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Broughton Veterinary Group 12 Swannington Road, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire LE9 6TU
Tel: 01455 282512
Elizabethan House, Leicester Road, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17
Tel: 01455 552117 Broughton Veterinary Group is the trading name of Broughton Vet Group Ltd. Company number 9243007 registered in England & Wales. Registered office: 12 Swannington Road, Broughton Astley, Leicester, LE9 6TU
JUNE FARM NEWSLETTER 2019
i. FAREWELL JAN! It is with great sadness that we have to wish a fond farewell to Jan. Jan has been an integral part of the Broughton Farm team for almost 8 years and in recent years has been our Head Veterinary Nurse. We, as I am sure you all will miss her joy of assisting with surgery, getting stuck in on farm, soaked during TB tests and her enthusiasm for poo analysis! Always with a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed by all the team and we wish her all the best for her next adventure in New Zealand, to work as a veterinary technician.
ii. GOODBYE BETH Sadly, we have also had to say goodbye to Beth this month. Beth has been a valued part of our farm admin team for the past 4 years. Beth has managed the daunting task of keeping the vets organised, diaries full and providing a friendly voice at the end of the phone, with great enthusiasm! Beth leaves us to return to a more hands on farm role working with pigs, dairy and her sucklers at home. We are looking forward to her continued involvement with our farm meetings although now as a member of the audience she promises not to heckle too much! We wish her the best of luck in the future! iii. WELCOME FRANCESCA This month we are welcoming Francesca into the Broughton Vet Group team. Francessca has recently graduated from Bristol Veterinary School.
Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortions and apparent infertility in cattle. Carried by
dogs and foxes and spread to cattle in their faeces.
◦Abortion, between 3 and 9 months of pregnancy
(particularly 5 to 7 months)
◦Still birth or premature calf
◦Occasionally, calves will have brain disease at
◦No other signs seen in the mother
◦Repeat abortions possible in the same cow
As a large number of healthy calves can be infected with Neospora and it can remain hidden in the
herd for years, it is important to eliminate other causes of abortion, particularly BVD or leptospirosis
before a diagnosis of neosporosis is made.
Dogs are a source of disease. So prevention must include:
a) Keeping cattle food and water away from dogs and foxes- particular attention must be paid to land
with public walkways where dogs may be off lead. Dog walkers need to be encouraged to pick up their
b) High hygiene standards at calving. Dispose of placental membranes and aborted or dead calves
before dogs can get them
Transmission from mother to calf is incredibly important. Over 90% of calves born to mothers with
antibodies to Neospora will have been infected in the womb. This will maintain infection in a herd.
To eliminate Neospora you need to:
1) Identify infected cattle: All cattle with antibodies to Neospora are sources of infection to their
calves. Additionally cattle with antibodies are 20 times more likely to abort than cattle without
antibodies. Also infected cows produce less milk than antibody negative cows.
2) Only keep seronegative cattle for breeding. If you don't cull seropositive cows, ensure that you only
breed them to beef bulls. Heifers with antibodies should be sold for meat not bred.
These strategies look expensive to achieve, however the cost of neosporosis far outweighs
the cost of eliminating it from the herd.
DO YOU WORM YOUR DOGS? Farm dogs need to be wormed against roundworms and tapeworms at least four times a year with an effective wormer appropriate for their weight. This is to stop them transmitting parasitic diseases to livestock. As well as causing financial losses due to abattoir condemnations, it is also an important part of any farm assurance scheme. Care should be taken to remove deadstock promptly to avoid scavenging and hence re-infection. If you wish to discuss your worming regime, please feel free to contact the surgery.
◦Clinical signs of little help
◦Still born calves should be sent for
◦Antibodies in the mother's blood
Broughton Veterinary Group
Keep enzootic abortion out of your flock
Abortion in sheep is still a large part of the lambing season. There are many causes of abortion of which the most common is a bacteria called Chlamydophila abortus, disease better known as Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE).
Enzootic abortion causes abortion of dead or very weak lambs in late pregnancy. The infected afterbirth and vaginal discharges are highly contagious and spread the infection very rapidly round the rest of the flock. However, the infection will often lay latent after initial contraction and remerge in the next pregnancy causing abortion the following year. Ewes are often well in themselves at the time of abortion and will develop an immunity to it in the future. This bacteria can also be contagious to people. Care must be taken when handling aborted sheep and material. The bacteria can remain in the environment for 6 weeks.
Control measures have to be put into place in the face of an outbreak. Post mortems of aborted lambs and their placentas are vital to get a definite diagnosis. Aborted ewes need to be isolated and afterbirths and bedding they have been in contact with must be removed and destroyed. Treatment of ewes in the face of an outbreak with a long acting oxytetracycline, can help reduce the incidence of abortion but it will not reverse any damage already done in the uterus. It may delay the abortion until the ewe is nearer term and has more milk developed so can have a lamb fostered on to her. Any lambs reared on a ewe that has aborted, must not be kept as a replacement.
Prevention is by far the most effective way to control this problem. Enzootic abortion vaccination is widely available. It cannot be given to ewes during pregnancy. It has to be given 1-2 months before tupping therefore requires planning over the summer months. It can be given to lambs as young as 5 months and if not being mated this year, can be given at any time. Immunity lasts for 3 years. The cost of vaccination with live vaccines is offset by the protection, which in many flocks is a one-off cost per ewe. Saving just 14 abortions in 500 ewes can make vaccination economically viable*.
Even if there are no signs of abortion in your flock you could still be at risk. Ceva Animal Health manufacturers of Cevac Chlamydia, the no 1 vaccine for enzootic abortion, are running Assure Ewe, a subsidised enzootic abortion blood testing programme which allows you to monitor and prevent enzootic abortion in your flock whether you’ve experienced abortions or not.
At Broughton Vets we would like to support you in controlling abortion in your farm. Please contact us for further information on 01455 552117 / [email protected]
Are your rams ready to perform… remember the 4 T’s; Toes, Teeth, Testicles and Tone.
A full mot check should be performed well in advance (8-12 weeks) of tupping to ensure the flock is on target for optimal productivity. This gives you the time to treat any abnormalities or to source replacements and allow for quarantine time.
Rams can easily be forgotten when it comes to vaccinations. Ensure your rams have been vaccinated for clostridial disease and pasteurella.
Rams are twice as susceptible to worms as ewes. It is advisable to carry out a faecal egg count to check worm burden. At BVG we run in house FEC samples in our in house laboratory which enable a quick turn around.
RAM VASECTOMY TIME
A vasectomised (teaser) ram can be used to bring your
ewes into season before your tups go out. Not only does this enhance fertility, it can also be a great way of
tightening your lambing period. Once a ram is vasectomised he should not be used for at least 8 weeks as
he may still be fertile, so now is the time to think about booking your ram in for the procedure. Vasectomies can
be performed on farm or at the practice.
Toes: Watch the rams walk, there should not be any signs of lameness or stiff movement, feet should be inspected and trimmed accordingly.
Teeth: Check the mouth for overshot jaws, loss of teeth/full mouth and abscesses
Testicles: No lumps, bumps or thickening should be present in breeding stock, circumference of testicles should be measured, they should be >36cm and in ram lambs >34cm. Abnormalities in the testicles can result in poor semen quality. The penis should also be examined. BVG farm vets can collect semen sample and examine the quality if needed, sub fertile rams cost MONEY!
Tone: Rams should be at a BCS of 3.5-4 at tupping with the spine well covered. Remember it takes up to 6 weeks for a ram to change one score of body condition scoring so any changes need to be made now ahead of time. BCS score is very important as tupping is a time of great stress for the rams.
*Average cost per vaccine dose: £1.95 (20 pack) £3.01 (50 pack) * price as of June 2019