Following the decision of Christopher Smith to move on to work in small animal practice with less out of hours work we are pleased to welcome 2 new vets to the team—Conor Reilly, originally from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland has just graduated from Glasgow University and George Quint has moved here from Somerset after graduating from Nottingham. We look forward to working with them and hope they will soon find their way around the area and continue to provide you with a satisfactory service.
Sheep abortion vaccine needs to be ordered to protect your replacement ewes against toxoplasma and enzootic abortion. They can be vaccinated up to 4 months before tupping but must be done at least 1 month before you let the tups in. Ewe lambs can be vaccinated from 5 months old. ENZOVAX is only available in 10 dose and 20 dose vials this year (there is no 50 doses) and so far there has been no problems in getting it, with any orders received being delivered the next day. However, as the season progresses availability may become more of a problem. TOXOVAX is available in both 20 dose and 50 dose bottles, and can take 7—10 days to come once the order is placed. The shelf life is much shorter than enzovax, and will usually need to be used within 10 days of delivery. We have been advised by the manufacturer that production of toxovax is likely to reach maximum capacity in September and there is the possibility that they may not be able to process all orders received. We would, therefore, recommend that you order your sheep vaccine as soon as possible. It would be better to vaccinate your sheep 8 weeks before tupping rather than not be able to get it in time or not at all. Please telephone the surgery and we can get it ordered for you.
Don’t forget to prepare your tups for the working season, checking teeth, toes and testicles. If you have any doubts regarding their capability to work we can check them over, including taking a semen sample to assess fertility levels.
The wet weather this summer is likely to lead to increased levels of parasitic disease in both cattle and sheep. Peak worm levels for sheep are likely to occur in July and August and high challenge can be avoided by grazing lambs on hay or silage aftermaths not grazed by sheep this year, or lambs last year. If you are moving lambs onto these pastures then it is worth delaying the move after treatment to reduce the risk of resistance developing in the worm population. Remember there are 2 new classes of wormer licensed for use in sheep – if you are considering using them then give us a call to get some independent advice first.
Worm problems in cattle can reach peak levels in August and September and again levels of infection can be reduced by moving to hay or silage aftermaths not grazed by calves last year. As well as being affected by scour due to gut worms cattle are at risk from lungworm, which can affect non-immune older cattle as well as first-year grazing animals. Affected animals will develop a cough as well as have a difficulty breathing and a faster respiratory rate. Lungworm can affect first season grazing cattle, as well as older cattle so your milk cows can also pick it up.
On a different note, Jack has performed a blood transfusion on a dog in the last month. Patch was suffering from immune-mediated anaemia so her blood count had fallen to a dangerously low level. She is seen here on the table waiting for the 400mls of blood that had been donated by Paddy who is looking up at her. The blood perked her up giving the medication a chance to work, and hopefully, she will continue to improve so we have a successful outcome.