Newsletter June 2015

Please remember to telephone any drug requirements before you call to collect them, allowing us time to check with a vet that they can be dispensed, and get them labelled and ready for you. For those of you who collect drugs from Churchwalk—we are still able to offer this facility, although from July Heather will no longer be going to Ulverston on a daily basis. This means that we cannot guarantee that any ordered drugs will be available for collection at 9am the following day. We should, however, be able to take drugs to Churchwalk 2 or 3 times a week.

Cattle Fertility

CATTLE fertility is an important issue to consider, in both the dairy and suckler herd, with cows failing to get in calf being culled and so costing you money. Preparation for pregnancy should begin in the dry period, ensuring that nutrition is adequate and the cow maintains body condition, without getting too fat. Any cow which has a problem at calving, which includes milk fever, requiring assistance to calve or has a retained cleansing will have more difficulty in conceiving. Some of these cows may present with ‘whites’ but many will not show any signs. It is worth having us fertility check these problem cow 4-6 weeks after calving as the sooner any treatment is implemented the greater chance you have of getting her back in calf.

Increasing numbers of dairy farmers are doing 30 cow screens for Johnes disease on individual milk samples. We are happy to continue to receive a copy of your results and offer you advice to help reduce the levels on infection on your farm.

There has a been a further tightening of the regulations regarding casualty or on farm slaughter of animals that can go into the food chain. The individual animal must have met with an injury or accident in the previous 24 hours and have no medicines (including wormer or dry cow tubes) present in its system as before. However we now have to be on farm and sign the certificate when the animal is slaughtered or the vet at the abattoir may refuse to accept it, resulting in it being skipped. This will require more coordination, or a second visit so we are there at the same time as the slaughterman.


As with other years there is an opportunity to blood sample ewes to check for levels of antibody to enzootic abortion and toxoplasmosis, the 2 main causes of abortion in sheep. The lab charges will be covered by MSD Animal Health, you will only be liable to pay for taking and posting the blood samples. This testing is worth considering if you had problems with geld ewes, sheep aborting or weakly sickly lambs this spring. The results will help tell you if either bug is the cause of the problem and if you should consider vaccinating your ewes. Vaccines are available for both diseases and sheep should be vaccinated at least 4 weeks before you let the tup go. Once vaccinated sheep should be protected for 3 years. As toxoplasma vaccine has a limited shelf life then we only order it as required and it can take 1-2 weeks to arrive, although we can order it now for delivery in August or September. Please place your order as soon as possible so that you have enough vaccine to meet your requirements.


Are you aware that from 1st April 2016 there is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped, including working dogs? Are you ready for the new regulations and have you got your dogs microchipped?