Friday, 1 December 2017 - 4:56pm

Copper Deficiency

Pure deficiency is very rare, as a ewe’s requirement is only 1mgCu/kg DM. However, there are several elements that can antagonise copper and these change the picture significantly.  Iron and sulphur will bind with copper in the rumen, this copper can’t be absorbed and passes out in dung, it is rare to get clinical signs of copper deficiency due to high iron levels but it can worsen the effect of molybdenum.

Friday, 1 December 2017 - 4:53pm

Copper Toxicity

Sheep are far more susceptible to the effects of copper toxicity than cattle, in addition, there is variation between sheep breeds in how sensitive they are, see table below:

Unfortunately, the main sign of copper toxicity is sudden death so you don’t get any warning that a problem is coming.  The typical situation for problems, is sheep receiving copper from more than one source i.e. boluses, licks /...

Friday, 1 December 2017 - 4:50pm

Selenium, Iodine & Cobalt


Although the classic presentation of deficiency is white muscle disease, with lambs becoming stiff legged, it can also be a cause of weak lambs, high lamb mortality, and poor fertility in ewes.  Blood samples can give a good indication of selenium status over the past 2 months.  The diagram below shows the role of selenium and vitamin E in binding free radicals.


Monday, 27 November 2017 - 4:46pm

With the change in seasons comes a change in weather, and with that, potentially, a change in your arthritic pet’s comfort levels.

As rainy weather sets in, atmospheric pressure drops and the joint capsule starts to stretch, stimulating nerves to trigger a feeling of tightness and pain. So, our older furry friends start to feel more uncomfortable both walking and in general day to day activities.

As part of our awareness of this change, and to help our friends over the winter...

Thursday, 23 November 2017 - 1:40pm

Vivi was presented to one of our vets Kate with a long history of vomiting on a daily basis.  Vivi’s biological sister had sadly passed away earlier that year with suspected Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) infection. Vivi’s owners were understandably concerned regarding her health and wanted to ensure Vivi wasn’t going to meet the same fate as her sister.

Vivi underwent several blood tests, in order...

Thursday, 23 November 2017 - 1:17pm

Out the back’ is a place you may have heard of and is a place of love and cuddles; where the nurses assist the vets with fractious pets or potentially painful (but necessary) procedures, to ensure as little stress and discomfort is caused to your pet as possible.  It also ensures that procedures are quick and painless.

You and your pet have arrived for your appointment at the vets and you’re apprehensive as to how the visit is going to go, due to your pet being...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 - 11:02am

This November, we bring our successful cardiology campaign to a close.  The campaign has been very effective and, an integral part of that success is down to our dedicated Cardiology Support Nurse (CSN).

The role of our CSN is to support the patient, owner and vet following a diagnosis of heart disease. They work closely with the vet to ensure continuity of care and follow up examinations with the responsibility of history taking, physical examination and continued monitoring of...

Friday, 17 November 2017 - 11:59am

St Boniface Vets are planning a 2 day course in cattle foot trimming, suitable for complete beginners or those wanting a detailed refresher. 

The course will run from 10.30am to 3pm on 23rd & 24th January, here at the surgery in Crediton, with lunch provided.

Places are limited, to ensure a high quality personal delivery, so please let us know if you are interested to avoid disappointment. 

We will also be offering a unique one-to-one follow up session, on your farm...

Thursday, 16 November 2017 - 1:37pm

“Sales of antibiotics for use in animals in the UK have fallen to their lowest level since records began, exceeding a government target to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance (AMR) two years early”

This is a statement from Defra that has rightfully been spread far and wide in farming press, though probably not far enough in the general media! UK farming industries have really taken the reduction of antibiotics seriously and are pulling more than their weight in the...

Thursday, 16 November 2017 - 12:52pm

One of the more frustrating problems faced by anyone caring for dairy cows is the ‘downer cow’.  Defined most simply as a cow that remains recumbent for more than 24 hours; often very bright and alert with a good appetite, they seem very content!  Often these cows do not walk off the farm, which is a demoralising result and costly too, with the difference between a cull value and fallen stock bill several hundred pounds, and for a very good cull over £1000.

Are we doing enough...