Understanding Bovine Johnes Disease & Changes in Management of BJD in Victoria

By Dr Charlie Blackwood What is Johnes Disease? Bovine Johnes Disease (BJD) is a disease caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma paratuberculosis. BJD is contracted by animals less than 1 year of age. Calves are most susceptible soon after birth, and gradually develop resistance to the disease as they become older. Calves infected with BJD rarely show any signs of disease until they are 4-8 years old, although they may shed bacteria in their poo (which can infect other animals) before this time. Once the bacteria enter the body, they target the cells of the gut to decrease food absorption. As BJD stops your cows from absorbing food, cows with clinical disease will lose weight and have diarrhoea. Some may also have a swelling below their jaw known as ‘bottle jaw’. Why control it? BJD causes decreased production in your herd. An infected dairy cow will produce 8.25% less milk than if they were uninfected and studies indicate that presence of BJD in the average Victorian dairy herd will cost $2370 each year in decreased production. Milk quality is also reduced, and infected cows tend to have milk with lower fat and protein than milk of unaffected cows. Cows with BJD are more likely to get other diseases (e.g. mastitis). These cows will often need veterinary attention, and may be prematurely culled either due to signs of BJD or another disease process. As animals with BJD present with clinical signs similar to a number of other disease processes, money is often spent treating these animals for more common diseases (e.g. drenching for parasites) prior to correct diagnosis. Property values can...

Farm Assist Program

By Phil Keegan The answer to your short-term staffing needs. How often have you been caught out short staffed when you are at your busiest, dry cowing the herd, teat sealing heifers or calving season and managing new born calves with their colostrums requirements etc? Employing someone with no experience may slow you down and you may not need them in a month or so. It’s at times like these you wish you had someone with 30 years of dairying experience that just knows how to get the job done quickly and efficiently from day one. Here is the solution! Our Farm Technician Phil Keegan is available to Warrnambool Veterinary clients via our Farm Assist Program to work with you on your seasonal jobs. Having operated his own dairy farm before joining our team, Phil has all the experience required to help you get through the hectic times on your farm without the hassle of adding temporary staff. Give the clinic a call about our Farm Assist Program and take the stress out of your short-term staffing demands. Call the Farm Desk today on 5561...

Listeriosis

Circling Cow Disease By Dr Charlie Blackwood Silage is making up a high percentage of the diet for many of our cows at the moment. Occassionally we do see diseases probably from bugs which live in silage. Listeriosis is a disease caused by a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. It is found all around the world, but its ability to reproduce and grow well in temperatures down to 4*C makes it more frequently seen in cooler climates, such as Southern Victoria. Listeria monocytogenes is an aerobic bacteria, i.e. it needs oxygen to grow, and it particularly likes the less acidic pH of spoiled silage. This means that the longer your silage has been sitting around, the greater the risk of it no longer being sealed and thus starting to spoil. In fresh silage with a pH of less than 5.4 the bacteria only survives for 1-2 weeks, where as in soil and/or rotting vegetation the bacteria may survive for up to 2 years. In fact even though we usually blame silage, the bug may come from rotting vegetation more often. Ingestion of large numbers of Listeria monocytogenes can cause both septicaemia (infection in the blood stream), more commonly seen in young stock, and abortion in cows, but the most frequently diagnosed form of the disease is encephalitis, i.e. when it affects the brain. This will cause the affected animal to first lose its appetite, seem disorientated or sometimes just stand with its head in a corner or up against a solid object. This may occur as soon as 24-48 hrs after ingestion or may take 10 days to develop. However,...

Warrnambool Veterinary & Apiam Animal Health

18 November 2015 Dear Warrnambool Veterinary Client, Since 1978 Warrnambool Veterinary has focused on providing the highest quality veterinary services for dairy, farm, equine and domestic pets on-farm and via our clinics based at Warrnambool, Koroit, Port Fairy and Nullawarre and is recognised as a leader in innovation, actively engaging the various levels of industry to continually improve and advance the level of service provided. Our clients’ needs and expectations are the motivating force behind our quest for continual improvement. To this end, the Directors of Warrnambool Veterinary have been in discussion with a number of very successful and well-regarded clinics across Australia about the potential to enter in to a mutually beneficial commercial agreement. The discussions have resulted in the formation of an entity, a publicly listed company, known to investors as Apiam Animal Health Ltd. The company will continue to be majority owned by the existing veterinary clinics’ directors. The aim of this company is to provide increased resources and infrastructure to support the individual practices that make up the group allowing them to do what they do now, but even better, and to grow and develop their services still further to meet the evolving needs of their clients. Under such a structure, the day-to-day management, culture, and operations of Warrnambool Veterinary will not change. Our service delivery will not change unless, of course, that change is for the better. The Warrnambool Veterinary name, logo, building and brand will not change. The only change will be our increased capacity to grow and refine our services to meet our clients changing needs, particularly across the dairy industry. The...

AVA Award for Dr David Beggs

Australian Veterinary Association President’s Award for Dr David Beggs. The AVA President’s Award was established in 2006. This prize is awarded by the President and the AVA Board to a veterinarian who makes an outstanding practical contribution to veterinary science or practice in Australia. The AVA Awards Ceremony program in declaration of the award, reads: Dr David Beggs has more than 20 years experience as a cattle veterinarian, during which time he has been committed to the AVA, the cattle industry and to scientific research. David grew up on a merino stud in western Victoria. After graduating from Veterinary Science in 1990, David took a mixed practice job in Smithton, Tasmania. After a year there he moved closer to home and relocated to Warrnambool. To the surprise of his friends and family he became a cattle veterinarian with a strong interest in computer technology and how this could be integrated into veterinary practice. Building on these interests he completed an MVS degree in dairy medicine and production in 1998, with his major project being, ‘A stochastic model to predict fertility in dairy herds’. David is the author of several computer software programs including the widely used ‘Dairy Data’ and ‘Bull Reporter’. Currently he works part-time in Warrnambool, and is Scientific Officer for Australian Cattle Veterinarians. David is a past convener of the AVA Conference, lectures at the University of Melbourne and is undertaking a PhD on the topic of ensuring dairy cow welfare with increasing scale of production. David has a willingness and capacity to contribute to the AVA in many areas. He played a significant role in the...

Farm Chat at Alanvale

Join us at Alanvale for our All Bull Farm Chat. Wednesday 15 July 11.30 am – 2 pm Alanvale Calf Sheds Woolsthorpe–Heywood Rd Willatook.  Topics include: Fertility – under the microscope. Semen collection and analysis. Selecting Bulls to complement your herd. Conformation, size. Vibrio Vaccinations and Bull health. Calf Management discussion. Followed by a BBQ lunch and a chance to ask questions or just have a chat. (No bull)! Please RSVP, for catering purposes, to the Large Animal Desk at Warrnambool Veterinary on 5561 7666 by Monday 13 July 2015. > Download the flyer with location map now!  The All Bull Farm Chat brought to you by Warrnambool Veterinary and Zoetis.           ...