We are pleased to welcome 2 more vets to join the practice team, Charli Lloyd and Fraser Hudson. Charli comes from Herefordshire and she has recently qualified from Liverpool University. Fraser heralds from Yorkshire and he has just qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in London. Both are looking forward to starting work and we hope that as usual, you will all make them feel welcome.
We are still struggling to get intramammary tubes for the treatment of mastitis in cows, with a number of you still eagerly awaiting the return of Tetra Delta tubes – we still have no definite date for their return to the market. Deciding which tube to use in its place would be best done by finding out which bug is causing mastitis in the first place. This can be done by taking a sterile sample from a cow as soon as she shows signs and then this can be sent to the lab for identification. The sample must be taken as hygienically as possible, into a sterile pot which we can supply. It is no good in a washed jampot or a pot with preservative as you will not get a useful result. It can be stored in the freezer after collection (having put the identity of the cow and the date on it) until you can get it to us. By identifying which bacteria are causing the problem we can advise you the most likely source of the infection and how you can reduce the risk of further cases. This will help you reduce antibiotic use so helping meet the standards being increasingly required for Farm Assurance. As well as identifying the bacteria the lab can also tell us which antibiotics will kill it, so targeting your treatment more effectively.
There have been a number of farms having problems with scour, ill thrift and death in lambs. Areas to consider include pasture quality, parasite burden (worms or coccidia), mineral deficiency and infectious diseases ( Pasteurella or clostridial disease). Post mortem examination of any fresh dead lambs will help us determine if there is evidence of infectious disease and a faeces sample will tell us if you have a worm or coccidia problem. Whilst you may object to paying £10-20 for a worm egg count, it is certainly a lot cheaper than dosing all your lambs if they don’t have a problem, or using a drug that doesn’t work properly. We are continuing to see suspicion of worm resistance to different products on farms and encourage you to check for it if you think the dose isn’t working rather than just change to a different product. Consider if the lambs are getting the correct dose – have you weighed them or assessed the weight accurately? Are you dosing for the heaviest animals in the group? Is your gun delivering the volume of medicine that it should be?
Remember the 2 new groups of wormer on the market that can be used as a late-season worm drench for lambs to remove worms resistant to the other groups if you have them. These should also be used on any replacement sheep you are bringing onto your farm to reduce the chances of them introducing resistant worms.
Abortion vaccines are now available to be ordered. They should be given at least 4 weeks before you put the tups in. Enzovax can be ordered from the wholesaler and should be with us the next working day, Toxovax must be ordered direct from the manufacturer and usually takes 1-2 weeks to arrive.
With the breeding season approaching don’t forget to look at your tups—check their feet, teeth and testicles. If there are any you think didn’t work properly last year then it would be worth bringing them in for a fertility examination. This involves taking a semen sample and then we can let you know if he is up to the job.