January 2021 Newsletter
I didn’t expect to find myself writing about another lockdown, but here we are. COVID certainly seems more real to me right now; in the last few days I have learnt of a good number of farmers that have tested positive, some of whom have been very unwell. We have managed to operate with a near normal service up till now. However, I am mindful that with the current surge in cases this could prove difficult if one of the team tests positive and has been in contact with a number of other members of staff. I ask you all to help protect us by socially distancing when we are visiting your farms and warning us of any symptoms you may have. We are happy to look at a sick cow in the crush single handed and ring for any discussion that is needed. Our reception team will be struggling somewhat over the next month or so with childcare issues etc., so I also ask you to be mindful when ordering supplies to allow us extra time to prepare your order where possible.
We have experienced an unprecedented number of stock supply issues over the past twelve months or so. Mastitis tubes has been a real issue and I am hopeful that we should see some products back over the next month or so. The big headache at the moment is IBR vaccine. This has also affected supply of Rispoval 4 as a component of this. The Live vaccine is currently unavailable but there is a small supply of inactivated available. If you have used Live in the past 6 months then you are able to use the inactivated vaccine for continued protection. Please make sure you do not go past 6 months from a IBR Live booster without speaking to us. I am mildly suspicious that veterinary vaccine manufacture is taking a back seat currently. We also have supply issues with Betamox injection. We have sourced an alternative Long acting preparation as the LA has been out of supply for some time; however, we now have issues with the short acting preparation. We are getting some Clamoxyl RTU through as a direct alternative but please be aware of the longer milk withhold. I often get asked, why so many supply issues? Well, I wish I knew the answer, I think the effect of Brexit is minimal, there will be some COVID issues with workforce availability/transport issues, but most of the issues seem to be around Raw Material supply/regulation. There is little we can do to ease that I guess. We are carrying way more stock than ever before to try and smooth the supply, but even that doesn’t seem to help!
Clostridial disease and Pasteurella are the most common cause of death in growing lambs. With tupping season now over for most, it is time to start thinking about a vaccination plan for ewes to protect them and their unborn lambs against these diseases. Clostridia are bacteria that can be found in soil or in the intestinal tract of sheep. Animals become infected by ingestion or contamination of wounds. Diseases caused by clostridia include braxy, pulpy kidney, black disease and lamb dysentery. Pasteurella are widespread bacteria that are often found in the respiratory tract of sheep without causing a problem. It becomes an issue as a secondary infection when the immune system is supressed. This is often triggered by stress from housing, transport, dipping or parasites. When infected, the bacteria invades the lungs causing pneumonia or sudden death. We highly recommend all breeding ewes to be on a Heptavac P programme. The vaccine protects the ewe and enables antibodies to be passed on to the lamb via colostrum, therefore giving passive immunity for the first few weeks of life until the young animal develops immunity of their own. Replacement ewes should receive a primary course of the vaccine with two doses given 4 weeks apart, the second dose being 4-6 weeks before lambing. Ewes that have been previously vaccinated only require a yearly booster given 4-6 weeks before lambing. Heptavac can also be given to lambs over 3 weeks of age.
We now have the option for you to pay by Direct Debit. If you would like to do this then please let us know.