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Newsletter February 2016

As we get ready for another spring we have a new member of staff in the office with Hayley Fell taking over from Fiona Patterson who has had a baby boy on 1st February, both mother and son are doing well. Hayley has worked in a veterinary practice before so has some knowledge about different problems, but will have to get used to the way the system works here. As the workload increases over the next couple of months we would be grateful if you could telephone drug orders through before you call to collect them. This will allow us to make sure they are in stock, get authorisation from a vet before they are dispensed and have them labeled up and ready for you.

We also want to remind you that all drugs can only be legally prescribed to animals under our care, which means that we must have been on your farm recently beforewe can prescribe them.


Lungworm

LUNGWORM was a major problem on a number of farms last autumn, with  several dairy cows dying as a result of the secondary infection/damage caused.  Most of these cows had not been vaccinated so were susceptible to picking up lungworm infection when at pasture.  In order to prevent problems in future years, you should consider vaccinating replacement heifers to provide some protection.  Calves can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age, with a second dose being required 4 weeks after the first.
They can then be turned out to pasture 2 weeks after the second dose.  During their first grazing season we need to be sure that the calves are exposed to infection as it is this natural exposure post vaccination that will give them their lifelong immunity.  It is therefore essential that you consider your worming regime during this first grazing season particularly for heifers that graze land away from home.  Using boluses or long-acting worm treatments does not expose the calf to lungworm and so does not boost their immunity,  so vaccinating may well have been wasted.
If you want to vaccinate calves to help prevent lungworm then it would be worth discussing your worming protocol with us so we can best advise you on the way forward.   We order vaccine (which comes in individual doses and is given orally to each calf) according to how many calves you want to protect as it has a limited shelf life, and it will generally arrive the next working day.  We will automatically order the second dose to arrive 4 weeks later.


Sheep

We have diagnosed both liver fluke and sheep scab on a number of farms recently.  Both infections will have a detrimental effect on the health and welfare of your flock and will require treatment as soon as possible.  Be sure that if your sheep are itchy then you know whether they have lice or scab so you treat them with the correct product.
Following the wet weather through November to January then fluke is a potential problem again this spring, with both adult and immature fluke being seen in some sheep that we have examined post mortem.  If  you are concerned about fluke problems in your flock, then we are happy to discuss it with you, providing independent advice about appropriate testing and treatment.  One quick way for you to check is to inspect the liver of any sheep which die to check for evidence of fluke—we are happy to do this for you if necessary.

Remember if you have any abortions we need both placenta and foetus to give the best chance of getting a diagnosis


We have been advised by MSD Animal Health that there are no problems with Scabivax this year, however, we do recommend that you place your orders as soon as possible to ensure you get the quantity you require.

Lectade plus, oral rehydration fluid for scouring calves is now in stock again, having been  unavailable for the past few months.


Rotavec corona vaccine is also available to give your cows 1-3 months before calving to provide antibodies to the calf to help prevent scour.

BVD and leptospirosis boosters for a lot of herds are done in spring before turnout—orders can now be taken, remembering that replacements may well need 2 doses if not previously vaccinated.

Microchipping for all dogs, including farm dogs becomes a legal requirement on 1st April 2016.  We are able to microchip your dogs next time we are there as long as you ask us!