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LATEST NEWS

MAR/APRIL 2017 

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY AND VE VETS


During 2017 VE Vets will attempt to engage all our farm clients with our Health and Safety procedures. It is a requirement of the new Act that we communicate with all places of work that we visit on regular basis for the purposes of sharing health and safety plans and ensuring the safety of all concerned.

Many of you have already shared your farms Health and Safety documents and we are grateful for this but it is important that we complete the procedures for all our clients.

 

$6.00 MILK PRICE FORECASTS STILL HOLDING



Economists have pared back their forecasts for Fonterra Cooperative Group's milk payout to its farmer shareholders for the current season after dairy prices tumbled in the overnight GlobalDairyTrade auction.

Last month, Fonterra kept its forecast farmgate payout at $6 per kilogram of milk solids, citing the rebalancing of demand and supply.

Overnight, the GDT price index, which covers a variety of products and contract periods, slid 6.3 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago to US$3,512 ($5,048), its lowest level since early last November.

Whole milk powder, which makes up the bulk of the auction, sank 12.4 per cent to US$2,782 a tonne.

Global dairy prices have become increasingly volatile in recent years as government subsidies and schemes propping up prices have reduced, allowing prices for more products to be set by the market.

For farmers, that's meant huge swings in prices, with Fonterra paying a record $8.40 per kilogram of milk solids in the 2013/14 season but just $3.90/kgMS for the 2015/16 season, below the level required by most dairy farmers to break even.

Economists had been more optimistic about the payout for the current season after milk prices recovered from their latest slump but have since lowered their expectations.

Westpac Banking Corp economist Sarah Drought said the overnight decline and a weaker near-term outlook for prices led Westpac to lower its forecast to $5.90/kgMS versus an earlier forecast of $6.20/kgMS.

"A few months back buyers were looking ahead to the New Zealand autumn, expecting a much tighter backdrop for supply and had been willing to pay a premium to secure product. But now, this has well and truly faded, with prices now firmly moving in the other direction," said Drought.

ASB Bank rural economist Nathan Penny said ASB revised down its forecast to $6/kgMS from $6.50/kgMS on the back of sliding dairy prices at the auction overnight. He noted the slide follows a partial turnaround in this season's production and "this season's weather risks have receded."

Recent rain in most parts of the country means the improvements in production are likely to be maintained over the remainder of the season. "As a result, we expect the price softness may remain over the coming auctions," said Penny.

Bank of New Zealand economist Doug Steel said milk powder prices have fallen as the supply outlook has improved. He said production declines in the European Union and New Zealand are showing signs of abating, while rain in the New Zealand has improved the late season outlook.

Those factors "diminishes previous upside risk to Fonterra's $6 milk price view." Steel said BNZ lowered its milk price forecast to $6.10/kgMS from $6.40/kgMS earlier in the week.

AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said farmers will be disappointed with last night's result. "To see prices falling again before the market has fully recovered will be a disappointment to farmers. While one poor result doesn't have a huge impact on the milk price it will be difficult for prices to recover quickly while there is surplus product available."

QUADBIKE SAFETY



It would be very hard to find one of our farm clients who doesn’t own a quad bike and despite health and safety strategies to prevent injury, they still occur and sometimes with tragic consequences.

The following story references one such accident that sadly involved children. We urge all our clients to be extremely vigilant when young people are operating any machinery. Be safe.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is urging the New Zealand and Australian governments to ban the bikes.
The girl was reported to have died on Monday after the quad bike she was riding on with another girl, 13, crashed into a tree. ABC reported it was the second death involving a young child in the past two months.
"According to ACC figures, every year more than 100 children hurt themselves on off-road vehicles in New Zealand.
"Of these, around one fifth will be hospitalised, and tragically, between three and six will die."

He said in Australia the story was the same - since 2001 35 children 14 years or younger had been in an accident involving quad bike.

"These figures are quite frankly unacceptable for both of our countries," he said. "No family

 

 

 

 

SEPT/OCT 2016        

 

 

Low Sunshine Hours Affecting Production and Reproduction.

If you’ve thought that you have more non-cyclers at the end of September than usual, and that production is not quite what you want, then you’re not alone. Feedback from our vets on farm is that this is a general comment and affecting most farms to greater or lesser extent.

The answer is simple but the solution is somewhat in the hands of the ‘gods’, the weather gods that is. Energy is the key driver of milk production. It determines milk yield, milk composition (fat and protein content) and body weight. Energy is measured as megajoules (MJ) of metabolisable energy (ME). The problem is that simple photosynthesis - that turns Water + CO2 into Sugar and Oxygen needs SUNLIGHT. Our sunshine hours have been well below usual for the past 4 weeks and your pasture will just not contain enough ME to get your cows humming and cycling.

Even if cows have sufficient feed (i.e. target residuals are 1500 - 1600 kg DM/ha with good pasture utilisation), supplementing with starch-based concentrates at this particular time is likely to improve production and reproduction.
Supplements would need to have a significantly better ME to pasture (i.e. at least greater than 10.5 MJ ME/kg DM) and the best example include; Potatoes, Meal and Molasses.

 

And the winners are..................

 

 

MAY/JUN 2016

YOU'RE INVITED TO JOIN US ONFRIDAY THE 20TH MAY FOR ...

The Inaugural V.E. Vets Golf Tournament  "The Sherbert Cup"

Come along and enjoy a day in the sun, BBQ and a few drinks on the course.
The tournament will be Ambrose format. Either enter a team of 4 or come yourself and we’ll match you up with some other golfers.
Prize giving will be held in the club-rooms at the end of play, where food and drinks will be supplied until 4.00 pm.

RSVP to either Steve, Mike or Les to ensure your spot. Be there by 10.00 am on Friday the 20th May 2016. Stewart Alexander Golf Club 106 Budden Road, Pokuru.

 

VE Vets Fashion Parade raises money for Assistance Dogs NZ and was lots of FUN!
Thanks to all those that took the time to dress their favourite pets pooch’s and pigs! Well done and congratulations to the winners.

 

Animal Health Plans Popular.
It’s great to see so many of you taking the opportunity to get signed up to our FREE Animal Health Plans at the RVM consult time. We are committed to making sure you get the best and most timely advice from us and the AHP is making this possible.

 

JAN/FEB 2016

Christmas BBQ

Our Christmas BBQ was a great success once again. It was fantastic to see so many of you enjoying our hospitality at the end of what has been a trying year. We hope the festive season allowed a few “milkings” off for the dairy guys and some family time for everyone. Looking forward to 2016.

 

Animal Health Plan Winner

Congratulations to Clint Rowe who was the winner of the Makita chainsaw promo that ran during November. We have over a dozen farms signed up and we encourage all of you to get your farm on board. Remember; you can have a “silent plan” if the thought of reminders and alerts is a bit daunting to start with. This option allows our large animal staff to bring you into the calendar for events that we know you have done in the past. We do encourage the use of the “full noise” option to get the best out of the Animal Health Plan.

 

 

DECEMBER 2015

Christmas BBQ 10th December

Put a ring around the 10th December. VE Vets will once again be firing up the barby, turning the spits and pouring the drinks (and there may be a salad or two!) at our annual Christmas client BBQ. See you there.

 

 

Metabolic Disease in Dairy Cows

Every spring, farmers and vets deal with three common, and major, metabolic diseases around calving time. Milk Fever (hypocalcaemia), Grass Staggers (hypomagnasaemia), and Ketosis all have typical signs that can show in seriously affected animals - however what is often not recognised is how many cows can be suffering from subclinical disease.

Milk fever, or hypocalcaemia, is most often seen in mature dairy cows, and usually within 2-3 days of calving. At the start of lactation, there is a huge increase in the amount of calcium lost into milk, so less is available for other functions. Calcium is used in many parts of the body, but generally results in weakness of muscles - therefore cows may be wobbly, progressing to recumbency (leg/body muscle weakness), appear bloated, or have dry faeces (slow down/stopping of gut muscles), and have a very weak heart beat. Cows often lose swallowing reflexes. Down cows often have their head tucked around to the flank if they are still sitting up. Death can occur within a few hours if not treated.

Treatment of clinical cases: If cows are severely affected, SLOW intravenous injection of calcium is recommended, however if given to quickly, it can be toxic to the heart and result in death. If you are not able to get a vein, it is best to put a bag under the skin and massage well, this way it will start working, while you go get someone to give you a hand. The milk vein can be used in emergencies, however, is much more likely to become infected as this area of the cow is often muddy.

Signs that treatment is working include muscles twitching as function returns, the cow may burp, pass urine and faeces, and attempt to get up. Remember - any calcium given will only have a short effect (only a few hours if given IV), so follow it up with calcium under the skin, and oral treatment once the cow is swallowing well.

Prevention:
Magnesium and Calcium have a complex relationship in the body, but increasing Magnesium supplementation will result in better usage of the available calcium - which is why giving cows magnesium daily is so important while in the springer mob, and once calved. Once cows have calved, calcium supplementation can also be used to lift the blood levels of calcium - drenching cows with lime flour is often the most effective way to achieve this. The use of a energy, calcium and magnesium supplement such as Starter Plus once the cow has calved (ie at first milking, or before if cows are going down during or immediately after calving) can help during this period of very high demand, at which time appetite is usually low.

If more than 5% of the herd is affected by milk fever, it is likely to be economical to look at ways to prevent milk fever - contact us to find out more about options for your herd.

Grass Staggers:
While not seen as commonly as milk fever, signs can be very severe and result in death very quickly. When the body is low in magnesium, signs seen are often almost opposite to those seen with milk fever - most commonly increased reaction to noise/light, agitation, bellowing, muscular spasms, and seizures. These cows can be very dangerous to handle so be very careful! Administration of 20% Magnesium Sulphate under the skin is recommended, as this product is very dangerous if given into the vein, however a combination Calcium/Magnesium product may be given slowly IV if you can safely access it. Cows with grass staggers often take longer to respond than those affected by milk fever.

Fortunately, due to supplementation, grass staggers is only rarely seen on dairy farms. More commonly, levels of magnesium may be low enough to limit milk production, without these signs. Blood tests of recently calved cows are recommended to assess whether low magnesium could be affecting your cows - calcium and BOH (ketones) can also be tested on the sample sample.

If cows are found dead (often the only sign of grass staggers), a sample of fluid from the eye can be taken and tested to see if death was caused by low magnesium.

To prevent grass staggers, magnesium supplementation must be administered daily, as it is very quickly lost through urine and milk. There are many options, magnesium oxide can be dusted on to pasture, and magnesium chloride and sulphate may be added to water, but are unlikely to meet needs when used on their own. Longer acting formulas such as More-Mag and Rumetrace Magnesium bullets may be the most convenient method of supplementation in some circumstances. High potassium levels, as often found on effluent paddocks, result in a need for more magnesium - therefore these paddocks should be avoided at high risk times - ie calving!

Ketosis:
Ketosis has long been recognised in dairy cattle, however a number of recent studies in the Waikato have shown just how common it is!

Ketosis occurs when there is a high demand for glucose, as well as excess usage of stored fat - resulting in high concentrations of 'ketones' in the bloodstream. This is most likely to become high enough to become a problem when transition management is less than optimal. The most common changes seen in dairy cows are depression and inappetence, but other occasional signs can include abnormal licking, incoordination and abnormal gait, bellowing, and aggression. In early cases, and as a prevention, two to three daily drenches with Ketol can help the metabolism. In severe cases, intravenous dextrose (Dextrose 40%) is used IV, steroids may also be given by a vet in some animals.

In most herds, ketosis is most common within a week of calving, as cows often eat less in the 24 hours around calving. This results in use of stored fat. Any other conditions that may result in a reduced feed intake (milk fever, mastitis, uterine infection, calving paralysis etc) will make things worse for the cow, and so we often see secondary ketosis - where it wasn't the initial cause of disease, but affect a cows recovery.

However, the biggest cost from ketosis comes from the cows you can't see - these can only be found by blood test. On average, a huge 20% of cows have subclinical ketosis within a week of calving! These cows have an increased risk of endometritis (being 'dirty'), and an 8% reduction in six week in-calf rate. Percentage of cows affected and timing in relation to calving varies markedly between herds, but the great news is, there is an easy blood test - we can then discuss how to reduce subclinical ketosis in your cows.

Guidelines for Metabolic Use:

IV = Intravenous (jugular where possible), SQ = subcutaneous - under the skin over neck or ribcage)

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 for a longer lasting effect, once the cow is able to swallow well (fluid into the lungs can be fatal).

When giving metabolic solutions IV, give slowly over at least 5 minutes.

If it has dextrose in it, avoid putting under the skin, as it is likely to form an abscess, and delay the absorption of critical calcium and magnesium

Remember - when in doubt, call the vet!

 

Our New Neighbour

Those of you that have been anywhere near the clinic lately will have seen the diggers, earthworks and fences. RD1 will be our new neighbour in the near future. Our back yard is now a construction zone with work expected to continue for the next 4 months. We don't anticipate any disruption to our services or clients but please let us know if you have any trouble entering or exiting the clinic due to the development.

 

First losses from Nitrate poisonoing



In the past week we have attended a farm that ultimately lost several cows to nitrate poisoning. The farm in question has very good grazing management but we believe were caught out by an unexpectedly high nitrate level in the grass combined with a change in feeding out schedule.
It can be a very fine line between safety and danger. If you are worried about any pasture or grazing you cows are due to go on to then bring us a sample and be safe.

 

Sophie Pilkington

We are very pleased to introduce our newest vet Dr Sophie Pilkington. Sophie graduated from Massey University in November and has been hard at work in the small animal clinic and on farm since January. "I grew up on a sheep and beef farm near Kawhia and am stoked to be back in the Waikato. My areas of interest include Dairy, sheep , beef and equine. Outside work I enjoy tramping, hunting and surfing (though I spend more time in the water than on the board!). I am looking forward to working with you all and catching up with a few familiar faces."

 

VE Vets Animal Health Plans

What is the Animal Health Plan?

 ANIMAL HEALTH PLAN is an online application that enables the VE Vets and our farmer clients to be able to work collaboratively to achieve “best practice” animal and farm management to increase productivity and reduce risk. Not only does the animal health plan provide an annual health plan calendar function, its strength is the ability to track and remind all users including farmers, vets and merchandise managers of tasks for different animal groups.

By having a unique task dependency feature, if a base task date is changed, future task dates will also change. Using the online environment, the plan is dynamic and can easily be adjusted to changing environmental and economic conditions

throughout the year. By working together, and off the same plan, VE Vets and the farmer can both participate in the successful management of a farms animal health.

 Benefits to the Farmer

The Animal Health Plan provides farmers with a comprehensive plan to follow, with the aim to ensure they achieve maximum productivity and profitability on their farm.

For the larger farm with multiple labour units, they are able to utilise the plan to delegate tasks and ensure that jobs aredone according to best practice and completed on time.

The farmer is able to look ahead and view jobs coming up to plan labour and product resources as necessary.

Most importantly, it is a dynamic link between the farm and one of the most important but least appreciated farm advisors – the veterinarian.

The Animal Health Plan caters for all levels of technical capability (both farmer user and internet connectivity) by giving the option of printing a 12 month calendar and/or a wall planner once the initial plan is complete. While the

advantage of the online plan is that it is dynamic – it can change with the season as needed, it is also important for farmers that we can produce the traditional wall planner.

 

How to get started with Animal Health Plans

If you are interested in how AHP’s could benefit your farm then talk to any of our vets to find out more. To get started will require some basic farm and date information which allows us to establish a base plan. This is followed by a sit down meeting where the plan is reviewed and refined to ensure it takes into account how your farm systems operate. Plan set-ups start from as low as $460.00 incl GST.

 

 

Christmas BBQ 11th December

Put a ring around the 11th December. VE Vets will once again be firing up the barby, turning the spits and pouring the drinks (and there may be a salad or two!) at our annual Christmas client BBQ. See you there.

 

Susan Leaving

It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to Dr Susan Lyon in December. Susan joined VE Vets in November 2009 as a new graduate from Massey University. She very quickly found her vet feet (and gumboots) and set about making an impression on her work mates and clients. Susan is an extremely enthusiastic person and this combined with her passion for all aspects of veterinary medicine has made her an invaluable part of our team. She will be missed and we wish her and her partner Hamish all the very best in their new life in the Manawatu.


 

 

August 2014

Theileria – Latest Information for Farmers


Theileria parasites attached to red blood cells

Thelieria has become problematic on some farms over the last 2 years, with the first cases around Te Awamutu seen in the winter of 2013. While we have had Theileria Orientalis parasite in New Zealand for approximately 30 years, a recently introduced strain of Theileria called Ikeda is responsible for the current disease situation. It is important to note that ticks transmit Theileria, but it is the parasite that causes disease in cattle.
When an infected tick bites a cow or calf, it injects the Theileria parasite. The parasite attaches itself to the cow’s red blood cells and begins to multiply. Parasite numbers peak at about 6 weeks and the affected red blood cells are destroyed and the cow becomes anaemic.
Clinically, cases of Theileria tend to be seen in cows during periods of stress, meaning that the majority of disease is seen throughout the calving period in either August/September or March/April/May. Recently calved cows and beef calves seem to be more susceptible to Theileria due to their changing energy requirements and stress on their immune system. Fortunately, on average, only about 1% of infected cows will show signs.
What to look out for in your herd:
The signs of anaemia in cattle include lethargy, pale or yellow mucous membranes (check the vulva and eyes), a pale udder, exercise intolerance and increased respiratory and heart rates. Stress and movement of affected animals should be minimised as the lack of red blood cells and their reduced capacity to transport oxygen around the body can lead to collapse and death. Watching cows as they walk to the shed is a good time to pick up stragglers.
Be aware that signs of Theileria can look similar to other diseases and there are a number of causes of anaemia. Farmers who suspect they have animals with any of the above signs should contact their veterinarian for advice.
Treatment of affected animals:
Minimise movement and stress, providing high quality, easy to eat feed and free access to water. Affected animals should be handled only when necessary ie milked once a day or not at all.
Other treatments including a blood transfusion and specific drugs may be required in severe cases. A recently imported drug is now available and may be of benefit, however there are strict regulations around its use in cattle and it has a very long meat and milk withhold.
Prevention and Control
It is very hard to prevent infection so the best thing you can do to reduce losses from Theileria on your farm is to focus on cow health. Lack of feed, poor body condition, transition diets, calving, and lactation are all sources of stress. By ensuring your cows are in the best overall health you will reduce the chances of seeing clinical cases of Theileria.
Optimising feed availability and quality is a key method of doing this. If you were considering buying in feed, this year is the year to do it! Also consider once a day milking for any underweight cows or if feed is short.
Focusing on preventing and effectively treating other disease such as mastitis, BVD and uterine infections is also beneficial, reducing stress on the immune system
Natural Immunity
Over time cattle will gradually build up a level of immunity to Theileria Ikeda. The biggest risk to stock occurs when animals are exposed for the first time. The typical scenario involves a change in farm management practices such as the movement of animals to areas where they would not normally graze. For example:

  • New unexposed animals entering a herd where Theileria is prevalent
  • Movement of a herd into a region where the disease is present and/or there is a high tick burden
  • Animals carrying infected ticks have been introduced to a farm

When animals are grazed off farm, treatment with Bayticol prior to moving back to the home farm will help prevent stock carrying infected ticks between farms. Python Ear Tags are also available, the use of one in each ear will protect cattle against ticks for 6 weeks – ideal for animals grazing off for short periods. Eliminating all ticks from a property is unfortunately not feasible due to their lifecycle and the large amount of time they spend on pasture and other hosts such as dogs and rabbits. Minimizing the number of ticks however will reduce the amount of Theileria parasites that can be transmitted at one time, and ideally reduce the likelihood of visible disease.
Given the current scenario in the Waikato and Northland regions it is likely that all cattle will be affected at some point – the key is managing and minimising this exposure where possible!
For more detailed information fact sheets are available on the Dairy NZ website or contact your veterinarian.

 

Metabolic Disease in Dairy Cows
Every spring, farmers and vets deal with three common, and major, metabolic diseases around calving time. Milk Fever (hypocalcaemia), Grass Staggers (hypomagnasaemia), and Ketosis all have typical signs that can show in seriously affected animals - however what is often not recognised is how many cows can be suffering from subclinical disease. 

Milk Fever:
Milk fever, or hypocalcaemia, is most often seen in mature dairy cows, and usually within 2-3 days of calving. At the start of lactation, there is a huge increase in the amount of calcium lost into milk, so less is available for other functions. Calcium is used in many parts of the body, but generally results in weakness of muscles - therefore cows may be wobbly, progressing to recumbency (leg/body muscle weakness), appear bloated, or have dry faeces (slow down/stopping of gut muscles), and have a very weak heart beat. Cows often lose swallowing reflexes. Down cows often have their head tucked around to the flank if they are still sitting up. Death can occur within a few hours if not treated.  

Treatment of clinical cases: If cows are severely affected, SLOW intravenous injection of calcium is recommended, however if given to quickly, it can be toxic to the heart and result in death. If you are not able to get a vein, it is best to put a bag under the skin and massage well, this way it will start working, while you go get someone to give you a hand. The milk vein can be used in emergencies, however, is much more likely to become infected as this area of the cow is often muddy. 
Signs that treatment is working include muscles twitching as function returns, the cow may burp, pass urine and faeces, and attempt to get up. Remember - any calcium given will only have a short effect (only a few hours if given IV), so follow it up with calcium under the skin, and oral treatment once the cow is swallowing well. 

Prevention: Magnesium and Calcium have a complex relationship in the body, but increasing Magnesium supplementation will result in better usage of the available calcium - which is why giving cows magnesium daily is so important while in the springer mob, and once calved. Once cows have calved, calcium supplementation can also be used to lift the blood levels of calcium - drenching cows with lime flour is often the most effective way to achieve this. The use of a energy, calcium and magnesium supplement such as Starter Plus once the cow has calved (ie at first milking, or before if cows are going down during or immediately after calving) can help during this period of very high demand, at which time appetite is usually low. 

If more than 5% of the herd is affected by milk fever, it is likely to be economical to look at ways to prevent milk fever - contact us to find out more about options for your herd. 
Grass Staggers:
While not seen as commonly as milk fever, signs can be very severe and result in death very quickly. When the body is low in magnesium, signs seen are often almost opposite to those seen with milk fever - most commonly increased reaction to noise/light, agitation, bellowing, muscular spasms, and seizures. These cows can be very dangerous to handle so be very careful! Administration of 20% Magnesium Sulphate under the skin is recommended, as this product is very dangerous if given into the vein, however a combination Calcium/Magnesium product may be given slowly IV if you can safely access it. Cows with grass staggers often take longer to respond than those affected by milk fever. 

Fortunately, due to supplementation, grass staggers is only rarely seen on dairy farms. More commonly, levels of magnesium may be low enough to limit milk production, without these signs. Blood tests of recently calved cows are recommended to assess whether low magnesium could be affecting your cows - calcium and BOH (ketones) can also be tested on the sample sample. 
If cows are found dead (often the only sign of grass staggers), a sample of fluid from the eye can be taken and tested to see if death was caused by low magnesium. 

To prevent grass staggers, magnesium supplementation must be administered daily, as it is very quickly lost through urine and milk. There are many options, magnesium oxide can be dusted on to pasture, and magnesium chloride and sulphate may be added to water, but are unlikely to meet needs when used on their own. Longer acting formulas such as More-Mag and Rumetrace Magnesium bullets may be the most convenient method of supplementation in some circumstances. High potassium levels, as often found on effluent paddocks, result in a need for more magnesium - therefore these paddocks should be avoided at high risk times - ie calving! 

 

Ketosis:
Ketosis has long been recognised in dairy cattle, however a number of recent studies in the Waikato have shown just how common it is! 

Ketosis occurs when there is a high demand for glucose, as well as excess usage of stored fat - resulting in high concentrations of 'ketones' in the bloodstream. This is most likely to become high enough to become a problem when transition management is less than optimal. The most common changes seen in dairy cows are depression and inappetence, but other occasional signs can include abnormal licking, incoordination and abnormal gait, bellowing, and aggression. In early cases, and as a prevention, two to three daily drenches with Ketol can help the metabolism. In severe cases, intravenous dextrose (Dextrose 40%) is used IV, steroids may also be given by a vet in some animals. 

In most herds, ketosis is most common within a week of calving, as cows often eat less in the 24 hours around calving. This results in use of stored fat. Any other conditions that may result in a reduced feed intake (milk fever, mastitis, uterine infection, calving paralysis etc) will make things worse for the cow, and so we often see secondary ketosis - where it wasn't the initial cause of disease, but affect a cows recovery. 

However, the biggest cost from ketosis comes from the cows you can't see - these can only be found by blood test. On average, a huge 20% of cows have subclinical ketosis within a week of calving! These cows have an increased risk of endometritis (being 'dirty'), and an 8% reduction in six week in-calf rate. Percentage of cows affected and timing in relation to calving varies markedly between herds, but the great news is, there is an easy blood test - we can then discuss how to reduce subclinical ketosis in your cows. 

 

Guidelines for Metabolic Use:
IV = Intravenous (jugular where possible), SQ = subcutaneous - under the skin over neck or ribcage)
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 for a longer lasting effect, once the cow is able to swallow well (fluid into the lungs can be fatal). 
When giving metabolic solutions IV, give slowly over at least 5 minutes. 
If it has dextrose in it, avoid putting under the skin, as it is likely to form an abscess, and delay the absorption of critical calcium and magnesium
Remember - when in doubt, call the vet! 



May/June 2014

Beetle-mania


AgResearch scientists warn that another mild winter could result in a population explosion of black beetles on Waikato pastures.
Recent trial work showed that black beetle populations are on the increase and development is more advanced in autumn 2014 than in the previous five years, AgResearch science team leader biocontrol and biosecurity Dr Alison Popay said.
"This meant that the adult black beetles would have plenty of time to feed and build up fat reserves to help them through the winter.
"If warm conditions continue through autumn and spring conditions are right, some farmers could be facing another serious black beetle outbreak next summer."
Black beetle numbers had surged because of the warmer than normal winter in 2013.
The warmer temperatures lifted the survival rate of the pests, she said.
The pest was more frequent in lighter, free draining soils in Waikato, Bay of Plenty and south to Te Kuiti.
"Bit by bit it's creeping south."
Modelling from data collected from the farm of Taupiri farmer Martin Henton showed farmers could be heading for trouble if the spring-summer period is warm and dry again.
"There would be huge problems if this continued into 2016," Popay said.
"Niwa is predicting about 50 per cent chance of an El Nio event July - September. While Waikato farmers may not like the cold wet conditions it may bring, it should help reduce overwintering black beetle adult populations."
Farmers can make decisions now that will prepare their farm for the likely black beetle outbreak if winter is warmer and drier than average. They had few options apart from using black beetle-active endophytes in autumn regrassing, Popay said.
"When renovating this autumn, use a black beetle-active endophyte and manage pastures to ensure no gaps develop where beetle-friendly paspalum and summer grasses can establish. Establish endophyte pasture now to ensure it will be robust enough next summer when pressure from the black beetle increases."
Farmers should also consider planting legumes, which were not attacked by the beetle, or crops like chicory, which was not a good black beetle host and could help break the pest's lifecycle.
Popay warns that endophytes in grasses will be of little use in breaking the lifecycle of black beetle if an alternative feed source such as C4 grasses (especially paspalum), poa annua, other grass weeds or endophyte-free ryegrass, including annuals and Italian ryegrass were available.
"These alternative feed sources would only add fuel to the fire as it provides the perfect environment for the pest," Popay said.
Waikato Times


 

March 2014

DRIER THAN LAST YEAR.

Unlike Christchurch, Waikato has been experiencing one of the driest summers. January and February recorded the seventh lowest rainfall since records began in 1907, with some rivers and streams nearing towards record lows. Conditions in parts of the Waikato region are even drier than last year, when a drought was declared.

If you need any advice or support during these dry months then call us on 07 871 3091


 

FACIAL ECZEMA UPDATE

Despite ongoing dry and hot weather over most of the Waipa area we are still seeing some spore counts getting over 100,000. These areas are ones that have been lucky enough to have had some rain but they are a reminder that spore counts can change quickly with warm, wet weather



EARLY SCANNING RESULTS

The feedback from our vets is that empty rates are generally higher than anticipated across the region. We have rates varying from as low as 6% to over 20%, with the average approximately 12%.

Of interest is that a lot of herds have had lower conception rates throughout mating. This may be attributed to a loss of feed quality on many farms towards the end of 2013. On some farms bulls also seemed to be affected by ryegrass staggers and this may have had an impact on mating.

Well done to those of you who have achieved great results despite the challenges faced this season!