Friday, 21 October 2016 - 9:58am

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat.  If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics; and routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection.”

The Chief Medical Officer, 12th March 2013

What is Antimicrobial...

Thursday, 29 September 2016 - 3:18pm

Outbreaks of Salmonella can be devastating in cattle herds such is the potential scale and severity of an infection. They are also a risk to people and outbreaks can have serious public health implications.

The signs of Salmonella infection are varied and the same as those caused by many other diseases, so it is vital to contact the practice if you spot any of them, particularly: diarrhoea, abortion, blood poisoning, joint infections, pneumonia, milk drop and death.

They may...

Monday, 26 September 2016 - 11:53am

Colostrum is a hugely important factor in the transfer of immunity from the mother to her calf.

  1. Is colostrum quality an issue in your herd?
  2. Do you even know what the quality is like?

We can certainly help answer those questions and work on solutions to any problems.

Quantity and time is also critical in colostrum management, aim for 4 litres in the first 3 hours.

Colostrum is the first step on the road to successful calf...

Monday, 26 September 2016 - 10:41am

The costliest problem in young stock rearing will be pneumonia on almost all farms, so many factors come into play.

Success factors with housing are simple yet can be difficult to achieve!

Detailed below, are our 4 key points to consider when reviewing calf housing.

  1. Provision of a healthy calf –Disease is >10 times more in calves with poor colostrum uptake. Colostrum is more potent and cheaper than any vaccine or medicine....
Monday, 26 September 2016 - 10:34am

Young stock represent everything about the future of your herd and with the milk price set to head in the opposite direction to the temperature gauge now has never been a better time to focus on healthy heifer production.

Successful calf rearing is not just about health, though this is a key factor, take a look at our checklist for healthy calf rearing - see whether you can answer all of the questions positively.

  • Are calves born in a fresh-bedded pen?
  • Is colostrum...
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 - 11:53am

Did you know your cows are made of a lot of metal?

Over a dozen metals are used by the body, for example Iron is a crucial component of blood allowing oxygen to be carried around the body.

A lot of the other metals involved in metabolism we will have heard of like Copper, Zinc and Selenium. Perhaps you won’t have heard of some of the ones needed in tiny quantities like Nickel, Boron and Chromium. Most unlikely of all...

Friday, 12 August 2016 - 1:56pm

To all sheep farmers - there have been 2 outbreaks of Haemoncus in Dorset and one in the Cotswolds in the last week, all presented as dead sheep (ewes or lambs) and all on farms that had never had a case before.

This worm (also known as the barbers-pole worm) causes anaemia because it sucks blood from the gut lining, so when you are handling sheep check the mucus membranes, particularly around the eye, to make sure they aren't pale.

Unfortunately this is the only worm that...

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 - 10:08am

There is a nationwide drive to improve communications between sheep farmer and their vets; as part of this initiative, the St Boniface Vets farm team are launching a new flock health club.  The idea of flock health clubs, which are vet led sheep farmer discussion groups, has been around for a while and has had fantastic results already in areas of Northern England.

Members will be charged £15 a month and this cost effective club would facilitate sharing of ideas and independent vet...

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 - 10:34am

Many of you will remember the Bluetongue outbreak, in 2007.  With the risk of Bluetongue spreading to the UK in late Summer, now is the time to think ahead.

Bluetongue is a notifiable viral disease, affecting both cattle and sheep. Although cattle are more often affected, the clinical signs in sheep are more severe.

Transmission is through the culicoides midge, and with warmer winters and wetter summers, there is a threat of transmission to the UK in September 2016. ...

Monday, 11 July 2016 - 12:21pm

BVDFree England launched their national BVD elimination scheme on 1st July.  This is an industry-led scheme designed to eliminate BVD virus from all cattle herds in the country by 2022.

BVDFree England will develop a national database, storing individual and herd test results for scheme members.

BVDFree is based on achieving the elimination of BVD through identification and removal of animals persistently infected (PIs) with BVD.

The BVDFree Scheme will be run on a...