We have unfortunately said goodbye to George Quint earlier this month as he has decided to go travelling and is currently in South America. A replacement has so far been difficult to find with quite a few people interested in either the balance of work or the geographical area but not when you put them together. Hopefully, we will have some better news to report shortly but it does seem to be an increasing problem in this area with a number of neighbouring practices also looking for another veterinary surgeon. It doesn’t seem to be limited to the veterinary world after hearing that St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston are unable to recruit a palliative care doctor.
The TB situation looks a little better this month with no more reactor animals having been found– we have only a few 6-month tests to complete in the zone around Ulverston which has been extended a little following the disclosure of reactor animals in June/July. As a reminder, you all have a limited time frame to complete your test, and there are only so many tests we can do in any given week so arranging your test as soon as possible is greatly appreciated. All cattle should be correctly identified and presented safely so there is no risk of injury to either person or animal. We are required to inform DEFRA where we are testing on any given day which allows them to turn up unannounced to either check ear tags on cattle or audit us as we are testing.
Farm assurance continues to be a major talking point in the industry, with the requirement to receive training on the appropriate use of drugs. This includes wormers and vaccines as well as antibiotics, how they are to be stored, what they are to be used for and what is the correct withdrawal period (how long before the animal can be slaughtered or the milk or eggs used for human consumption). There are a number of drugs that are specifically contraindicated which means if they are used then that animal may never be allowed to go in the food chain, or its milk put in the bulk tank. A good example is fluke treatments given to milk cows with most of the combination fluke and worm products not licensed to be used during lactation, and Trodax not allowed to be used either during lactation or in the dry period. Emphasis is being placed on what is licensed to be used rather than what can be found. With increasing research more residues can be found—there is now a Randox Infiniplix test that is capable of finding up to 50 different drugs in milk, including fluke treatments, anti-inflammatory products (Metacam) as well as a number of antibiotics that are not usually found on the delvo test some of you may already be using.
We are planning to provide training so you can comply with farm assurance requirements—we have a number of people who have expressed an interest but if anyone else wants to come then please give us a call and we will add your name to the list.
Ready for Action?
Are your tups ready for work? You can’t expect them to perform properly if they haven’t had some care and attention over the last few weeks. Remember to check their teeth, toes and testicles. If you have any concerns about his capabilities we can give him a health check as well as collecting a semen sample to make sure the sperm is of good quality.
We are still able to get sheep abortion vaccines for those of you wanting to tup a bit later—it needs to be given 4 weeks before the tups go in. Toxovax needs to be ordered direct from the manufacturer so will take 1-2 weeks to arrive, but Enzovax should be available the next day. If you still need some then give us a call.
With the weather having changed we are now seeing a few cases of staggers in suckler cows so buffer feeding is definitely recommended. There is also an increase in the number of calves with pneumonia—prompt treatment with the correct drugs is essential to give the calf the best chance of recovery.