Welcome to March! And the cooler, hopefully, a little wetter Autumn months. Autumn can bring relief to the farm as we get some much needed rain along with the warm air and ground temperatures which make it the optimal time for grass growth. But Autumn is also a time that we need to be aware of some potential health issues that may affect your livestock
Parasite Treatment: Living in the Bay of Plenty brings with it stunning weather (for the most part!) and ideal conditions for all manner of plants to grow in abundance. However with such warm and moist weather, young stock need to eat a lot of grass to meet their growing requirements and will be exposed to “Plenty of Worms” so to speak. These internal parasites do a lot of damage to young animals in particular,
Facial eczema is caused by a toxin produced by the spores of a fungus growing on pasture. When ingested by cattle and sheep, the toxin damages the liver and bile ducts.
The damaged liver cannot rid the body of wastes and a breakdown product of chlorophyll builds up in the blood causing sensitivity to sunlight, which in turn causes inflammation of the skin.
The resulting liver damage can severely affect their welfare, affect production and fertility
A story about poisonous plants and Milo McColl; a 4 week old lamb who was bottle fed and kept in back garden……
A recent case I saw illustrates the problems and dangers of unknown plant ingestion by young ruminants. I picked up an early morning call from a worried owner. Her 4 week old pet lamb was “frothing at the mouth and falling over”. It had me rushing in to our Te Puna clinic
Flystrike challenge normally occurs from November through to March during the warm humid conditions that favour the rapid increase in blowfly populations.
Blowflies lay eggs on the fleece (usually down the mid back and crutch areas) which hatch into maggots. The maggots burrow into the flesh. This is easily prevented with the use of a fly strike prevention pour on and will save your stock from the unpleasant effects of fly strike.
Early signs of flystrike
Spring is the New Year for worms. As the weather warms and spring rain continues, parasites at the larvae stage that have been slumbering in your pasture come to life and resume their life cycle. They multiply furiously through spring and summer. If not managed successfully, they can reach very high, potentially fatal numbers for your livestock later in the autumn.
The challenge is to minimise the impact that worms have on production, while
Footrot is a significant welfare concern, and is estimated to cost the NZ sheep industry $11 million per year. This cost is in production loss and treatment – a hefty burden on NZ sheep farmers.
Treatment options typically include antibiotics. Antibiotics vary in their effectiveness, and none have shown to be 100% effective in fixing this industry problem. A strategic goal of the New Zealand Veterinary Associate is to reduce reliance on antibiotics for
There are many infectious diseases that can affect cattle & sheep in New Zealand. The great news is that there are excellent vaccines to prevent many of these diseases. Vaccination is an important part of your preventative medicine program for both animal & human health eg. leptospirosis, which can make people very ill.
Some of the most common conditions we recommend vaccination for:
Clostridial disease eg. Tetanus, pulpy kidney. These are environmental organisms can cause both
Parasites, like Ostertagia (brown stomach worm) pose a significant problem for all ruminant (cattle, sheep, deer) livestock grazing New Zealand pastures. Infestations of this parasite are harmful to productivity and can ultimately lead to death. It is noticeable from autumn, well into spring. Drenching allows for enhanced production as well as protecting the welfare of stock.
The disease (known as Ostertagiasis) occurs in two forms, Type I and Type II disease. The type I form occurs
With wet weather on its way, footrot is a commonly seen condition at this time of year for goats & sheep.
Footrot is caused by continuous wetting of the interdigital area, the soft part between the claws of the hoof, and following invasion of the bacteria Fusobacterium necrophorum and Dichelobacter nodosus. These bacteria are widespread in the environment but cannot penetrate healthy intact skin. Several factors can predispose to bacterial invasion of the foot eg.