NEWS LIVESTOCK PARAGON VETERINARY GROUP PARAGON VETERINARY GROUP ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH AND PRODUCTVITY ISSUE 53 JULY 2015

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1 PARAGON VETERINARY GROUP ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH AND PRODUCTVITY ISSUE 53 LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 Staff News Mobility scoring Sheep lameness & abortion Fly control Phenylbutazone PARAGON VETERINARY GROUP Visit us at:

2 Staff news LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 Victoria Bushby It is with sadness that we have said a very fond farewell to Vicky as part of the regular farm team. Vicky has been a brilliant vet to us for the past 10 years and will be greatly missed. Vicky has moved on due to personal commitments and we wish her well and hope maybe to see her back with us again some day! On a plus note Vicky is not gone from Paragon completely as she will still be undertaking sheep ET/AI work during the forthcoming sheep breeding season. Cheryl Watson Cheryl our farm animal administrator has recently changed her role within the practice after an initial decision to leave Paragon and concentrate on their dairy farm at home. She is now devoting her time entirely to VPS products (wormers, fly control, flukicides, and some vaccines). She is available for advice as well as sourcing products at competitive prices from the various companies and will mainly be working from home. We are very glad to have Cheryl back on board after a brief spell away from Paragon. Contact Cheryl on: or paragonvet.com Caroline Abbott We are pleased to welcome Caroline as our newest farm vet having started with us in May. Caroline is from a beef and sheep farm near Brampton and qualified from Nottingham University in She has worked on dairy farms in both Canada and New Zealand and is interested in all aspects of farm work. She looks forward to meeting you all soon and will be based at both the Dalston and Newbiggin branches. Jenni Armstrong We are also pleased to welcome Jenni as our new farm administrator. Jenni started with us at the end of June and is from a beef and sheep farm at Gilcrux. She will be working at Paragon coordinating the farm administration alongside helping on the family farm.

3 LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 Locomotion scoring and vet students By Miriam Hedley Hands up if you have lame cows? That d be everyone then. Lameness is regularly cited as one of the top 3 reasons for culling. We ask cows to walk into the parlour twice daily, often along poorly constructed cow tracks, turn sharp corners, step up, step down All of this is common place on many farms and can contribute to foot problems. The first step to addressing these problems is to know which cows are actually lame! To do this is simple locomotion score your herd. This is most often done at milking as the cows exit the parlour. It is done on a simple scale of 0-3, with defined criteria for each point. The data then gives you a useful overview of incidence of lameness on farm and a list of the worst cows to look at. The good news is that we can help you with this! We regularly have willing and able students who are keen to locomotion score cows. If you are interested in having your herd locomotion scored, speak to one of the vets who will be happy to organise this.

4 LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 Stand up to sheep lameness By Barry Cooper Stand up to sheep lameness is XLVets next big initiative, and was launched nationally at the NSA North Sheep Event last month. XLVets will be following commercial flocks and tracking their progress in lameness reduction over the next three years. The aim of the campaign is to showcase how having a set action plan can have a significant impact on flock lameness levels. We also want to increase awareness of good practice when it comes to managing sheep lameness. Surveys tell us that lameness is the biggest welfare concern in the view of sheep farmers and it is thought to cost 6-15/ sheep depending on the production system. It is estimated that at any one time there are 3 million lame sheep in the UK, costing at least 20,000,000 to the industry every year. As part of XLVets we, at Paragon, are keen to help our sheep clients reduce levels of lameness on their farms and improve welfare and profitability. Driven by the Stand Up to Sheep Lameness initiative we can provide you with tailor made lameness reduction plans using the evidence based Five Point Plan. We can help you to correctly identify lameness conditions or lesions and then select appropriate treatments.to trim or not to trim??? We will also look at preventative measures that can be employed on your unit. If you are interested in discussing this campaign or would like a sheep lameness action plan putting together please contact us at the practice.

5 Sheep Abortion By Bruce Richards LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 Now lambing is over it is a very good time to start planning for the next breeding season. If you are already vaccinating against Toxoplasma and Chlamydia (Enzootic Abortion - EAE) then remember you need to vaccinate your replacements at least 4 weeks before the tups go in. This year, if you have bought replacements too close to tupping or time has run away with you there is the option of a killed vaccine that can be used during pregnancy. This vaccine has also been shown to be effective in the face of an outbreak as it reduces the severity of placentitis (inflammation of the placenta) and subsequent abortion and will reduce levels of abortion in subsequent seasons. Don t forget Toxoplasma lasts about 2 lambing seasons so some older ewes might need a booster and EAE vaccines usually last 3 seasons meaning they can be administered during handling in the summer months for shearlings and older ewes. If you don t vaccinate it might still be worth blood sampling any aborted ewes for EAE to check for exposure. It is maybe a little late to test for Toxoplasma - best sampled if scanned barren or mummified or if they abort mummified foetuses so during the winter or early spring. Laboratory investigations (SAC) into ewe abortion reached a diagnosis in about 54% of submissions and by far the majority were EAE, Toxoplasma and Campylobacter (see graph opposite). Remember abortion rate should be less than 2% and consider investigation (blood sampling) if abortion was higher in purchased animals or gimmers.

6 LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 Fly control By Caroline Abbott Modern methods of livestock farming provide an ideal environment for flies. Fly numbers are determined by factors such as temperature, moisture of breeding habitat and humidity. Summer months and warmer conditions are perfect for a surge in the population of many troublesome insect species, in particular flies. All livestock species are affected in one way or another, so controlled steps must be taken in order to avert an increase in conditions such as fly strike, contagious summer mastitis, eye infections (New Forest eye), and the nuisance associated with biting particularly in dairy parlours and calf housing. Establishing a comprehensive approach to fly control will do much to control the distress caused to livestock. Moreover, it can also produce considerable financial benefits, cutting losses due to fly-associated diseases. Fly strike in sheep flocks is mainly caused by the green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata). Its control is dependant on a combination of chemical treatments and flock management measures. A choice of appropriate fly treatment will vary according to the length of period of activity required and the management policies enforced at the unit. Although plunge dipping has traditionally been a summer activity to provide protection, it is labour intensive and may be better reserved for autumn treatments and scab control. Pour- on treatments with pyrethroid and insect growth regulators have advantages in requiring less handling and these products provide varied lengths of protection. Early treatment before the first cases of fly strike is imperative. Equally, correct and careful application of these products maximises their effect. Controlling fly problems in cattle and dairy units is made more complicated by there being two distinct insect populations flies found at pasture and those lingering around yards and milking parlours. Chemically impregnated ear tags, pour-on and spray-on insecticides are all useful options in controlling flies in grazing herds. These are all good at killing biting flies, which are a constant cause of irritation to cattle. They are less effective against non-biting flies, so managing the herd to minimise exposure to flies is just as important as treatment. Like sheep flocks, cattle should be kept away from high-risk areas when the fly population is at its peak. They should be moved

7 LIVESTOCK NEWS JULY 2015 away from low lying damp pasture where flies can breed, particularly fields adjoining woodland where flies shelter. Different tactics are needed against the flies that live in and around farm buildings. There are various options for killing indoor flies including UV lamps, fly paper and insecticidal paints to name but a few a multiple pronged attack is more likely to be effective. Camelid species are generally not commonly affected by fly strike but as in sheep and cattle, if they suffer from predisposing conditions they are more likely to become affected. Irritation can be more of a problem and llama s and alpaca s can develop bare patches on the bridge of the nose due to rubbing. Flies are attracted to sheep and other livestock mainly through their sense of smell, so individuals with conditions such as faecal soiling of the rear end caused by heavy worms burdens, foot rot or open infected wounds are likely to be targeted by flies. Therefore, these animals should be treated for these predisposing conditions and particular attention paid to their management. Effective control of flies in the farmyard depends on cutting their numbers off at the source by removing the organic material in which flies breed. With a lifecycle of 1 week, flies can rapidly multiply in small amounts of manure. Clearing up manure and storing it away from farm buildings, collecting waste food and ensuring good water and slurry drainage will help curb any growth in fly population. Moreover, high standards of farm hygiene are likely to provide significant benefits whatever the season. It s important to be proactive, and not reactive when dealing with fly control. XLVets celebrates 10 years! In order to celebrate this event we will be fundraising for the Great North Air Ambulance and the Send a Cow appeal in Africa. All XLVet practices are joining together to go around the world. This is miles per member practice either by running, cycling, swimming, horse riding or sailing.

8 The perils of Phenylbutazone! By Anne Abbs Many farmers have a horse or pony about the place, perhaps for the children to ride or just in a state of retirement. For those older equines that become a little stiff about the joints we often prescribe phenylbutazone (bute) or other equine painkillers. This is the drug that caused concern during the horsemeat scandal, as all horses that receive it should have their passports signed to indicate that they can never be slaughtered for human consumption. Samples taken at slaughter could potentially be tested to ensure that it isn t entering the food chain by other routes e.g. being deliberately or accidentally fed to livestock. Experimental work has been done recently to investigate the uptake of bute by cattle exposed to it in different ways: A. Cattle fed from a bucket used to mix horse feed with bute and not washed out. B. Cattle kept in close proximity to a treated horse in the same buildings. C. Cattle grazed on land immediately after removal of a horse given bute. D. Cattle grazed on land 3 weeks after removal of a horse given bute. Worryingly cattle in all of the above experiments absorbed enough bute to be detectable by blood sample and potentially enough to fail residue sampling at slaughter. Careful consideration therefore needs to be given to any treatment given to horses co-grazing with livestock, including adequate time intervals after removal of treated horses from a field before turning livestock onto the same pasture Paragon Veterinary Group Carlisle House, Townhead Road Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7JF Contact us: Townhead Veterinary Centre Newbiggin, Stainton, Penrith, Cumbria Tel: (01228) Tel: (01768) Paragon ET :

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