June 2019

With the welcome rain and the grass starting to grow after the majority of stock is now thankfully outside. In practice news, we have unfortunately said goodbye to Andrew Doull who has decided to move back up to his home town of Glasgow.  We are currently in the process of looking for a replacement and hope to find someone in the next few weeks.

Although clinical work may be slowing down for the summer TB testing will form a major part of our workload over the next few months with all herds in the zone from the breakdown in the Ulverston area being due for their 6-month check test.  With cattle now outside some of these tests are likely to take a bit longer but we anticipate that we will get them all done within the allocated time frame.  If you have a specific date that you would prefer to have your test done then give us a ring as soon as possible to book your day and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Thankfully the tests we have done so far are clear, although there is 1 animal in the practice area that needs to be re-tested.  There are also problems in the Newby Bridge/Cartmel Fell area where we have been doing some work but hope that it doesn’t spread further.


Health problems to look out for this month include scour in lambs, caused by either Nematodirus or coccidiosis.  Giving the correct treatment will depend on getting the correct diagnosis.  Nematodirus forecast is predicted to be higher than usual with the recent wet weather.  Obviously, if lambs start scouring then blowfly strike is also likely to be a concern with cases having been reported nationwide.  Flies can also cause problems in cattle causing distress, New Forest Eye and mastitis.   Control is best achieved by keeping stock clean and dry (regularly tailing sheep out) and grazing cattle in areas away from standing water and trees.

Health Plans

Quite a lot of you are having FABBL inspections and need your health plan updated. It also requires an antibiotic report which we can print off for you.  This lists all the antibiotics you have had in the last 12 months, but bear in mind this can take us a bit of time to do.  Please contact us as soon as you know you are due an inspection,  we are not able to get everything done and ready the same day.  We also have to certify that we have been on your farm and seen the livestock so in most cases will mean us coming out.  You can use this as a chance to discuss problems with your cattle and sheep and how you can make improvements, rather than a tick box exercise to comply with requirements; in that way, you will get much more benefit from it.

Medicine storage facilities are one area that should be considered, with particular concern being expressed about vaccine storage. A report of farm fridges found that none were keeping the vaccines at the correct temperature.  The same report states that 31% of vaccines given to farm animals were given at the incorrect site.  If you spend money on vaccine then please ensure you store it and use it correctly otherwise you have wasted your time and money.

Vaccinations and supplies

Getting supplies of drugs continues to sporadically cause problems.  The shortage of local anaesthetic that we experienced earlier in the spring seems to have eased and we now have some in stock if you need any for disbudding calves.

Leptavoid H—leptospira vaccine for your cows is still unavailable, with there being a global shortage, and we still don’t know when it is likely to be back on the market.  We have a list of farmers needing it and if you want to be added onto the list give us a ring.

Huskvac, to protect your calves against lungworm is still available.  If you have any calves you want to turn out this summer then we can get some vaccine in for you– they need to be 8 weeks old when they are given their first dose.

Sheep abortion vaccines are now available for this year to protect your sheep against enzootic abortion and toxoplasma.  These come in 20 and 50 doses and we need to order them in for you.  Toxovax is only delivered once a week and needs to be ordered at least 1 week before you want it so ensure you give us enough notice.  Both vaccines need to be given 1 month before tupping