News From FarmVets SouthWest

August Newsletter from FarmVets SouthWest

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Newsletter August 2011 Farm Vets South West

Honiton Show

FVSW have a stand at the Honiton show this year which Maggie and Sue will be attending so please be aware that our branch office at Stopgate Cross, Yarcombe will be closed that day (August 4th). The opening times for the Bridgwater and Ilminster offices and veterinary services for all branches will be as normal. If you do ring the Yarcombe number you will automatically be diverted through to one of the other offices.  Please drop by to see us if you are at the show, we are at stand 132, avenue B near the cattle ring.    

Goodbye to Joe 

Joe’s itchy feet have got the better of him and he is off to work and travel around Australia. We would like to thank Joe for all his hard work while he has been with us and we wish him all the best for the future. 

Mastitis Lab 

We now have another mastitis lab set up at Stopgate Cross, Yarcombe to complement the one at Bridgwater.  We hope this will prove more convenient for Yarcombe and Ilminster clients.  As ever, we aim to get results to you within 24 hours of receiving the sample, so that appropriate treatment can be suggested whilst the cow is still under treatment. Sometimes 48 hours are needed before a diagnosis can be reached but we aim to let you know if this is the case.

We have grown plenty of the usual suspects of late e.g. e.coli and strep uberis and also a few more unusual ones such as strep dysgalactiae and klebsiella. Klebsiella is a coliform organism (e.coli—like) and is normally associated with acute swollen quarters like e.coli but on one occasion we isolated it from a cow with a chronic high cell count problem.  It was present in pure culture (the only bug that grew) on three samples taken from 3 consecutive milkings.  The technique of sampling from consecutive milkings increases the chance of identifying the cause of high cell counts in individual cows.    

Get Ready for Winter 

You may think that we are a bit previous but now is the time to plan your strategy for CALF PNEUMONIA this winter.  The effective treatment is prevention and, therefore, the use of vaccines is recommended.

The injectable vaccines give the widest and most long lived cover but due to a four week gap between injections plus a further 2 weeks to “kick-in” you need to be starting at least 6 weeks ahead of periods of stress weaning/marketing/housing etc.  Thus, the need to plan now.

We have had considerable success with Bovipast RSP in the last few winters. Bovipast RSP covers for the 2 most important pneumonia viruses, RSV and PI3, it also provides cover against the “killer” bug   responsible for most of the lung damage that occurs, Pasturella. Calves need 2 doses to complete a course.

As an early season offer through August to October we are selling Bovipast RSP at £4.50 per dose (£45 for a 10 dose bottle). 

Deep Uterine Washouts 

We recently introduced a new treatment for repeat breeders and chronically dirty cows called Deep Uterine Washouts.   This involves using a special catheter with an inflatable cuff on the end which is passed through the cervix and down each horn of the uterus.  Once in position the cuff is inflated and the horn flushed with saline until it runs clear. Finally, an antibiotic (metricure) is injected down the catheter.  This is repeated with the other horn. 

This treatments has worked well on repeat breeders so far with 30% of treated cows getting pregnant within the first 30 days after treatment. The reason that this treatment works so well is that one of the most common causes of  repeat breeders is chronic low-grade endometritis.  Some of these cows appear clean on ultrasound examination and have clean bulling string..  Of those cows treated for chronic   endometritis (at least 3 syringes of metricure used on separate occasions without success) 75% were clean at the next check with improvement in the severity of endometritis in over 95%. 

Deep Washouts are also sometimes used before implanting a repeat breeder embryo to maximise the chance of success.  Embryos are implanted 7 days after a service and can implant and grow themselves or even just increase the signal to the cow that she is pregnant so that the cows’ own embryo survives.  The cost of a implanting a repeat breeder embryo is £50 per cows plus another £50 if the implant is successful i.e. the cow is in calf to the embryo or previous service. 

Monitoring Your Dairy Herd 

For those dairy clients who milk record we can, with your permission, access your results and run them through out InterHerd Plus computer programme to assess how your herd is performing.  We have made our own standard reports (Feed Check, Cell Count Check and Fertility Check) which can be generated in a short two page format (Quick Check) or in a more detailed form if needed.

The QuickCheck reports are designed to be easier to understand than longer reports and your regular vet can bring them to the routine visit to discuss the performance of your herd.        

Bull Testing

Nationally, around 40% of bulls are sub-fertile.  This does not mean that these bulls do not get cows in calf but that they don’t get them back in calf as quickly. If this happens the calving season extends and an extended calving pattern is associated with increased calf disease e.g. scours.  This reduces the weaned weight of calf produced per cow per year.  For suckler cows this is the key figure for farm income.

As part of the Bull Breeding Soundness Exam, we give them a full physical exam as well as collecting semen for microscopic examination.  We have a modern electro-ejaculator so that the bull can tested safely and securely whilst in a crush.

Ubro Yellow is Back

Ubro Yellow, formerly known as Leo Yellow, is now back in stock Ubro yellow contains framycetin (good for e.coli) and penethamate (good fro strep uberis).

 Ubro Yellow has a milk withhold of 132 hours so milk can go back in the tank at the 11th milking following treatment.

Rain and Milk Fever

Every time we have a dry summer, and so less grass, we tend to see fewer milk fevers.  Then, when the rain does come and the grass starts to shift we see cows going down with milk fever.

The prevailing wisdom on milk fever control at grass is that it is not possible but nature shows us that if grass intake is restricted we can dramatically reduce milk fever incidence at grass.

For information on effective grassland management to prevent milk fever please contact us.  It is interesting to see the grass growth figures for 2011, on average grass growth in July is the highest for the whole year.