Fluke for Thought…

Fluke commo2015-01-24 19 36 30nly affects cattle and sheep especially after a wet spell in the summer.  They may also have picked it up previously if animals have been bought in and not treated at quarantine.  Some of you may have seen acute fluke in late summer/autumn (signs ranging from dullness to – very rarely in cattle – death). In winter and spring we often see signs of chronic fluke (weight loss, diarrhoea and sometimes bottle jaw).

 

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Good transition management includes proactive care for twin-bearing cows – Livestock Matters, Winter 2014/2015

Will’s article for XL Vets magazine ‘Livestock Matters’ regarding managing cows carrying twins is now available – you can download it here. Continue reading

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Seasonal Calving Discussion Group – Reproductive KPIs

In order to better serve our seasonal calving dairy clients we have started a specific discussion group – the first meeting of which was on Wednesday 21st January.

The aim of this initial meeting was to refresh ourselves on why these systems are profitable, how this is influenced by tight fertility and to have a look at what some of the reproductive KPIs actually mean. Continue reading

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Trace Elements for Spring Calving Dairy and Beef Cows

Our routine blood samples we found widespread iodine deficiency as well as some low selenium levels in some areas, especially on chalk and on Salisbury Plain. The symptoms of deficiencies can be poor calf viability for iodine, anaemia and weak calves for cobalt and poor fertility for selenium and copper. Continue reading

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Leptospirosis

Our philosophy regarding vaccination at Endell Vet Group is that when you start there should be clear evidence as to the benefits your herd will see together with a clear path to disease freedom and the cessation of vaccination (if appropriate for your herd) – however Leptospirosis is a disease against which we commonly vaccinate from which a clear path to cessation is difficult to plan.

In the last ten years clinical Leptospirosis has become a relatively rare disease with a number of the vets in our practice most likely having never seen it. This is reflected in the VIDA (Veterinary Investigation Diagnosis Analysis) data supplied by the APHA and Scotland’s Rural College for diagnoses made in Great Britain (Figure 1), which shows in 2013 there were only two diagnoses made for clinical Leptospirosis (it is worth mentioning here that classically endemic disease is under-reported, but given the dramatic decline in diagnoses since 2007 this is likely reflects a true decrease in the incidence).

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Presentations from our “Giving Calves the Best Start” Meeting, 3rd December 2014

Following on from feedback from the calf rearing meeting we held earlier in the month please find the presentations from Sarah Bolt (DairyCo) on calf nutrition, Peter Plate (EVG) on metabolic programming and Jim Willshire (EVG) on milk replacers below:

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Dairy Heifer Weigh Band Conversion Tool

During our recent “Giving Calves the Best Start” meeting we discussed the use of a weigh band to determine calf weights, as a result of the demand for a conversion tool we have put together a calculator based on the work by Heinrichs et al. (2007).

This Excel based converter can be used to easily determine the mass of a HolxFr heifer based on the heart girth measurement in cm (easily determined using a standard weigh band or piece of string!) and is more accurate than using the weight provided by the band directly. Continue reading

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GUEST POST: Focus on the next generation (Sarah Bolt – DairyCo Extension Officer – Devon)

Following on from Sarah’s great presentation at our Dairy Discussion Group she has kindly put together the following summary:

Successful dairy farmers recognise the importance of heifer rearing as an investment for the future of their dairy business. Accounting for just over 10% of milk production costs, herd replacements costs average over 3ppl. Improving performance of heifer rearing will therefore have a considerable effect on dairy business profitability. With 14% of heifer calves not surviving to first calving, losses remain significant; however, improvements can be made.

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Heat Stress and Twins

In this article we review the effects of heat stress on both milk and reproductive performance together with a warning for increasing numbers of twins to be expected…

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As this summer continues to stretch on, heat stress may have been a factor on dairy herds in the practice area for a number of months – but what exactly is heat stress and what are the long-term effects?

Heat stress is quantified using the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) (the combination of temperature and relative humidity (RH)) and can occur in our humid climate from 22°C if we have very high RH, this is compounded by the large amounts of heat generated by a cow in milk (1.4kW/d for cows producing 30L) and her poor ability to sweat (roughly 10% of a human’s capacity). Figure 1 illustrates the THI.

 

 

 

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Endell’s People – Hannah Bradon

HannahWhy did you get into the profession?
My childhood dream was becoming a farmer and I spent a lot of time in my wellies! This led me to aspirations of becoming a farm animal vet in my early teens. I have always been an outdoorsy type and enjoyed all of my veterinary work experience placements whilst at school. Once I had my mind set on this career I couldn’t think of any other job I would rather be doing – and I still feel that way!

Where have you worked before?
This is my first veterinary job since qualifying from university. Previous jobs before my student days include working on a hobby farm, coffee shop assistant, supervisor in the co-op and a dance teacher!

 

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