Fluke commonly 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).
Will’s article for XL Vets magazine ‘Livestock Matters’ regarding managing cows carrying twins is now available – you can download it here. Continue reading
Posted in Dairy, TWS, Twins
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
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
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).
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:
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
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.
Why 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!