Which Worms

As we come to the end of winter and spring approaches, it is time to think about how the change in season can affect the burden of internal parasites in weaned stock. This article discusses the common gastrointestinal worms and how they can affect cattle, especially young stock. The common gastroinestinal worms Gastrointestinal worms in cattle are divided into nematodes (round worms), cestodes (tapeworms) and trematodes (flukes). They are assigned to one of these groups according to their structure. Within each group, the life cycles and growth of the parasites are generally very similar and different from those of the other two groups. The nematodes are the most economically important internal parasite of cattle. Tapeworms play a minor role and flukes cause significant economic losses in some geographic areas. The nematodes (round worms) The small brown stomach worm, Ostertagia ostertagi, penetrates the lining of the abomasum (fourth stomach) causing severe damage and inflammation. Infected heifers have a severe scour, inappetence, anaemia and weight loss. Cattle up to 18 months old can be affected. This parasite can enter an arrested phase of its lifecycle which can then resume 3-9 months later. This type of disease can cause significant losses in young heifers as the worm larvae emerge. The Barbers Pole worm, Haemonchus placei, thrives in the warmer climates of NSW and QLD. This blood sucking parasite also inhabits the abomasum and causes severe anaemia and loss of protein. This results in the characteristic ‘bottle jaw’ appearance with affected cattle being weak and slow to move. The stomach hair worm, Trichostrongylus axei, is the last of the common abomasal nematodes. It...

Pink Eye Prevention

Pink eye can be a real problem over summer. Pink eye is caused by a number of viral and bacterial factors but the cause is a bug called Moraxella bovis. Moraxella bovis is carried in the nose and eye fluid from infected and carrier cattle. If the factors are favourable, pink eye can spread quickly and cause pain, eye damage and production losses, particularly in young stock. Factors that increase the risk of pink eye: Flies – responsible for spread of the bacteria between animals. Ultraviolet light – sensitises and can damage the cornea. Long grass – causes physical damage and can cause mechanical transmission. Dust – irritates eyes, increases tear production and assists spread of bacteria. Pigmentation – pinkeye is generally more common in non-pigmented eyes. Breed - more common in Bos taurus than Bos indicus cattle. Overcrowding (e.g. cattle congregating for drought feeding, yard weaning). Immune status - cattle in poor body condition tend to be less able to mount a protective immune response against the bacteria. Prior exposure leads to immunity, hence disease is more common in young stock. Adult stock are still susceptible if they have not been previously infected. Herd outbreaks were observed in Tasmania when the disease was first introduced.       Clinical Signs of Pink Eye Increased tear production is often the first sign seen. The cornea then becomes cloudy and a white spot can appear in the centre. Some cases clear at this stage but others progress to corneal ulceration and the cloudiness covers the whole cornea. The eye changes from a white to a pink to a yellow colour....

Biosecurity, Johne’s and LPA

Dr David Beggs The following is a summary, taken mostly from the MLA website, to help understand where biosecurity plans fit in to the bigger picture. The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity. It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain. Administration of the LPA Program transferred from AUS-MEAT to the Integrity Systems Company on 5 April, 2017. The Integrity Systems Company, an MLA subsidiary, now administers the program on behalf of industry. AUS-MEAT will continue to conduct the LPA on-farm audits. As part of the Livestock Production Assurance program, an LPA National Vendor Declaration is required for all livestock movements, including property to property, through saleyards, direct to processors and to feedlots, and to the live export trade. The LPA NVD is the main document behind Australia’s reputation as a reliable supplier of safe red meat to domestic and international markets. Thus if you are not a member of LPA, you can’t use an LPA NVD and you can’t sell stock. Seven separate but complementary elements make up the LPA program; Property risk assessments Safe and responsible animal treatments Stock foods, fodder crops, grain and pasture treatments Preparation for dispatch of livestock Livestock transactions and movements Biosecurity Animal Welfare Biosecurity Animal Welfare are relatively new elements of the LPA program and are due to come into force on 1 October 2017. Other changes to LPA that are occurring at the same time include a new fee ($66 every 3 years), a requirement for regular online assessments, online...

Beef Farmers Livestock Assurance Program

Beef Farmers, are you ready for the upgrades to the Livestock Production Assurance program? Australia has a strong global reputation for quality, integrity, food safety and traceability. This reputation is built on best-practice on farm management of biosecurity, welfare and animal records. From 1st October, upgrades to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program come into effect to strengthen this reputation, and ensure that Australia’s beef industry continues to exceed to stringent expectations of our export markets. Producers who currently hold or wish to apply for accreditation must meet strict standards, including:   assessing risks on farm treating animals safely and responsibly managing pasture and fodder treatments preparing animals for dispatch documenting livestock transactions and movements maintaining biosecurity practices adhering to animal welfare practices. From 1st October, this will including have a general Farm Biosecurity Plan in place. Warrnambool Veterinary and Apiam Animal Health have produced a a Biosecurity Folder and templates are available, or producers may elect to undertake the Australian Cattle Veterinarians BioCheck® service, available through Warrnambool Veterinary. Keen to know more? Join us for a lunch on Monday, 11 September to learn about the new requirements and developing a farm biosecurity plan from Dr Dave Beggs, developer of the BioCheck® program. Date: Monday 11 September 2017 Time: 12 noon to 1.30 pm, Monday, 11 September 2017 Venue: Warrnambool Veterinary Conference Room, 514 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool Lunch from 12 noon with talks to commence at 12.30 pm. RSVP by 5 pm on Thursday, 7 September 2017 to 5561 7666, farmdesk@wvc.com.au or on the Warrnambool Veterinary Farm Desk Facebook page. Download the event...

Pet Dental Month – August 2017!

  Pet Dental Month – August 2017 Healthy Set, Happy Pet! Warrnambool Veterinary is running a pet dental month promotion throughout August to raise awareness of pet dental problems, their prevention and treatment. An initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), the title of this years campaign is: Healthy Set, Happy Pet!   Providing your pet with good oral care is essential for them to enjoy a healthy and happy life.  The aim of Pet Dental Month is to educate pet owners about the benefits of annual dental health checks and regular tooth brushing for older pets. Warrnambool Veterinary supports this promotion with our Free Dental Health Checks. Four out of five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which may go unnoticed by their owners. Pets often won’t show pain. Even pets with sore gums, infected mouths and broken teeth will continue to eat so owners may not see any problems. So how can you tell if your dog or cat has a toothache? Your pet’s breath should not smell bad. Bad breath is a sign of infection. Gums may be red and inflamed and the teeth stained with tartar or they may start dropping food. Annual dental health checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has existing problems which have gone unnoticed. Dental health checks also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the blood stream. We also recommend regular tooth brushing and many cats and dogs can be trained to enjoy having their...