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REMINDERS

PRODUCTION ANIMALS

AUGUST 2017

Spring Protocols……Step by step instructions

We have three step by step protocols to guide you through the most troublesome of spring problems.

        • •Calving
  • •Down cows
  • •Calf scours

 

Calf rearing time is upon us again….

Apart from hygiene and the importance of making sure all your pens, feeding buckets, mixing equipment and any other equipment that comes into contact with the rearing shed is clean and disinfected on a regular basis; the other key to rearing good healthy calves is making sure they have a good feed of 1st milking colostrum as soon as they are born.

If we look at some of the statistics collected over the past 10 years we can see that even though this is the most basic well known principle, it still cannot be overstated or underestimated.

40% of farms have disease present - 25% of these have rotavirus and 15% have cryptosporidia.
Up to 50% of calves do not receive enough colostrum within the first 24 hours to give a good level of antibodies, and 24% of these haven’t had any colostrum at all before being picked up.

If you have gone to the trouble and expense of vaccinating the herd, the only way the antibodies can be transferred to the calf is via colostrum, the best of which comes from the first milking. Studies have shown that 2 litres of this first colostrum, received within 8 hours, gives the best result in terms of raising the antibody levels in the calf to a level sufficient to allow it to fight a disease challenge.
A good feed of quality colostrum along with good environmental hygiene will give the calf the best chance of reaching target weights as a heifer and becoming a valuable part of the productive herd.

For any questions about rearing your calves come see the team at VE Vets

 

Metrichecking
After calving, the uterus of many cows will be contaminated with bacteria. Many are able to clear the bacteria naturally, but in some cows this does not occur. These cows will develop an infection of the uterus, which can affect reproduction. ‘Metrichecking’ is a quick and simple test to check for pus in the vagina, which is the most useful way of identifying affected cows on NZ farms.

Cows can be checked from 21 days after calving, however all cows should be checked at least one month pre-mating. Earlier is preferred, to allow the uterus more time to return to normal function after treatment. While some farms may only check ‘At Risk’ cows, checking all cows is likely to identify others who will also benefit from treatment.  Contact the clinic to discuss the best option for your farm. For every cow that gets in calf one cycle earlier, you could have an extra 21 days in milk which would be worth almost $300 on this seasons forecast payout.

Metrichecking makes financial sense!

 

 

MAY/JUNE 2017

Swamp Fever – protect yourself NOW!

Swamp Fever is another name for leptospirosis in humans and maintaining a vaccinated herd is the number one prevention strategy you can employ to keep you, your family, your staff and your vets from becoming infected.

People can catch leptospirosis when they are exposed to the urine of infected animals. Infection generally enters through cuts and cracks in the skin, eg through bare hands or feet, or through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.

Cuts, sores and grazes on the skin increase risk of infection, as does licking your lips and eating or smoking before washing and drying your hands.
You don’t have to come into direct contact with urine or infected tissue of an infected animal. Even a splash or fine spray of urine, or indirect contact with urine-contaminated water (eg water used to clean down a cowshed or stockyard) can spread a large number of leptospires.

From now until calving VE Vets is contacting all clients who are due to update their herd’s annual lepto vaccinations.

 

Nitrate Poisoning

May weather will contribute to poisoning risk this year.

High risk paddocks include rapidly growing ryegrasses in their first few grazings and paddocks that have had application of urea or effluent. It is important to realise, however, that any plants that are rapidly growing can be very high in nitrate when sunlight is blocked – therefore warm, overcast days are when most nitrate outbreaks occur.

Testing grass for nitrate is quick, cheap and can prevent costly losses.
 Signs of nitrate poisoning include difficulty breathing, bloat, staggering, convulsions and death. These are most commonly seen half an hour to five hours after eating toxic pasture. If you see any of these signs, call the vet IMMEDIATELY, slowly move animals off the feed, and supply straw/hay to try and slow further nitrate absorption.

 

Heifer Teat Sealing

ready for a repeat this year if needed. Nationwide the season has not been as bad but spore counts in the Waikato areas of Waipa, Otorohanga and surrounds are amoung the highes

 

 

MAR/APRIL 2017

FACIAL ECZEMA – Waikato Counts High

After one of the worst FE seasons for years we were ready for a repeat this year if needed. Nationwide the season has not been as bad but spore counts in the Waikato areas of Waipa, Otorohanga and surrounds are amoung the highest in the country right now.

You will already be underway with your control strategy but remember to protect young stock as well as your main herd.
Once an animal is seen to be affected, many others will also already have significant liver damage, resulting in production loss in cows and reduced growth rates in young stock. Deaths may also occur in severely affected animals.

A quick reminder about treatment options:
Pasture spraying: Can be highly effective, and reduce the production losses that can be associated with prolonged use of high levels of zinc, however spraying must occur BEFORE spore levels rise Drenching or trough treatment: Start in introduce zinc at a low level prior to the high risk period. Zinc may also be added to meal, however you must ensure that you continue to feed meal at a pre-decided rate per day to ensure correct dose. Zinc levels can be tested either in the blood of cows or in trough water to check dose Time Capsules/Face Guard: These are especially good for young stock, but can also be used in older animals – contact us to discuss your requirements. Face-Guard™ is now available to treat animals up to 660kg.

Pasture samples can be dropped into VE Vets Te Awamutu Clinic and results will be phoned to you within the day. The cost is only $24.00 per sample, which is well worth it to prevent your herd being affected by facial eczema

 

RVM Consults – Less Compliance, More Assistance.
We will be sending out notifications for your Annual RVM consults in the next few weeks. VE Vets are committed to helping all our clients improve their farming businesses and maximise production, minimise losses and hopefully have better financial return at the end of the season. We want to use the RVM to identify where we can help you put more milk in your vat so this year we have condensed the compliance component of the consult and made more time to discuss the issues that are important to you.

Please call the clinic if you have any questions about getting your RVM done.

SCANNING – STILL TIME TO BOOK
Scanning has been full-on over the past 6 weeks and we are nearing the end. If you haven’t had your herd scanned yet then it’s not too late. Accurate knowledge of your herds pregnancy status gives you the opportunity to make quick knowledgeable decisions regarding culling any problem cows (bad feet or recurrent mastitis), which cows to dry off as the season progresses and peace of mind regarding next seasons calving spread.

DRYING-OFF & TEAT SEALING -Planning Now
The current weather conditions will mean most of you can plan to milk through the rest of the season. Typically this means we will see farmers using less long acting and more short acting drycow treatments. We have good supplies and competitive prices of both. We also encourage you to consider teat-sealing more than just your heifers. Talk to our vets about the pro’s and con’s.

 

NOV/DEC 2016

Calf Leptospirosis vaccinations - Please book now!
These need to be done from 6-8 weeks of age and it is important to start early – as once an animal has leptospirosis, vaccination will not cure the disease! In the past, calf vaccination has often been left until Christmas or late summer – however, up to 10% of dairy animals were picking up Lepto prior to the start of the vaccination course – and therefore shedding and providing a risk of infection to farmers, their families, and vets!


Calves require two vaccinations four weeks apart – and for most local farms, starting the vaccination course towards the end of October will be optimal (as long as replacements are not kept after the end of August – if you have any September born calves, delay it by a week or two).

6 in 1 vaccinations can be done at the same time and at your booster shot we recommend a Dectomax worm treatment prior to the calves going away for grazing. 
If BVD or Salmonella is vaccinated for, discuss with our vets the best timing for your herd and circumstances – usually this can be coordinated within the same visits.

After the calf vaccine course is finished, the next vaccination should be done in late Autumn – i.e at 9 to 10 months of age. This provides optimal immunity prior to the highest risk season of Winter, and also gets calves in synch with the cow herd (which should be done in May). Ensure that intervals between vaccinations is never more than 12 months apart, as immunity will reduce after 12 months and the disease could be contracted by yearlings or cows.
As the disease can be fatal to humans, do not take the risk of overdue vaccinations!

 

Drenching of Calves
Once calves are weaned, serious consideration needs to be given to an effecting worming programme.

Because there can be issues with both the underuse, or the overuse of drenches, worming programmes must be specifically tailored to your farm and situation.

Apart from the obvious cost of drenching more often than you need to, overuse of drench can also speed up the development of resistance to the chemicals within the drench. These are known as anthelmintics. This resistance, along with increasing antibiotic resistance, may be the two most important limiting factors in pasture based production in the near future.

How often you need to drench depends on stock classes on farm, rotation patterns, type and availablilty (both quality and quantity) of feed, and goals within the farm system. Generally, a lightly stocked farm where young stock are grazed on the same pasture as adults, or other species, will have a lower requirement for drench than an enterprise consisting of mostly young animals farmed intensively – ie heifer grazing or bull beef farming.

Do not forget, however, that parasites can severely affect growth rates in young animals, and milk production in adult cows also. Parasites will use energy that would have otherwise gone into muscle or milk production, and also suppress appetite – combining to large losses when left uncontrolled!

Generally a combination of monitoring (faecal egg counts) and strategic uses of drenches will give the best results in both the short and long term. Discuss both the type of drench to be used (which active ingredients) and route of application with our team at VE Vets, we can tailor a plan to suit your situation and provide best results.

 

Scanning - Plan to scan early

Scanning your herd in January (about 14 weeks after the planned start of mating) has many benefits. Early pregnancy testing provides extra information that can help in your decision making and improve productivity on your farm.

Accurate calving dates
Early pregnancy testing provides a more accurate estimate of calving dates. Springer mobs may be formed on confirmed pregnancy to a particular AB or bull date rather than on heat detection only.
Assess AB performance
Early pregnancy testing allows accurate estimation of conception rates and allows you to assess AB performance. If things are looking good at this early pregnancy test and lots of your cows are pregnant to AB then you may decide to pull your bull out early, or leave him in longer if things are not looking so good.
Culling decisions
There is also added flexibility when the weather is dry and there is a shortage of feed on the farm, since cows that are ‘not detectably pregnant’ may be identified and culled. Assess non cycler treatment programme
The effectiveness of your non cycler treatment programme can also be assessed. How well is your CIDR programme working? What are the conception rates of your CIDR mob? Talk to your us about the benefits of early pregnancy testing your herd. You may find that early pregnancy testing provides extra information that can help in your decision making and improve profitability on your farm this season.

Animal Health Plans
We now have over 25% of our farms on AHP’s. A great help this season and beyond. They are already proving to be worth their weight in milk solids! While we appreciate now is a busy time for everyone the benefits of taking time to get your own AHP set up include:

• Better use of your animal health budget
• Timing events maximise return on investment
• Less wasted time and money
• Peace of mind that you can see out the season and get ready for the next
• Allocating time and potentially costly labour more effectively Please talk to any of the vets about getting your AHP up and working for you now.

 

SEPT/OCT 2016

Calf Leptospirosis vaccinations - Please book now!

These need to be done from 6-8 weeks of age and it is important to start early – as once an animal has leptospirosis, vaccination will not cure the disease! In the past, calf vaccination has often been left until Christmas or late summer – however, up to 10% of dairy animals were picking up Lepto prior to the start of the vaccination course – and therefore shedding and providing a risk of infection to farmers, their families, and vets!

Calves require two vaccinations four weeks apart – and for most local farms, starting the vaccination course towards the end of October will be optimal (as long as replacements are not kept after the end of August – if you have any September born calves, delay it by a week or two). 6 in 1 vaccinations can be done at the same time and at your booster shot we recommend a Dectomax worm treatment prior to the calves going away for grazing. If BVD or Salmonella is vaccinated for, discuss with our vets the best timing for your herd and circumstances – usually this can be coordinated within the same visits.

After the calf vaccine course is finished, the next vaccination should be done in late Autumn – i.e at 9 to 10 months of age. This provides optimal immunity prior to the highest risk season of Winter, and also gets calves in synch with the cow herd (which should be done in May). Ensure that intervals between vaccinations is never more than 12 months apart, as immunity will reduce after 12 months and the disease could be contracted by yearlings or cows. As the disease can be fatal to humans, do not take the risk of overdue vaccinations!

Calf Weaning
Poor weather so far this spring has been tough on calves - are yours ready for weaning?
Hopefully, all calves will have had access to high quality meal and hay since 1-2 weeks of age. Good intakes of fibre and meal encourage rumen development, allowing a smoother transition at weaning.



Breed

Minimum weaning weight

Friesian

100kg

Crossbred

90kg

Jersey

80kg

Calf meal and pelletised feeds should be fresh and high quality (18-20% protein). Most commercial meals will also include a coccidostat (such as Rumensin or Bovatec) which helps reduce scouring and poor growth rates from Coccidia. High quality carbohydrates, such as those in meal, will help stimulate rumen development. Once calves are eating 1kg of meal per calf per day, weaning can occur providing target weights are met. 

Give your heifers the best start by ensuring they meet weaning targets by 3 months. Regular weighing (every 3 months, or more frequently if reduced growth rates are identified) is an important first step in assessing the rearing of your replacement heifers. Many graziers accept this as standard, and it provides an excellent starting point for discussion around rearing expectations. Remember, if the average of the mob is the recommended target, half of the heifers will be underweight!

If you would like to sit down with one of our vets and discuss your animal health objectives, we are able to produce a young stock management plan which can be laminated for both owner and grazier, to ensure that vaccinations, drenches, and mineral supplementations are used to optimal effect.

 

Metrichecking -  Increased payout makes this ano-brainer. 
After calving, the uterus of most cows will be contaminated with bacteria. Many are able to clear the bacteria naturally, but in some cows this does not occur. These cows will develop an infection of the uterus, which can affect reproduction.  Certain cows are known to be more at risk than others for developing uterine infections, and we advise treating all of these cows with Metri-clean. At risk cows include those that were induced or had assisted, twin or dead calvings, milk fever or  retained foetal membranes.  ‘Metrichecking’ is a quick and simple test to check the rest of the herd for pus in the vagina and identify further cases that should be treated. 
Cows can be checked from 21 days after calving, and ideally all cows should be checked at least one month pre-mating.

 

Repro tips for this Season
Our first choice will always be CIDR’s and combination hormone injections and we have managed to reduce the cost of this by almost 20% to make it even more cost beneficial. If cash flow allows this is the way to go, alternatively please talk to any of the vets if you want to improve reproductive performance and save a dollar.
In the mean time.......Research in the Waikato has highlighted the value of early treatment of cows not yet on heat prior to mating. By tail painting your herd 35 days before mating and recording heats, you will have a good idea of the anoestrous cows in your herd before mating starts. We can then work with you to treat them early and get the maximum benefit from intervention.

 Animal Health Plans - We now have over 25% of our farms on AHP’s.
A great help this season and beyond. They are already proving to be worth their weight in milk solids! While we appreciate now is a busy time for everyone the benefits of taking time to get your own AHP set up include:

• Better use of your animal health budget
• Timing events maximise return on investment
• Less wasted time and money
• Peace of mind that you can see out the season and get ready for the next
• Allocating time and potentially costly labour more effectively

 

Please talk to any of the vets about getting your AHP up and working for you now.

 

 

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MAY/JUN 2016

Facial Eczema
It looks the FE season is coming to a close but persistently high spore counts are still affecting cattle. We advise continued protection in to May.

 

RVM Consults
You should have received notification of your appointment time for this coming season’s RVM consult by now. The RVM consult is a legal requirement and must be completed before we can supply you with restricted veterinary medicines for the year and it ensures that your farm is compliant should you be inspected.
Please call the clinic if you have any questions about getting your RVM done.

 

Heifer Teat Sealing
June is Teat-sealing month. You can do it yourself or get our team to do it for you. If you haven’t used teatseal before then benefits can be seen if you normally get more than 8 to 10% of your heifers with mastitis. If you have used teatseal then you already know how well it works.
Teatsealing should be done 3 to 6 weeks before the planned start of heifer calving, before the heifers are fully bagged up and teat canals begin to open.
Call us to book in for your preferred days as soon as possible, or ask us for tips if you will be doing it yourself!

 

Nitrate Poisoning
May weather will contribute to poisoning risk this year.

High risk paddocks include rapidly growing ryegrasses in their first few grazings and paddocks that have had application of urea or effluent. It is important to realise, however, that any plants that are rapidly growing can be very high in nitrate when sunlight is blocked – therefore warm, overcast days are when most nitrate outbreaks occur. Testing grass for nitrate is quick, cheap and can prevent costly losses. Signs of nitrate poisoning include difficulty breathing, bloat, staggering, convulsions and death. These are most commonly seen half an hour to five hours after eating toxic pasture. If you see any of these signs, call the vet IMMEDIATELY, slowly move animals off the feed, and supply straw/hay to try and slow further nitrate absorption.

 

Fight calf scours now….
Did you put up with calf scours last spring? Well start planning for your spring calves now. Although it may be tempting when cash is tight to save money on vaccinating it pays to remember that  calf scours can be an incredibly time consuming, demoralizing, and costly disease when it happens. If Rotavirus, Coronavirus, or E. Coli is involved, vaccination of cows from 3 weeks prior to the start of calving can make a huge difference to reducing the number of calves affected – talk to one of the vets to see if this could be right for you. There are a number of different vaccines available. As the timing of the injections varies with product, make sure you talk to us at least 6 weeks prior to the start of calving so there is enough time to organise two shots if needed.

 

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MAR/APR 2016

SCANNING Book now….

Scanning is underway now. Many of you have decided to start scanning earlier this year which is a great. Please phone Les at the front desk to book early and get your preferred dates. Accurate knowledge of your herds pregnancy status gives you the opportunity to make quick knowledgeable decisions regarding culling any problem cows (bad feet or recurrent mastitis), which cows to dry off as the season progresses and peace of mind regarding next seasons calving spread.

 

FACIAL ECZEMA What El Nino?….

It is now time to assess and plan your facial eczema prevention strategy. Contrary to the weather predictions our current outlook is for more rain than expected this summer which will likely bring the facial eczema season forward.

Remember to plan for young stock as well as your main herd.

Once an animal is seen to be affected, many others will also already have significant liver damage, resulting in production loss in cows and reduced growth rates in young stock. Deaths may also occur in severely affected animals.

Pasture spraying: Can be highly effective, and reduce the production losses that can be associated with prolonged use of high levels of zinc, however spraying must occur BEFORE spore levels rise Drenching or trough treatment: Start in introduce zinc at a low level prior to the high risk period. Zinc may also be added to meal, however you must ensure that you continue to feed meal at a pre-decided rate per day to ensure correct dose. Zinc levels can be tested either in the blood of cows or in trough water to check dose Time Capsules/Face Guard: These are especially good for young stock, but can also be used in older animals – contact us to discuss your requirements. Face-Guard™ is now available to treat animals up to 660kg.

Pasture samples can be dropped into VE Vets Te Awamutu Clinic and results will be phoned to you within the day. The cost is only $24.00 per sample, which is well worth it to prevent your herd being affected by facial eczema

 

CALF LEPTO VACCS It’s not too late….

Did you remember to get your calf leptospirosis vaccinations done before Christmas? If not they should be started ASAP our getting their second (booster) shots done.

 

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DECEMBER 2015

Bulls – get the job finished off right

 Your bulls are still going to be at work for another month so follow these tips so to help them get the job done....

 

·         Swap your bulls around every few days to maintain sexual interest and time to rest and recharge

·         Try and keep them off the concrete yards by training them to remain in the paddock and if they do go lame make sure you have enough reserves on the bench

·         Even a minor illnesses or infections which can cause a fever will have a dramatic effect on the testicles and bull fertility in the weeks following. Replace any bulls that have been unwell.

·         Depending on AB submission and conception rates and the length of your AB programme your best starting point is 4-6 bulls per 300 cows. Don’t forget the reserves!

 

 

Calf Drenching – they need a great start

 Drenching of Calves

Once calves are weaned, serious consideration needs to be given to an effecting worming programme.

Because there can be issues with both the underuse, or the overuse of drenches, worming programmes must be specifically tailored to your farm and situation.

Apart from the obvious cost of drenching more often than you need to, overuse of drench can also speed up the development of resistance to the chemicals within the drench. These are known as anthelmintics. This resistance, along with increasing antibiotic resistance, may be the two most important limiting factors in pasture based production in the near future.

How often you need to drench depends on stock classes on farm, rotation patterns, type and availablilty (both quality and quantity) of feed, and goals within the farm system. Generally, a lightly stocked farm where young stock are grazed on the same pasture as adults, or other species, will have a lower requirement for drench than an enterprise consisting of mostly young animals farmed intensively – ie heifer grazing or bull beef farming.

Do not forget, however, that parasites can severely affect growth rates in young animals, and milk production in adult cows also. Parasites will use energy that would have otherwise gone into muscle or milk production, and also suppress appetite – combining to large losses when left uncontrolled!

 Generally a combination of monitoring (faecal egg counts) and strategic uses of drenches will give the best results in both the short and long term. Discuss both the type of drench to be used (which active ingredients) and route of application with our team at VE Vets, we can tailor a plan to suit your situation and provide best results.

  

Calf Lepto Vaccinations – get them started now!

Calves need to be vaccinated for Leptospirosis (‘lepto’) from 8 -12 weeks of age, followed by a booster in 4 weeks.
Early vaccination is critical as once an animal has contracted Leptospirosis, it can be carried in the kidneys for many years, and the bacteria will be shed through the urine. This means that EVERYONE in contact with an infected calf, heifer or cow can be exposed to this potentially fatal disease. Vaccination is only successful at preventing infection with Lepto – it will not cure an animal which already has lepto. This is also why boosters every 12 months are so important.

If your calves have not had two doses of a 6 in 1 (‘Blackleg’) vaccine, this can also be given at the same time.

 

Early Pregnancy Testing – still a great option in a low payout year

Scanning your AB herd 14 weeks after the planned start of mating has many benefits.

Early pregnancy testing provides extra information that can help in your decision making and improve productivity on your farm.

Accurate calving dates 
Early pregnancy testing provides a more accurate estimate of calving dates. Springer mobs may be formed on confirmed pregnancy to a particular AB or bull date rather than on heat detection only.

Assess AB performance
Early pregnancy testing allows accurate estimation of conception rates and allows you to assess AB performance. If things are looking good at this early pregnancy test and lots of your cows are pregnant to AB then you may decide to pull your bull out early, or leave him in longer if things are not looking so good.

Culling decisions
There is also added flexibility when the weather is dry and there is a shortage of feed on the farm, since cows that are ‘not detectably pregnant’ may be identified and culled.

Assess non cycler treatment programme
The effectiveness of your non cycler treatment programme can also be assessed. How well is your CIDR programme working? What are the conception rates of your CIDR mob? Talk to your us about the benefits of early pregnancy testing your herd. You may find that early pregnancy testing provides extra information that can help in your decision making and improve profitability on your farm this season.

 

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

Animal Health Plans - A great help this season and beyond.
We are beginning to roll out our FREE Animal Health Plans. They are already proving to be worth their weight in milk solids! While we appreciate now is a busy time for everyone the benefits of taking time to get your own AHP set up include:

      • Better use of your limited animal health budget
  • Timing events maximise return on investment
  • Less wasted time and money
  • Peace of mind that you can see out the season and get ready for the next
  • Allocating time and potentially costly labour more effectively
  • Evidence of a “plan” if you are talking to your financiers
  • Etc

Please talk to any of the vets about getting your AHP up and working for you now.

 

Calf Weaning
Great weather so far this spring has seen more calves than usual outside from an early age. Are your calves ready for weaning?
Hopefully, all calves will have had access to high quality meal and hay since 1-2 weeks of age. Good intakes of fibre and meal encourage rumen development, allowing a smoother transition at weaning.


Breed

Minimum weaning weight

Friesian

100kg

Crossbred

90kg

Jersey

80kg

Calf meal and pelletised feeds should be fresh and high quality (18-20% protein). Most commercial meals will also include a coccidostat (such as Rumensin or Bovatec) which helps reduce scouring and poor growth rates from Coccidia. High quality carbohydrates, such as those in meal, will help stimulate rumen development. Once calves are eating 1kg of meal per calf per day, weaning can occur providing target weights are met.
Give your heifers the best start by ensuring they meet weaning targets by 3 months. Regular weighing (every 3 months, or more frequently if reduced growth rates are identified) is an important first step in assessing the rearing of your replacement heifers. Many graziers accept this as standard, and it provides an excellent starting point for discussion around rearing expectations. Remember, if the average of the mob is the recommended target, half of the heifers will be underweight!
If you would like to sit down with one of our vets and discuss your animal health objectives, we are able to produce a young stock management plan which can be laminated for both owner and grazier, to ensure that vaccinations, drenches, and mineral supplementations are used to optimal effect.

 

Metrichecking -  Does the cost benefit  equation work in a low payout?
After calving, the uterus of most cows will be contaminated with bacteria. Many are able to clear the bacteria naturally, but in some cows this does not occur. These cows will develop an infection of the uterus, which can affect reproduction.  Certain cows are known to be more at risk than others for developing uterine infections, and we advise treating all of these cows with Metri-clean. At risk cows include those that were induced or had assisted, twin or dead calvings, milk fever or  retained foetal membranes.  ‘Metrichecking’ is a quick and simple test to check the rest of the herd for pus in the vagina and identify further cases that should be treated.
Cows can be checked from 21 days after calving, and ideally all cows should be checked at least one month pre-mating. With most herds this year you can split them into;

  • good cows that may be at risk that you definitely check
  • late calvers that you may give some “wait and see time” and
  • The rest of the herd that if possible you get checked. Earlier is preferred, to allow the uterus more time to return to normal function after treatment. For every cow that gets in calf one cycle earlier, you could have an extra 21 days in milk.

 

Repro tips for this Season – we have some options
Word from the farm gate this season is that many of you will be looking for options to deal with your non cyclers that don’t involve the expense of CIDR’s. Our animal health team led by our senior vets have been coming up with some cost saving options.
Our first choice will always be CIDR’s and combination hormone injections and even when the payout is low the cost benefits stack up. If cash flow allows this is the way to go, alternatively please talk to any of the vets if you want to improve reproductive performance and save a dollar.
In the mean time.......Research in the Waikato has highlighted the value of early treatment of cows not yet on heat prior to mating. By tail painting your herd 35 days before mating and recording heats, you will have a good idea of the anoestrous cows in your herd before mating starts. We can then work with you to treat them early and get the maximum benefit from intervention.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

JULY/AUGUST 2015

Spring Protocols……Step by step instructions
We have three step by step protocols to guide you through the most troublesome of spring problems.

  • Calving
  • Down cows
  • Calf scours


If we look at some of the statistics collected over the past 10 years we can see that even though this is the most basic well known principle, it still cannot be overstated or underestimated.

40% of farms have disease present - 25% of these have rotavirus and 15% have cryptosporidia.
Up to 50% of calves do not receive enough colostrum within the first 24 hours to give a good level of antibodies, and 24% of these haven’t had any colostrum at all before being picked up.

If you have gone to the trouble and expense of vaccinating the herd, the only way the antibodies can be transferred to the calf is via colostrum, the best of which comes from the first milking. Studies have shown that 2 litres of this first colostrum, received within 8 hours, gives the best result in terms of raising the antibody levels in the calf to a level sufficient to allow it to fight a disease challenge.
A good feed of quality colostrum along with good environmental hygiene will give the calf the best chance of reaching target weights as a heifer and becoming a valuable part of the productive herd.

For any questions about rearing your calves come see the team at VE Vets

 

Guidelines for Metabolic Use:

Definitions:

  • IV means “Intravenous” (jugular where possible),
  • SQ means “subcutaneous”  (under the skin over neck or ribcage)

Treatment plan for:

  • Milk Fever - Calpro 375 or Calpromag (IV or SQ) or;

                     Calpromax, Calprophos (IV only). 

  • Grass Staggers - Magnesium sulphate 20% (SQ only)
  • Ketosis - Dextrose 40% (IV only)

Follow treatment up with oral supplementation of calcium  for a longer lasting effect BUT ONLY once the cow is able to swallow well (fluid into the lungs can be fatal). 
Remember:

  • When giving metabolic solutions IV you must go SLOWLY - over at least 5 minutes. 
  • If it has Dextrose in it, DO NOT inject it under the skin. It is likely to form an abscess, and delay the absorption of critical calcium and magnesium


 When in doubt, call the vet! 

 

Calving Mastitis
Know your enemy!

Strep uberis is your most likely combatant at calving time. Critical to control is a clean environment around calving and drying off as most infections occur at these times. Strep uberis is a normal gut resident in many cows so where there’s muck, there’s mastitis! Sunshine and dry conditions kill the organism quickly but prolonged cool, wet periods can lead to high levels of contamination of paddocks and races.


Keeping calving paddocks as mud-free as possible is obvious (but not always easy). Of particular importance is also the last 100 metres or so of race before the yard –adequate drainage here will prevent the build-up of dung which would otherwise be walked around the farm.
Spraying effluent will also result in contamination – most organisms will have disappeared after 30 days even with cool and wet conditions, but to be safe, it is not advisable to calve or dry off on effluent paddocks.


Teat spraying (while maintaining teats in top condition) and management of open teat canals close to calving are important. This particularly applies to heifers since most have no teat plugs. Note: It may be too late to teat seal your heifers this season but it can be very cost effective. If cows in the springer mob are observed dripping milk, they should be milked and teat sprayed.


Careful transition feeding to avoid excessive bagging up means balancing the amount of fresh grass (which tends to promote bagging up) versus the amount of supplement fed to springers.


If all these preventative measures have not eliminated calving mastitis then we have a range of intramammary drugs that are very effective at treating strep uberis  infections. Talk to Les or any of the staff for advice.

 

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MAY/JUNE 2015

Nitrate Poisoning
May weather contributing to poisoning risk this year.
High risk paddocks include rapidly growing ryegrasses in their first few grazings and paddocks that have had application of urea or effluent. It is important to realise, however, that any plants that are rapidly growing can be very high in nitrate when sunlight is blocked – therefore warm, overcast days are when most nitrate outbreaks occur. Testing grass for nitrate is quick, cheap and can prevent costly losses. Signs of nitrate poisoning include difficulty breathing, bloat, staggering, convulsions and death. These are most commonly seen half an hour to five hours after eating toxic pasture. If you see any of these signs, call the vet IMMEDIATELY, slowly move animals off the feed, and supply straw/hay to try and slow further nitrate absorption.

 

Heifer Teat Sealing
The application of an internal teat sealant to heifers is being used by many of our clients to reduce the number of heifers with mastitis at or around calving. As a guideline, benefits can be seen if you normally get more than 8 to 10% of your heifers with mastitis.
Teatsealing should be done 3 to 6 weeks before the planned start of heifer calving, before the heifers are fully bagged up and teat canals begin to open.

If you have not used teatseal in heifers before, we would advise assistance from our vets, who are experienced in the application of Teatseal to heifers. Call us to book in for your preferred days as soon as possible, or ask us for tips if you will be doing it yourself!

 

Fight calf scours now...
Did you put up with calf scours last spring? Well start planning for your spring calves now. Although it may be tempting when cash is tight to save money on vaccinating it pays to remember that  calf scours can be an incredibly time consuming, demoralizing, and costly disease when it happens. If Rotavirus, Coronavirus, or E. Coli is involved, vaccination of cows from 3 weeks prior to the start of calving can make a huge difference to reducing the number of calves affected – talk to one of the vets to see if this could be right for you. There are a number of different vaccines available. As the timing of the injections varies with product, make sure you talk to us at least 6 weeks prior to the start of calving so there is enough time to organise two shots if needed.

 

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MARCH 2015

RVM (PAR) Consults

Annual Restricted Veterinary Medicine (RVM) consults are necessary for us to continue to supply restricted products to you for drying off this season and your coming season. A letter will be arriving in the mail shortly for existing clients - if you are planning on drying off significant numbers of cows very soon, please contact the clinic to arrange to have your consult as soon as possible.

We take our partnership with you seriously and the RVM consults are a chance to discuss with a vet any areas of your farms performance and animal health that are of concern to you. We have several farms on Animal Health Plans which are a fantastic way to keep the farm profitable and on track towards your production goals.

 

Facial Eczema

All farmers need to maintain their FE prevention treatments as the autumn season begins. The localised rain falls around our district cause sudden rapid rises in spore counts. In the last week of February spore counts reached 250,000 in some areas. Remember young stock as well as your herd.

Once an animal is seen to be affected, many others will also already have significant liver damage, resulting in production loss in cows and reduced growth rates in young stock. Deaths may also occur in severely affected animals.

Pasture spraying: Can be highly effective, and reduce the production losses that can be associated with prolonged use of high levels of zinc, however spraying must occur BEFORE spore levels rise Drenching or trough treatment: Start in introduce zinc at a low level prior to the high risk period. Zinc may also be added to meal, however you must ensure that you continue to feed meal at a pre-decided rate per day to ensure correct dose. Zinc levels can be tested either in the blood of cows or in trough water to check dose Time Capsules/Face Guard: These are especially good for young stock, but can also be used in older animals - contact us to discuss your requirements. Face-Guard(tm) is now available to treat animals up to 660kg.

Pasture samples can be dropped into VE Vets Te Awamutu Clinic and results will be phoned to you within the day. The cost is only $24.00 per sample, which is well worth it to prevent your herd being affected by facial eczema

 

Cull Cows?

If you have cull cows headed to the works it is an ideal time to get trace element analysis of livers performed. Direct measurement of liver copper in autumn is the gold standard as blood levels only tell you what is happening on the day and won't start to drop until liver reserves are almost exhausted. Biopsies are an option but many prefer to arrange to have samples taken from cull cows at the works. The standard number is 5 cows, but if you suspect a problem, try to get at least 6 done. They may automatically analyse for Se and Co as well but unless you particularly want these done, you can ask for copper only.

The other benefit is that all livers are checked for the presence of liver fluke, facial eczema and liver abscess.

Click here to print out a laboratory form that must travel with your cattle and the form needs to be faxed to the laboratory (numbers are on the form) 48 hours prior to the cattle going to the works.

 

Lepto Vaccinations

Vaccinations of Young Stock. Please make sure you have all classes of stock on and off your farm current with their Leptospirosis vaccinations. This is a good time of year to ensure all stock that may be coming back to the farm in a couple of months are well protected.

 

 

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DECEMBER 2014

Calf Lepto Vaccinations
Calves need to be vaccinated for Leptospirosis (‘lepto’) from 8 -12 weeks of age, followed by a booster in 4 weeks.
Early vaccination is critical as once an animal has contracted Leptospirosis, it can be carried in the kidneys for many years, and the bacteria will be shed through the urine. This means that EVERYONE in contact with an infected calf, heifer or cow can be exposed to this potentially fatal disease. Vaccination is only successful at preventing infection with Lepto – it will not cure an animal which already has lepto. This is also why boosters every 12 months are so important.

If your calves have not had two doses of a 6 in 1 (‘Blackleg’) vaccine, this can also be given at the same time.

The Benefits Of Early Pregnancy Testing
Scanning your herd 14 weeks after the planned start of mating has many benefits.

Early pregnancy testing provides extra information that can help in your decision making and improve productivity on your farm.

Accurate calving dates 
Early pregnancy testing provides a more accurate estimate of calving dates. Springer mobs may be formed on confirmed pregnancy to a particular AB or bull date rather than on heat detection only.

Assess AB performance
Early pregnancy testing allows accurate estimation of conception rates and allows you to assess AB performance. If things are looking good at this early pregnancy test and lots of your cows are pregnant to AB then you may decide to pull your bull out early, or leave him in longer if things are not looking so good.

Culling decisions
There is also added flexibility when the weather is dry and there is a shortage of feed on the farm, since cows that are ‘not detectably pregnant’ may be identified and culled.

Assess non cycler treatment programme
The effectiveness of your non cycler treatment programme can also be assessed. How well is your CIDR programme working? What are the conception rates of your CIDR mob? Talk to your us about the benefits of early pregnancy testing your herd. You may find that early pregnancy testing provides extra information that can help in your decision making and improve profitability on your farm this season.

 

Drenching of Calves 
Once calves are weaned, serious consideration needs to be given to an effecting worming programme.

Because there can be issues with both the underuse, or the overuse of drenches, worming programmes must be specifically tailored to your farm and situation.

Apart from the obvious cost of drenching more often than you need to, overuse of drench can also speed up the development of resistance to the chemicals within the drench. These are known as anthelmintics. This resistance, along with increasing antibiotic resistance, may be the two most important limiting factors in pasture based production in the near future.

How often you need to drench depends on stock classes on farm, rotation patterns, type and availablilty (both quality and quantity) of feed, and goals within the farm system. Generally, a lightly stocked farm where young stock are grazed on the same pasture as adults, or other species, will have a lower requirement for drench than an enterprise consisting of mostly young animals farmed intensively – ie heifer grazing or bull beef farming.

Do not forget, however, that parasites can severely affect growth rates in young animals, and milk production in adult cows also. Parasites will use energy that would have otherwise gone into muscle or milk production, and also suppress appetite – combining to large losses when left uncontrolled!

Generally a combination of monitoring (faecal egg counts) and strategic uses of drenches will give the best results in both the short and long term. Discuss both the type of drench to be used (which active ingredients) and route of application with our team at VE Vets, we can tailor a plan to suit your situation and provide best results.

 

BVD Control Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) 
BVD is a viral disease affecting most farms in New Zealand. In some herds it has caused huge financial losses, while in others the effects are less obvious, although still affecting health and profitably of the herd. An individual BVD management plan should be discussed with a veterinarian, as the best options for prevention and control will vary between farms. For many calves that leave the farm for grazing, BVD vaccination is an important part of this management plan. This can be done from 4 months of age, therefore can be timed in with Leptospirosis vaccinations on many farms. It should be done BEFORE calves arrive at grazing for best results.

 

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SEPTEMBER 2014

Non-Cycling Cows
Was calving a little slower this year than you would have liked? Would you like more AB calves, and more milk? Research in the Waikato has highlighted the value of early treatment of cows not yet on heat prior to mating. By tail painting your herd 35 days before mating and recording heats, you will have a good idea of the anoestrous cows in your herd before mating starts. We can then work with you to treat them early and get the maximum benefit from intervention.

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AUGUST 2014

Spring Protocols……Step by step instructions
We have three step by step protocols to guide you through the most troublesome of spring problems.

• Calving

• Down cows

• Calf scours

 

Calf rearing time is upon us again
Apart from hygiene and the importance of making sure all your pens, feeding buckets, mixing equipment and any other equipment that comes into contact with the rearing shed is clean and disinfected on a regular basis; the other key to rearing good healthy calves is making sure they have a good feed of 1st milking colostrum as soon as they are born.

If we look at some of the statistics collected over the past 10 years we can see that even though this is the most basic well known principle, it still cannot be overstated or underestimated.

40% of farms have disease present - 25% of these have rotavirus and 15% have cryptosporidia. Up to 50% of calves do not receive enough colostrum within the first 24 hours to give a good level of antibodies, and 24% of these haven’t had any colostrum at all before being picked up.

If you have gone to the trouble and expense of vaccinating the herd, the only way the antibodies can be transferred to the calf is via colostrum, the best of which comes from the first milking. Studies have shown that 2 litres of this first colostrum, received within 8 hours, gives the best result in terms of raising the antibody levels in the calf to a level sufficient to allow it to fight a disease challenge. A good feed of quality colostrum along with good environmental hygiene will give the calf the best chance of reaching target weights as a heifer and becoming a valuable part of the productive herd.

For any questions about rearing your calves come see the team at VE Vets

 

Metrichecking
After calving, the uterus of many cows will be contaminated with bacteria. Many are able to clear the bacteria naturally, but in some cows this does not occur. These cows will develop an infection of the uterus, which can affect reproduction. ‘Metrichecking’ is a quick and simple test to check for pus in the vagina, which is the most useful way of identifying affected cows on NZ farms. Cows can be checked from 21 days after calving, however all cows should be checked at least one month pre-mating. Earlier is preferred, to allow the uterus more time to return to normal function after treatment. While some farms may only check ‘At Risk’ cows, checking all cows is likely to identify others who will also benefit from treatment. Contact the clinic to discuss the best option for your farm. For every cow that gets in calf one cycle earlier, you could have an extra 21 days in milk which would equal approximately $180. Metrichecking makes financial sense!

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MAY & JUNE 2014

Feeding Maize Silage
Rumen acidosis can occur when ever large quantities of starch and sugar are fed to cows. While maize starch can deliver high density energy, over feeding can cause a negative animal health effect when starches (maize) are converted to large quantities of acid by the rumen microbes. This results in a fast reduction in rumen pH with negative effects on rumen digestion, milk quality and quantity. Maize starch is less risky than many other starch types because it is digested more slowly and to a lesser extent in the rumen.

With the lack of grass around at the moment most farmers have to feed a large amount of supplement, especially maize silage now that it has been put in the stacks. To avoid your maize causing any adverse effects on your cows we recommend the following;

1. Don’t feed more than 5kg per cow per day

2. For every 5kg maize silage add;

  • 100g Lime flour
  • 20gm Mag-oxide
  • 15gm Salt

Note: You must remove any calcium containing dietary supplements or additives e.g. lime flour, 6 weeks before calving.

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APRIL 2014

Feeding Maize Silage

Rumen acidosis can occur when ever large quantities of starch and sugar are fed to cows. While maize starch can deliver high density energy, over feeding can cause a negative animal health effect when starches (maize) are converted to large quantities of acid by the rumen microbes. This results in a fast reduction in rumen pH with negative effects on rumen digestion, milk quality and quantity. Maize starch is less risky than many other starch types because it is digested more slowly and to a lesser extent in the rumen.

With the lack of grass around at the moment most farmers have to feed a large amount of supplement, especially maize silage now that it has been put in the stacks. To avoid your maize causing any adverse effects on your cows we recommend the following;

1. Don’t feed more than 5kg per cow per day

2. For every 5kg maize silage add;

  • 100g Lime flour
  • 20gm Mag-oxide
  • 15gm Salt

 

 

Cull Cows?

If you have cull cows headed to the works it is an ideal time to get trace element analysis of livers performed. Direct measurement of liver copper in autumn is the gold standard as blood levels only tell you what is happening on the day and won’t start to drop until liver reserves are almost exhausted. Biopsies are an option but many prefer to arrange to have samples taken from cull cows at the works. The standard number is 5 cows, but if you suspect a problem, try to get at least 6 done. They may automatically analyse for Se and Co as well but unless you particularly want these done, you can ask for copper only.

The other benefit is that all livers are checked for the presence of liver fluke, facial eczema and liver abscess.

Click here to print out a laboratory form that must travel with your cattle and the form needs to be faxed to the laboratory (numbers are on the form) 48 hours prior to the cattle going to the works.

 

Facial Eczema

All farmers need to maintain their FE prevention strategy as the autumn season continues. If rain arrives we could see spore counts rise to dangerous levels very quickly. Remember young stock as well as your herd.

Once an animal is seen to be affected, many others will also already have significant liver damage, resulting in production loss in cows and reduced growth rates in young stock. Deaths may also occur in severely affected animals.

Pasture spraying: Can be highly effective, and reduce the production losses that can be associated with prolonged use of high levels of zinc, however spraying must occur BEFORE spore levels rise Drenching or trough treatment: Start in introduce zinc at a low level prior to the high risk period. Zinc may also be added to meal, however you must ensure that you continue to feed meal at a pre-decided rate per day to ensure correct dose. Zinc levels can be tested either in the blood of cows or in trough water to check dose Time Capsules/Face Guard: These are especially good for young stock, but can also be used in older animals – contact us to discuss your requirements. Face-Guard™ is now available to treat animals up to 660kg.

Pasture samples can be dropped into VE Vets Te Awamutu Clinic and results will be phoned to you within the day. The cost is only $24.00 per sample, which is well worth it to prevent your herd being affected by facial eczema

 

2014 RVM (PAR) Consults -
Annual Restricted Veterinary Medicine (RVM) consults are necessary for us to continue to supply restricted products to you for drying off this season and your coming season. A letter will be arriving in the mail shortly for existing clients – if you are planning on drying off significant numbers of cows very soon, please contact the clinic to arrange to have your consult as soon as possible.

We take our partnership with you seriously and the RVM consults are a chance to discuss with a vet any areas of your farms performance and animal health that are of concern to you. If you have some specific goals for your farm in the coming season we are the best placed to advise you on any health and performance indicators that may present a head wind to you reaching your targets.

 

 

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MARCH 2014

SCANNING    Book now….

Scanning is underway now. Please phone Les at the front desk to book early and get your preferred dates. Accurate knowledge of your herds pregnancy status gives you the opportunity to make quick knowledgeable decisions regarding culling any problem cows (bad feet or recurrent mastitis), which cows to dry off as the season progresses and peace of mind regarding next seasons calving spread.

 

FACIAL ECZEMA   Time to plan….


It is now time to assess and plan your facial eczema prevention strategy.

 

CALF LEPTO VACCS   It’s not too late….

Calf leptospirosis vaccinations should be started ASAP if not already done.

 

Calves can be vaccinated for Leptospirosis  (‘lepto’) from 10-12 weeks of age, and it is advisable to start at this stage, followed by a booster in 4 weeks.

Early vaccination is critical as once an animal has contracted Leptospirosis, it can be carried in the kidneys for many years, and the bacteria will be shed through the urine. This means that EVERYONE in contact with an infected calf, heifer or cow can be exposed to this potentially fatal disease. Vaccination is only successful at preventing infection with Lepto – it will not cure an animal which already has lepto. This is also why boosters every 12 months are so important.

If your calves have not had two doses of a 6 in 1 (‘Blackleg’) vaccine, this can also be given at the same time.

Heifer leptospirosis booster vaccinations are now also due on most farms. This is required to ensure that animals do not go any longer than 12 months without a vaccination, which is likely to occur if only done as calves and then when they enter the herd.

 

 

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FEBRUARY 2014

 

BVD Control starts before your calves leave….

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is a viral disease affecting most farms in New Zealand. In some herds it has caused huge financial losses, while in others the effects are less obvious, although still affecting health and profitably of the herd. Many herds have signed up for the LIC monitor pack - this is showing high levels of exposure in nearly all herds in our district. BVD can have effects such as reduced growth, poor fertility, abortions, and will also affect milk production and increase somatic cell counts. An individual BVD management plan should be discussed with a veterinarian, as the best options for prevention and control will vary between farms. For many calves that leave the farm for grazing, BVD vaccination is an important part of this management plan. This can be done from 4 months of age, therefore can be timed in with Leptospirosis vaccinations on many farms. It should be done BEFORE calves arrive at grazing for best results. Two vaccinations 4 weeks apart are needed, this is then generally followed by a pre-mating booster in heifers.

 

 

 

 

COMPANION ANIMALS

 

March/April 2017

Health Alert: Parvovirus in dogs
Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious life-threatening viral disease which affects unvaccinated puppies and dogs. Over the last 12-18 months we have seen an increasing number of cases of parvovirus throughout the Waipa area. The condition usually begins with lethargy, inappetence and vomiting, with a severe bloody diarrhoea following within 1-2 days. Unvaccinated puppies (or those which haven’t completed their initial vaccine course) are more at risk and will show the most severe symptoms. Treatment can be unsuccessful, as parvovirus is fatal in many cases (around 15%). Treatment of parvo requires a hospital stay, intravenous fluid support and broad spectrum antibiotics, which is typically for 3-5 days but in some cases longer. In some cases after recovery, there may be permanent heart damage which causes long term problems.

It’s more important than ever to ensure you vaccinate all puppies and keep them away from public places until their full vaccine course has been completed. Also, ensure all adult dogs are kept current with their vaccines.

Puppies can be vaccinated from six weeks of age and will require an initial course of 2-3 vaccinations. As well as protecting them from Parvovirus, we also vaccinate for Distemper, Hepatitis virus, Parainfluenza virus and Leptospirosis. Any dog who is likely to “socialise” a lot, or be exposed to daycare, kennelling or groom rooms should also receive vaccination for Kennel cough. At your pup’s vaccination we will perform a general health check and discuss flea and worm control, behaviour, training and feeding. We also run Puppy-preschool classes at the clinic once weekly which are an excellent way to start off on the right foot with your puppy. They offer a safe environment in which you can socialise your puppy and get invaluable training advice, to ensure your puppy ends up being a well adjusted and happy member of your family. Enquire at the clinic.

 

VE Vets worming programme
Sign up to our new and improved worming programme with your pets!

Intestinal worms can be passed on to humans easily, especially children. Worm larvae contaminate sandpits and can be ingested by children. Maintaining a regular worming programme in pets can reduce the accidental uptake of larvae.

By joining our worming programme you will receive an initial consultation with one of our qualified vet nurses to determine the most suitable worm treatment for your cat or dog. Your pet will receive their first worm treatment free of charge and this can be administered at the consultation if required. Once signed-up to the programme, products will be posted to you 3-monthly – making your life easier, whilst ensuring your pets are wormed on-time, every time. There is no charge for postage.

Phone the clinic to arrange an appointment or to register on our programme.

 

 

 

Spring 2013
Kennel Cough Alert
We have seen a recent increase in the number of dogs affected with Kennel Cough. This disease is caused by a bacteria and a virus, is highly contagious and dogs do not have to be kennelled to catch it. Vaccination can prevent your dog becoming infected and we recommend all at risk dogs receive an annual vaccination. Kennel Cough is not usually a fatal disease but does cause a severe cough and gag which is often mistaken for a dog having something stuck in their throat. The cough will respond to treatment with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and if necessary cough suppressants

 

Winter 2013
Elderly Pet Care
Now that winter is bearing down on us it is important to remember that the colder months can be difficult for older pets. Dogs and cats with arthritis will struggle to warm their joints up on cold mornings. Pets that may be losing weight will require more attention to ensuring they are warm. Less exercise because of the weather may cause some pets (and owners) to put weight on!

Nutrition
We have a great range of pet foods to suit all breeds, ages and sizes of dogs and cats. The better your pets nutrition the healthier they will be so think about upgrading now!

Summer 2012/13
Annual vaccinations
Annual vaccinations should be all up to date as the summer approaches. We often find that pets socialise more and get out more in the warmer months which can increase their chances of exposure to infectious diseases.

Flea season is upon us
Make sure all your pets are protected with good quality flea control products. We have a full range and our staff can ensure that you use the product best suited to your pets needs.