August 2021 Newsletter
Normality is beginning to return to society with regard to COVID restrictions. We are fortunate that we have been able to run a near normal service all the way through. We ask that you remain respectful of social distancing when visiting the practice and when we are on farm. The ‘pingdemic’ is still rife and we really don’t want to be caught up with that!
Most of the drug shortages are now sorted but there are still a few glitches so please be mindful if ordering medicines that we may have to wait. The sooner you let us know you need them the easier it is to make sure we can supply, especially vaccinations and dry cow tubes etc.
It seems hard to believe that we can have a shortage of eye ointment in peak fly season! I have hopefully sourced enough to see us through. Please make sure all cattle have fly prevention treatment, either spot-on or tags. We have seen an awful lot of New Forest Eye in the past few weeks, cattle need prompt treatment to prevent deep ulceration and scarring. The pain of the ulcer will certainly cause loss of appetite and weight loss. The eye often looks to be getting worse in spite of treatment; in order to heal the defect on the cornea, new blood vessels need to migrate into the ulcer; this reddening of the eye is normal. As a rule of thumb, once the eye stops running and dries up the treatment can be stopped.
Sheep headfly are the main vector of Summer Mastitis. It is caused by a number of different bacteria, A. pyogenes, P. indolicus and S. dysgalactiae which act synergistically to cause disease. Both dairy and beef dry cows are most at risk during the summer months (late June-mid September). Mastitis in maiden heifers is not unheard of so ensure they are managed the same as the dry cows. Cases tend to be associated with “problem fields” next to wooded areas and/or high hedges. The mastitis is a particularly nasty infection that initially causes a swollen udder and can progress to systemic illness and potentially death. Treatment with antibiotics, possibly intramammary tubes and anti-inflammatories is generally successful in saving the cow but rarely the quarter. Milking cows that are dried off without antibiotics are particularly susceptible so care should be taken with these cows.
Spring calving herds should soon be considering getting their cows scanned for pregnancy. There are several benefits to having your herd scanned, including expected calving dates and identifying barren cows. The simplest approach is to scan 6 weeks after the bull is out. Scanning at housing is also an option to reduce handlings but still identify empty cows. These can be sold before taking up their share of winter housing & feed; however ageing the pregnancies will be much less accurate at this stage.
We will be running another DIY AI course for cattle at the beginning of September. If you would like more information or to put your name down then please let us know.