News From FarmVets SouthWest

Farm Vets South West April Newsletter

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Newsletter April 2011


Price and Product Changes 

Þ Marbocyl 10% 100ml bottle is now £10 cheaper


Þ We are now stocking a new equivalent Nuflor product -KEFLORIL– it does exactly the same job and is £25 per 250 ml bottle cheaper.


Þ We now have an alternative to Excenel RTU called Ceftiocyl, it is £7 per 100 ml bottle cheaper.


Þ The Spring offer on BVD and lepto vaccine is still running but only until April 30th. Avail yourselves of it this month before the offer runs out. 


On the above products we believe we are the cheapest distributor locally, possibly nationally.  We hope that in these times of ever rising costs that you appreciate we are trying to keep a downward pressure on our medicine prices.    

Bank Holidays


During April we are plagued with bank holidays.  Please book your TB tests in well in advance of the due by date.  As always we will do our best to give you the dates and times you would like but we are very busy trying to get everybody done before turn out.

Thank you

Rick’s piece on hot water has been commented on more than any other newsletter article.

Thank you for responding with more hot water.  It does make washing down a lot faster and that is all to the good during a busy spring. 


Say it quietly but this spring is certainly looking better than the last and silaging may come early for some. 

The usual time for silaging is a compromise between digestibility(falling) and sugar content (rising). Early cuts can be lower in sugar and may not ferment as well leading to butyric silage.  It is worth taking grass samples to see if it advisable to use an additive and what additive to use. 

Lameness Visits


Our new vet Eoghan is undertaking his first few lameness advisory visits.  We all know the impact lameness can have on profitability and in order to promote Eoghan’s good work we are currently offering a 50% discount on these visits.

A well thought out and implemented lameness control programme will always go down well with milk- buyers, the supermarkets and the general public.  I’m sure the cows would be pretty keen too.     

 SWHLI and Johne’s

We will soon be running Johne’s and BVD awareness meetings as the first step for the South West Healthy Livestock Initiative programmes.  Invites will be sent out but please also register your interest by contacting one of our offices.  A separate Johne’s meeting will be organised for Suckler and Dairy clients but the BVD one will be combined.  In order to qualify for the 70% funding for the visits and also funding for blood/milk tests you will have to attend these awareness meetings.

 Some milk buyers are providing the 30% funding that farmers normally pay, contact your milk buyer to find out what they are doing to support this programme.  However, the milk buyers that are involved are not part of the programme and will not be given any details about test results or control programmes, they will simply be aware that you have enrolled.

 Johne’s is a big but fairly silent problem at the moment and bulk tank testing is not very sensitive. A lot of cows that are positive for Johne’s get culled for other reasons e.g. high cell counts, infertility, poor production, lameness and poor response after surgery for LDAs.  If you have bought cattle in the last 10 years of have had an animal test positive for Johne’s then we would strongly advise you to come to an awareness meeting.     

  Strep uberis at Pasture

Infections picked up during the dry period result in low cell count cows at drying off calving in with high cell counts.  This is a pretty obvious but we also see increased numbers of cows that were high at drying off calving in with high cell counts, this is not usually due to failure of dry cow therapy to clear existing infections.  Cows may clear an existing infection at the start of the dry period only to become re-infected at the end. 

Generally, we would expect that this sort of thing to die away when cows go out to grass but this isn’t always what happens.  Strep uberis can build up in dry cow paddocks especially during hot weather where there is shade and cows congregate.

Strep uberis can be kept under control by rotating dry cow pastures.  Using three paddocks on a “two weeks in and four weeks out” rotation will help keep strep uberis populations under control since it cannot survive outside the cow for four weeks.   

 Avoiding Milk Fever at Pasture


Þ Stock paddocks at least 7-12 cows per hectare or more to keep sward height less than 7cms.

Þ Top fields if necessary to keep grass down (it’s amazing how much grass is in a “bare” field)

Þ Straw or dry cow TMR should be used to allow the cows to fill their bellies (please get some advice from us first)

Þ Fields set aside for dry cows paddocks should not be heavily slurried or potash-ed.

Þ If there are no water courses then mag chloride can be added to troughs

Þ Meadow fescue and Timothy are less likely to cause milk fever than Ryegrass