Providing Superior Vet Services to Dairy Farmers in Time of COVID 19

The world relies on livestock farmers supplying milk and meat to feed the world. Ensuring animals and farms are healthy, productive and profitable is more vital than ever in the current situation. Providing professional veterinary care and advice is a critical part of this. Warrnambool Veterinary is continuing to provide veterinary attention to large and small animals. Covid 19 means we need to take extra precautions. Remember that extra precautions are to protect our vets and workers AND to protect you and your workers from Covid 19. GOOD HYGIENE Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser with 60% alcohol. Hand washing is the key to minimising disease transmission for Covid 19. This should be done regularly, especially after handling any equipment which other people have been handling. Gloves will only protect you for a short time. Gloves quickly become contaminated with Covid 19 and then spread the infection to you probably more than your bare hands. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose and always wash hands before eating or drinking. Practice good hygiene by coughing into a tissue or elbow and then wash hands and dispose of tissue No sharing of food or drinks SOCIAL DISTANCING Maintain a 1.5 to 2m separation between people, unless it is essential for safety reasons. If so, minimise the time spent in close contact. Yes, we know hygiene and distancing are difficult on farms. However, with planning and thought, precautions can be maxised. PEOPLE ON FARMS Minimise the number of people on farm. Those visitors not necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business should not...

Calf electrolytes what’s new?

Oral rehydration solutions, commonly known as electrolytes, are considered the mainstay of treatment for calf diarrhoea or any dehydration due to disease. There is a vast array of products on the market, each with their own ‘special recipe’ which comes at a varying degree of cost. WHAT DO ELECTROLYTES DO? The aim of electrolyte treatment is to rehydrate the calf, restore the pH of the blood and provide some energy. Calves with diarrhoea will be dehydrated due to ongoing fluid losses. Diarrhoea also results in the loss of alkaline salts causing an imbalance in blood pH, which becomes more acidic. This acidity (called “metabolic acidosis”) can be exacerbated further by accumulation of other acids due to impaired digestion and absorption of nutrients. In healthy animals, blood pH is tightly regulated and even a small change can result in depression, collapse and death. It should be noted that the energy provided by electrolyte treatments is insufficient to maintain a calf for any period of time. Resumption of milk feeding is essential to provide the energy required for gut regeneration, recovery and growth. THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS WATER Calves with early onset mild diarrhoea will increase their water intake, helping replace lost fluid. Clean, fresh water should be available to all calves from birth and it is often surprising how much water a newborn calf will consume if it is readily accessible. Electrolyte treatment in the form of oral rehydration solutions actively replaces the fluid lost with diarrhoea. Commercially available electrolyte gels and pastes will not actively provide water and rely on voluntary ingestion which can be compromised in calves with moderate...

Macrovet

A PROFESSIONAL VETERINARY BLEND OF ESSENTIAL MACRO AND MICRO MINERALS FOR DAIRY COWS  A pelleted concentrate specially formulated by Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic to contribute to lactating cow requirements for Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, and now with additional copper and vitamin E. It also contains Bovatec. Designed to be delivered through additive dispensers, mixed with grain in wagons/mixers or added at the feedmill before delivery to the farm. FEATURES • Supplies essential macro minerals - Calcium and Magnesium • Contains Bovatec for increased milk solids production, reduced risk of ketosis, and improved health outcomes. FEEDING DIRECTIONS MacroVet is added to grain at a rate of 350 grams per cow per day (ie. 175 grams per cow twice daily.) SUITABLE FOR Lactating dairy cows in various stages of lactation and springer cattle. PRESENTATION • Pelleted in bulk • 25 kg bags • Minimum 3 tone order per farm OTHER BENEFITS • Scientifically formulated meet the requirements of high producing dairy cows. • Now fortified with additional copper and vitamin E for improved cow health. • Easily mixed into grain. • Pelleted form avoids wastage through sifting and separation and reduces dust. • Contains Bovatec for improved milk production, reduced risk of non-clinical ketosis and improved mineral absorption. IMPORTANCE OF CALCIUM Both experimental and clinical experience is that CALCIUM is the element most lacking from the diet of dairy cattle in southern Australia. Many herds fail to perform to potential because of a chronic lack of Calcium. Most additives do not contain adequate calcium. MacroVet can be added to the grain fed to springer cattle whilst administering an anionic salt such as...

Drying off made easier

Although many dairy farmers are very experienced with the procedure of drying off cows, it is worthwhile to have a review at least once annually. This is particularly important if there are new staff or different facilities from the previous dry-off period. Our vets can review your protocols leading-up-to and after drying off, as well as the technique of administering dry cow therapy. In herds where selective dry cow treatment is used, our vets can assist with interpreting herd test or milk meter data, to identify cows requiring treatment. The number of cases of clinical mastitis in freshly calved heifers and cows can also be reviewed to determine if the use of a teat sealant would be beneficial. Pre-ordering specific dry cow therapy and teat sealant allows delivery of these products in a timely manner. A management plan for cows with repeat cases of mastitis, 3-titter cows and cows with chronically high cell counts should be made in advance of the calving period. Some vaccines must be administered at drying off to ensure that peak-effect coincides with colostrum production. These ‘colostral vaccines’ are recommended on a farm-by-farm basis and are generally used for the control of calf scour pathogens. A primary course usually involves two vaccines given a specified period apart prior to expected calving. Annual boosters are often required but remember that new heifers calving for the first time and bought-in cows will need the primary course and this should be planned for in advance. Pre-ordering of colostral vaccines will ensure that adequate stock is available when you require it. If you haven’t already done so, now is...