News From FarmVets SouthWest

June 2010 Newsletter

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Farm Vets South West June 2010 Newsletter

Congratulations to David Haywood of Dunpole Farm for achieving the highest ever price for a dropped calf at Sedgemoor Market.             

Metacam Meeting

Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend our recent Farm Vets  South West meeting on the use of METACAM in conjunction with antibiotics for the treatment of clinical mastitis. At a busy time of year for field work we had over 60 people attend. For those who missed the evening, here's a summary.

Mark Bryan (a Vet) carried out a trial on 727 cows with mastitis on 15 farms across New Zealand. Each mastitic cow was given one shot of Metacam 10% (15mls s/c for 600Kg cow), in conjunction with injectable antibiotics (Mamyzin), when the farmer diagnosed a case of mastitis. The main results were a significant reduction in somatic cell counts of approx. 166,000 compared to cows that received antibiotics alone. Very importantly, the treated cows had reduction in cull rate of 42%.

To help those willing to try this there is a deal available; buy 100mls Metacam and receive 50mls free of charge. Therefore, to treat a 600Kg cow with 15mls is £8.23 (terms apply).                                   

Offers and Price Changes

Multiject IMM tubes now £36 per box of 24

Cepravin Dry Cow 160 tube box reduced by £15

Fenflor (Nuflor) 100ml bottle reduced by £10          

Orbeseal 120 tube box reduced by £5

The offers are open to premium clients— terms and conditions apply                      

 Grazing Required

Local farmer requires 20/30 acres of grazing in Taunton area for pedigree flock of sheep, from Autumn. Please ring 07771 162 786 if you can help.

Long Lasting Effect of Colostrum

It has been shown that feeding 4 litres instead of 2 litres of colostrum as a first feed leads to increased milk yield in the first two lactations. Calves were split into 2 groups, one fed 4 litres and one fed 2 litres of colostrum, all within an hour of birth. These calves were then subject to identical management for the next few years, at the end of their second lactation, and the group fed 4 litres of colostrum produced an extra 550 litres of milk in total.                                                                                                                

Jargon Busting: Fertility

Vagina - If you are not old enough to know what this is, then you are not old enough for me to explain it.

Cervix - This is the junction that protects and seals the uterus. It relaxes at bulling to allow semen (and AI rods) to pass and then shuts tight afterwards.

Uterus - Also known as the womb, this is where the calf develops. Just in front of the cervix it splits into two "horns" each with an ovary at the end. It grows from about a finger width to something big enough to hold a fully developed calf in and back again.

Ovary - This structure produces the follicles and CLs (see below). It is controlled by hormones from the brain.

Follicle- This is a fluid filled sac that is seen on the ovary which varies in size from a few millimetres to about 1.5 cms at most. It contains the egg which is released during bulling to be fertilised. It releases the hormone, oestrogen, which makes the cow show the signs of heat.

CL - Short for Corpus luteum. After the egg is released the cells that formed the wall of the follicle multiply to form a small ball of tissue and this is the CL. It produces a hormone, progesterone, which stops the cow coming into heat and also maintains pregnancy. In non-pregnant cows it disappears after 17-18 days allowing the cow to return to heat. In pregnant cows it stays around for the whole nine months.

 Anoestrous: It means that the cow's reproductive system is completely shut down. This occurs for a short period after calving, during illness or severe dietary energy shortage.

Cyst - On occasions the follicle does not release the egg on time and just keeps growing, this is a cyst. If the cyst produces oestrogen then cows come bulling every three or four days. If it does not then they become non-bullers.

Pyometra - Also called a "pyo", this means that the uterus is full of pus. It is usually present with a tightly closed cervix effectively making it like an abscess. There is normally a persistent CL at the same time. It is treated with Estrumate and a wash out.

Metritis - Deep infection of the uterus with a stinking red/brown discharge. Treated with injectable antibiotics.

Whites -Technical term is endometritis. It is an infection of the inner lining of the uterus normally treated with a washout.

Estrumate -This is an injectable drug used to break down CLs and bring cows back into heat early. It will cause pregnant cows to abort or calve early.

Receptal - Another injectable drug, this mimics a brain hormone and causes follicles to develop and release an egg. Also helps to treat cysts by causing them to develop into CLs.

PRID/CIDR: These are plastic devices containing progesterone that are placed in the vagina for 7-12 days. When they are removed the sudden drop in progesterone helps kick start the ovaries back into action.

Washout -This involves passing a tube through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus and syringing antibiotics directly into the womb. Metricure is the only licensed product.

Synchronising - Using hormones (Estrumate, Receptal, PRIDS etc) to get cows to come into heat at a fixed time. A useful management tool. 

Signs of Heat

In the last Farm Vets South West news letter we asked you to rank the most reliable signs of heat for timing AI based on marks from 0-100 with 0 being unreliable and 100 being most reliable.

The results are opposite, what is most surprising is that bulling string has only a 3 point score. Normal bulling string may seen 2 days before or after heat. Obviously, standing heats are most reliable but are a rarer event these days. 90% of the cause of weak heats are nutritional, usually associated with a lack of dietary energy. 

Sniffing/Licking                       10

 Jumping others                       35

 Bulling string                            3

 Resting chin on others            15

 Standing heat                          100

 Jumping the head of others    100

 Being Jumped                           10

 Restlessness                              5