ISSUE 62 Spring/Summer 2018
Inside this issue: Red Tractor Assurance Badgers, Cattle and TB Lamb Scour Salmonella dublin Subsidised flock screening ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY
Red Tractor Assurance By Bruce Richards As of 1st June 2018, there will some major changes to the veterinary requirements for farmers to comply with Red Tractor standards:Dairy 1st October 2017 saw further standards introduced to ensure dairy farmers can demonstrate responsible use of antibiotics. All Red Tractor dairy farms are required to undertake an annual review of antibiotic use with their vet. Medicine records must include all antibiotics used (using medicine records or
prescription data), and must be used to demonstrate that antibiotics are being used as responsibly as possible without compromising animal welfare. Vets must make recommendations for responsible use and discuss the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs). Vets must include discussions on antibiotic failures and overall use of dry cow therapy and selective use in the annual review. It is also recommended that a member of staff attend a training course in the handling and administration of medicines. We will deliver training courses and certification throughout the year. As of the 1st June 2018 the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics must be a last resort and their use must be under the report and direction of a vet, backed up by sensitivity or diagnostic testing. Beef and Lamb As of 1st June 2018, it is compulsory for all Red Tractor beef and lamb members to have a written annual livestock health and performance review undertaken by their vet. A written annual livestock health and performance review must be undertaken by the
vet. The vet should attend the farm and livestock at least once a year and should: Identify key issues and make recommendations for improvements Review records and data, including medicine records and prescription data outlining
total antibiotic used by product name, making recommendations to responsibly reduce antibiotic usage where appropriate without negatively impacting welfare Review use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs) and make recommendations for responsible reduction. HP-CIAs must only be used as a last resort under veterinary direction. Review prophylactic treatment and make recommendations for alternative disease prevention strategies e.g. vaccination Consider industry initiatives e.g. BVD Free England It is recommended that at least one member of staff responsible for administering medicines has undertaken training in the handling and administration of medicines LIVESTOCK NEWS
Spring/Summer 2018 The Practice can help to collate medicine purchases. However, please bear in mind we will need some notice to prepare these, preferably 2 weeks, and we will not be able to sign off health plans where we have not been able to have the time to review health and performance and attend the farm where necessary. Please give us as much notice as possible if you have an upcoming review. For those users of HP-CIAs we will be actively discussing how to reduce and stop their use, using appropriate alternatives, with a view to ceasing all dispensing in the near future We will also be running training courses on Responsible Use and Administration of antibiotics – keep a look out for dates.
Badgers, Cattle and TB By Anne Abbs With the discovery that a number of badgers in the area to the West of Shap have been infected with bovine TB, the measures that can be taken to separate badgers and cattle have been thrown into focus. As most people are aware, the strain of TB that is currently a problem in cattle and badgers in that area appears to have originated in Ireland. Given that badgers aren’t noted for their sea swimming abilities, it is probable that it came into the area in an infected cow and subsequently spread to the local badger population. This means that restricting the contact between badgers and cattle can have two benefits – it reduces the risk of your cattle becoming infected from badgers, but it can also reduce the risk of any infected cattle passing disease to badgers and TB becoming established in an area. That is a great idea in theory but how practical is it? Badgers are incredibly agile and can squeeze through amazingly small gaps making badger proofing of buildings a challenge. They are coming into buildings for specific purposes – normally to feed, especially if they are struggling to forage outside because the ground is hard in dry weather. Feed stores are obviously an area to look at and lots of measures (some easy and relatively cheap, others less so) can be taken to protect them. Protecting cattle when grazing from contact with badger latrines is also important but needs to be done carefully otherwise fencing can encourage the badgers to move their latrine to the new fence line. APHA have recently run a training course for vets to look with farmers in the Shap hotspot who wish to consider any of these measures. Contact Anne if you wish to discuss the scheme or any other aspect of TB control. LIVESTOCK NEWS
Lamb scour - causes and supportive fluids By Dan Griffiths Lambs may scour (diarrhoea) at any age and for a variety of reasons. Scour can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, nutritional issues and many other factors. The cause of scour cannot always be easily diagnosed for rapid accurate treatment. All animals that are scouring will be losing fluids as well as vital electrolytes and therefore fluid therapy that addresses these electrolyte imbalances is an important part of supportive therapy. Scours may result in slow return to normal growth rates Scour can be defined as a failure of net intestinal uptake of sodium (a salt) and water such that the absorptive capacity of the colon is overwhelmed, resulting in the passage of liquid faeces. As salts and water are lost into the faeces, the animal will become dehydrated and may develop acidosis, as well as other issues related to the loss of vital electrolytes. The animal may well lose weight or fail to thrive as it needs energy to repair the gut. Failure to correct the fluid and electrolyte balance may result in death and certainly a very slow return to normal growth rates. How can you treat a scouring lamb? No matter the cause of the scour, the treatment of a scouring animal should aim to:
Address the cause, if possible
Assess and correct dehydration
Address acidosis/electrolyte imbalances
Any scouring animals that are too weak to stand, or have lost their suckle reflex, should be assessed by a vet as intravenous fluids may be necessary. Keep scouring animals on milk It has been recognised for a number of years that removal of milk from scouring animals does not encourage recovery. Continued milk feeding allows all of the benefits of milk, especially its high energy levels, to be utilised by the scouring animal. Milk has a very high energy level that is very difficult to replicate by any oral rehydration therapy. Energy is necessary for maintenance growth and repair, hence continuation of milk feeding has many advantages.
Spring/Summer 2018 Why is the continuation of milk feeding important?
Milk is the natural source of energy - 50g/l lactose with 740kcal/l
Lactose supplies rapid and slow energy, therefore supports maintenance and growth requirements
Milk provides glutamine - an amino acid very important in the function of gut cells, the structure of gut villi (the lining) and also has an important role in kidney function
Milk helps maintain a natural antimicrobial barrier by maintaining the abomasal pH at a level that minimises the overgrowth of pathogens
Milk also contains natural antimicrobials e.g. lactoferrins
Milk maintains lactase activity which decreases risk of further relapses
Palatable and no stress of removal from dam in beef and sheep
Choosing an oral rehydration therapy (ORT) There are numerous oral rehydration therapies available and not all are equal. An ORT must supply the following in order to be of maximal benefit to the animal:
90-130mmol/L sodium (enough to correct the losses)
Glucose +/- another facilitator of sodium/water absorption
Alkalinising capacity of 60-80mmol/L (strong ion difference (SID))
Energy for maintenance and growth
Many ORT products contain high levels of bicarbonate or citrate which can affect milk clotting and therefore should be fed separate from milk, by 2 hours, ideally. Rehydion Gel is designed to be fed with milk or if an animal is suckling, it can be given directly into the mouth so that the lamb can return to the dam, thereby minimising stress. Rehydion Gel has an SID of 75mmol/l and addresses the issues of electrolyte imbalance effectively whilst allowing recovery, repair and growth to continue as the lamb is still receiving milk. One bottle of Rehydion Gel = 160 feeds (2ml per feed). Feed each lamb 2 times a day until scour stops. It is important to note that the animals will continue to scour until the gut is healed, so they may appear clinically well but still have loose faeces.
Salmonella dublin linked with calf pneumonia? By Bruce Richards The SAC has recently published some interesting data on Salmonella dublin (S. dublin):
The majority of Salmonella dublin associated disease is diagnosed in dairy cows and calves 53% of calf and 66% of adult cow diagnoses presented with clinical signs of diarrhoea 17% of calf diagnoses presented with respiratory signs. Other clinical presentations included abortion, milk drop, ill thrift, sudden death and more rarely arthritis, osteomyelitis and gangrene.
A blood test has now been developed to assess previous exposure to S. dublin which is an excellent method of checking exposure in groups of calves that have experienced pneumonia and scour. This can be added to tests for more conventional causes of pneumonia, including Mycoplasma bovis. Some facts to consider when using the Salmonella dublin serology are:
Peak antibody levels are reached 5-6 weeks after infection (slower in calves; faster in adult cattle) Maternally derived antibody persists up to 3 months of age The test performs best in animals of 3-10 months of age, where sensitivity and specificity are 94% The test costs £7.50 per sample
Speak to one of the vets if you have either had S. dublin in the past or have had grumbling, non-specific pneumonia this winter in calves.
Upcoming Courses DIY AI and cattle fertility Date: Monday 18th - Wednesday 20th June 2018 Venue: Paragon Veterinary Group & local farms Cost: £437.50 + VAT
Mastering Medicines Date: Friday 15th June 2018 Venue: Paragon Veterinary Group Cost: £50 + VAT LIVESTOCK NEWS
Subsidised flock screening: Check your flock! By Charlie Bradshaw With lambing drawing to an end for most flocks, now is a good time to take stock and look at this year’s losses. Looking at this now will allow you to minimise these losses next year. So do you know how many lambs you lost and at what stage? On average 30% of losses happen from scanning to lambing and nearly 50% of lambs that die, are lost between birth and 48 hours old. Both enzootic abortion and toxoplasmosis could be increasing losses at these stages. The presence of these diseases in your flock may not be obvious and may present as:
increased barren rate increased abortion rate increase in still births weak poor-doing lambs
A good way to tell if you have these diseases in your flock is to blood sample 6-8 ewes at the end of lambing. The best ewes to pick are those that are known to have aborted, had still born lambs or are barren. MSD offer subsidised testing for enzootic abortion and toxoplasmosis until the end of July 2018. So don’t hesitate and phone your nearest branch to arrange a visit from one of our vets. We are also happy to discuss any particular problems you had this year at lambing time – now is the time to talk about them and prepare for next year!
Nematodirus warning! Keep an eye on the nematodirus forecast – our area is currently showing a ‘moderate’ risk. Importantly the need for dosing will depend on your farm and grazing so please get in touch if you are not sure about when to treat.
Don’t forget our next Paragon Flock Health Club sheep meeting: Date & Venue: Wednesday 13th June, 7pm at Dalston Topic: Worm control & anthelmintic resistance in sheep LIVESTOCK NEWS
IVF IN CATTLE OPEN DAY TUESDAY 3RD JULY 2018 AT NEWBIGGIN Would you like to know more about IVF (in vitro fertilisation) in cattle? Come along and see our new Ovum Pickup (OPU) facility and IVF lab in action. There will be plenty of opportunity to see live demonstrations, look around the lab and discuss the procedure with our experienced OPU and lab teams. If you would like to come contact Jenny Turner; Email: email@example.com Mobile: 07786 013 605
Contact us: Paragon Veterinary Group
Townhead Veterinary Centre
Carlisle House, Townhead Road Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7JF Tel: (01228) 710208 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newbiggin, Stainton, Penrith, CA11 0HT Tel: (01768) 483789 email@example.com