Friday, 16 June 2017 - 9:08am

Here at St Boniface Vets, we are now offering a cattle IVF (in vitro fertilisation) to our clients as well as a conventional embryo service.  IVF should be considered as an alternative to MOET (multiple ovulation embryo transfer) for the following reasons:

  • A larger number of embryos can be generated in a shorter time frame as an egg collection can be made every two weeks
  • Eggs can be collected from juvenile heifers
  • Eggs can be collected from pregnant heifers...
Monday, 24 April 2017 - 1:49pm

As part of this latest issue, to focus on Crediton, we asked veterinary practice owner Tony Kemmish a few questions, to get to know him a little better and learn more about St Boniface Vets.

How old were you, when you realised you wanted to work with animals? There was a big age gap between me and my big sister and she married a farmer when I was only 10. For as long as I can remember I’ve grown up around all types of animals working on the farm. We’ve always had dogs...

Monday, 13 March 2017 - 9:49am

With lambing time already upon many of you and fast approaching the rest, this quarter we look at the care of the new born lamb.  Statistically, the majority of lambs are lost within the first 3 days of life.  This percentage could be as high as 15% in some flocks.  In the current market, with tight profit margins; improving lamb survival can make a real difference to profitability of the flock. A realistic target to aim for is 5% lamb mortality preweaning.

Ewe nutrition...

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 - 6:01pm

Recent research into calf rearing has shown that optimising heifer growth rates pre-weaning is vital for efficient heifer rearing and producing a healthy, high yielding dairy cow.

Keeping a record of colostrum management, growth rates, calf illness and calf mortality is therefore essential.  The XLVets Calf Tracker initiative has been designed as a monitoring system, which allows recording and bench marking of calf...

Friday, 17 February 2017 - 3:03pm

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is a disease of cattle that is still widespread in this country causing massive economic losses. It is estimated that 90% of herds have been exposed to BVD, with an estimated cost of £13-£31 per cow on farm.

Many countries throughout Europe have managed to eradicate the disease through national campaigns, but England is unfortunately behind the times with tackling this condition. However, the national campaign ‘BVD Free...

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 9:53am

The most likely diseases to cause scour are the viruses; Rota Virus and Corona Virus along with protozoa; Cryptosporidium and Coccidia and the bacteria; E. coli and Salmonella.  As only two of these causative agents are bacterial, antibiotics are often not required.

The age at which the calf is affected will give an idea of the likely pathogen and therefore appropriate treatment;

  • 1-3 days old is commonly bacterial in origin, therefore antibiotics may be...
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 - 11:42am

"I’m a final year Vet Student at the University of Nottingham, and I’ve just finished a 4 week farm placement with St. Boniface. This was for my farm elective, a higher level placement, which can be undertaken at any XLVets practice  - chosen because they have the facilities and clinical caseload to provide experience of specialist practice.

Under the supervision of the Vets here, I’ve had the opportunity to perform reproductive exams of cows, including rectal palpation....

Thursday, 17 November 2016 - 12:28pm

Don’t rely on Blanket Protection
Often treating animals to prevent infection (such as day old lambs) can be easily avoided with good husbandry.  Antibiotics are no substitute to high hygiene, low stress levels and stocking densities and good colostrum management.

Dose Correctly
Bacteria are much more likely to develop resistance from treatment with an antibiotic at a lower than effective dose.  Overdosing can also select for resistance and...

Thursday, 17 November 2016 - 12:13pm

EUROPEAN Antibiotic Awareness week runs from November 16 to November 22 and I am sure you have all seen the media stories, regarding the threat of antibiotic resistance; many of them blaming the use of antibiotics in livestock for the problem.

Whatever the relative risk from human and animal use, all sectors need to be tackling this problem since there is no doubt that the number of antibiotic resistant bacteria are increasing, and if this continues we are heading for a situation...

Thursday, 10 November 2016 - 1:13pm

There is increasing concern over the appropriate use of antibiotics on farms. Calf pneumonia is an area in which vast improvements can be made.

The most likely agents to cause pneumonia are viruses, namely IBR, BVD, Pi3 and RSV. Invasion of one or more of these viruses allows secondary bacterial infections to proliferate i.e. Mycoplasma bovis, Pastuerella, Mannheimia and Haemophilus. These secondary bacterial...