Microsoft word - newsletter.april13.docx

12 Swannington Road, Broughton Astley, Leics, LE9 6TU Tel: 01455 282512 Elizabethan House, Leicester Rd, Lutterworth, Leics, LE17 4NJ Tel: 01455 552117 March has seen our first confirmed cases of severe congenital abnormalities due to Schmallenberg in newborn calves. The most common abnormalities include twisted necks, twisted spine, fixed/fused flexed front and back legs, a dome skull and a short jaw. The affected calves will be from cows infected 5 to 7 months earlier with infection occurring between 70 and 120 days of pregnancy. The mothers in the cases we have seen have not displayed any sign of illness prior to calving. Therefore, if early March saw the first cases of malformed ‘SBV’ calves, we are likely to continue to see more cases in the next month, after which, cases should rapidly decline (the disease is spread by midges and so active spread would have declined significantly later last year). Please be aware of the possibility of malformed ‘SBV’ calves when calving cows over the coming month. The abnormalities described and that we have seen make natural unassisted calving very difficult and often impossible with extensive intervention often required. If in doubt, please call us. Magnesium deficiency, i.e. grass staggers, is still a significant cause of death in cattle during the early spring period. The disease is difficult to treat as onset of symptoms is generally very rapid and often the earliest indication of a magnesium problem is a dead animal. Given this, preventative strategies must be used to minimise the risk, such as:- 1- Provide magnesium to cattle prior to the spring grass flush 2- Try to bring animals in at night for the first week, especially in cold, wet and windy 3- Reduce silage and any concentrate feeding gradually in the run-up to turn-out. 4- Delay the use of potassium rich fertilisers until later in the year. 5- Watch out for poor weather – staggers cases increase dramatically on wet, windy 6- Consider a belt and braces approach to magnesium supplementation – use a bolus The only effective means of giving each individual animal a guaranteed supply of magnesium during the high risk period is by using Rumbul magnesium bullets. These boluses are given 2-3 days prior to turn-out for cows. The boluses last 28 days in cattle and will provide a consistent supply of magnesium, every minute of every day during their active life. It does not pay to run the risk of losing cows – start thinking about staggers now. 12 Swannington Road, Broughton Astley, Leics, LE9 6TU Tel: 01455 282512 Elizabethan House, Leicester Rd, Lutterworth, Leics, LE17 4NJ Tel: 01455 552117 The AHVLA Veterinary Laboratories have reported increased numbers of post-mortems on calves that have died with abomasal (stomach) ulcers and bloat after being fed milk replacer once daily only. European legal requirements require that calves are fed twice daily in the first month of life. Both of these feeds should be liquid feeds as they will not be eating sufficient concentrates at this age. Maximising growth of calves in the first few weeks of life is key to ensuring cattle reach their potential and pay back the cost of rearing them. Studies show that heifers with a higher growth rate between 10 and 65 days of age give more milk in the first 305 days of their first lactation. In November 2012 the European Commission banned the use of the straight flukicide. products containing triclabendazole, clorsulon, rafoxanide and nitroxynil in animals producing milk for human consumption, even during the dry period. Therefore ‘Trodax’ is no longer approved for use at drying off. ‘Fasinex 240- 24%’ has been granted a variation approval that allows it to continue to be used in dairy cattle but it cannot be used within 48 days of calving. Products containing albendazole (‘Endospec’) and oxyclozanide (‘Douvistome’) remain unaffected by this change in status. We are holding an on farm meeting for all sheep farmers on Wednesday the 8th May, at Park Farm, Swinford with kind permission of the Gowling family. We intend to present several topics at the meeting including advice on worm control policies, anthelmintic resistance, and faecal egg counting, the use of the new wormer “Startec” and also hope to have support and contributions from Zoetis Animal Health, the National Sheep Association (NSA) and EBLEX. Invites with more details will follow in due course. Please call the surgery at Lutterworth if you wish to reserve a place at this meeting.


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