we can blood sample 6-8 ewes and check for evidence of infection due to enzootic abortion or toxoplasmosis. The lab charges will be subsidised by MSD.