Calf Disbudding Demonstration Thursday 10 May 2018

Calf Disbudding Demonstration Thursday 10 May 2018 10.30 am – 12 noon Join us for a demonstration of how stress free and painless the procedure is, for both the calf and farmer.  Improve your calves growth and wellbeing this season. Recent studies have found that calves receiving heavy sedation/pain relief and local anaesthetic prior to Veterinary Disbudding will have improved growth rates and appetites in the two weeks following disbudding. That translates to a 17% increase in growth rate in the 2 weeks following disbudding! RSVP: 5 pm Tuesday 8 May for catering purposes. Bacon & egg rolls provided! Warrnambool Veterinary: 5561 7666 Terang & Mortlake Vet Clinic: 5592...

Case of the Month – Ginger

Ginger is a great example of the benefit to having our senior pets thoroughly examined every year. Ginger is a 13 year old female Domestic Shorthair cat who has been a regular visitor to our clinic for her yearly check ups. Over the last 4 years she has gradually been losing weight and this year her owners reported that she has started to become disoriented around the house and vocalising more than she used to. She is ravenously hungry and occasionally vomits. Despite eating everything in sight she has now lost 25% of her bodyweight. Blood tests done at her most recent visit confirmed that she had the disease Hyperthyroidism. She will now start on oral tablets and be reassessed in 3 weeks time to check her response to therapy. Hyperthyroidism is a common hormonal disease of older cats. It occurs when the thyroid glands (in the neck) produce too much thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone controls the metabolic rate of the body, so cats with this condition burn up energy very quickly, typically losing weight despite eating large amounts. This disease is common in cats over 8 years of age and can occur in any breed, any sex and in – de-sexed or entire cats. Clinical Signs Clinical signs of hyperthyroidism often develop slowly so that owners initially dismiss them as normal aging. They then become quite dramatic and cats can become very sick with this disease.  The indicators of possible hyperthyroidism are: 1. Weight loss 2. Increased appetite 3. Increased thirst 4. Irritability 5. Restlessness 6. Vomiting 7. Diarrhoea 8. Weakness 9. Rapid heartrate (>200)   In most cases...

Rodenticide (Rat Bait) Poisoning in Small Animals

As the mouse/ rat time of year approaches, many of you will be starting to think about putting rat poison down to control vermin. There are a few considerations when doing this if you have pets. Obviously the most ideal thing to do is not have rat poison on the property at all. This may not be practical but it is the safest way to ensure that your pet doesn’t get poisoned. The next best option is to ensure that there is no way that your pet can gain access to the poison to eat it. It is a little harder to ensure that they don’t eat affected mice or rats. Cats and Dogs can get poisoned by either eating the poison itself or from eating poisoned rats/ mice. ACTION OF RAT BAIT AND CLINICAL SIGNS Rat bait works by inhibiting the Vitamin K dependant clotting factors in the blood. This effectively means that the animal’s ability to clot its blood is compromised. The lethal dose of most rat baits is not very high for small animals like dogs and cats and it is very common for them to eat enough bait to cause death. Without treatment over subsequent days this can result in death by haemorrhage which is most often internal and difficult to see. The clinical signs or the way this will affect your animal will vary greatly because the signs are caused by bleeding into certain body cavities and areas of the body. Some of the common signs we see, which occur generally 2-5 days after ingestion of the poison, include lethargy, vomiting, weakness, lameness, coughing, laboured...

Bovine pestivirus or bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and mucosal disease in cattle

Adapted from Western Australia Department of Agriculture  Bovine pestivirus or Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVDV) are the same disease – different people call the different things. We will call it BVDV in this article. BVDV is one of the most complicated cattle diseases we deal with. Don’t worry if you need to ask or read articles a few times to understand the disease. We often do as well. BVDV can be a serious threat to beef farm production and profitability. This article, some of which comes from the Western Australian Department of Agriculture, explains the effect of BVDV on different groups of animals. What happens when BVDV occurs? The effect of BVDV depends on whether it occurs in unborn calves, pregnant cows, feedlot or other cattle. Unborn calves Most of the harm done by BVDV is to unborn calves and depends upon timing of infection. Infection of a naïve cow (one notpreviously been exposed to or vaccinated for BVDV) in early pregnancy causes loss of the embryo. Infection of naïve cows in mid-pregnancy can cause abortions, birth defects and live-born calves to be persistently infected with BVDV. These calves spread the disease within and between herds. Most of these calves die within two years of mucosal disease. By the last third of pregnancy, the calf has developed sufficiently to produce immunity. Some of these calves may be aborted, but most are born healthy. Pregnant cows Infection of a naïve cow results in a mild 2–3 week illness that suppresses the cow’s immune system and reduces disease resistance. Most important are the effects on her unborn calf noted above. After recovery...

Fertility Testing Bulls

by Dr Charlie Blackwood In our seasonal calving system, a key factor for production is ensuring cows get in calf as early as possible in the joining period. This means the cows need to be cycling as soon as possible after calving. Nutrition and ensuring heifers are well grown are critical factors. This also means the bulls need to be fertile to ensure the cows get in calf as soon as possible. A full bull breeding examination requires bulls to meet a set of standards for key fertility components. Passing these components increases the probability of the bull being fertile. The components of bull fertility testing are: Scrotal circumference and tone or resilience Physical examination for faults in the head, legs, joints, feet, sheath and penis Semen analysis for motility Morphology (or structure of the individual sperm cells)   A summary of the four components of bull fertility examination follows: Scrotum - Scrotal circumference/size in centimetres where testes shape is within normal range. The minimum values depend on breed and age of the bull. Physical – Within the constraints of a standard examination, there is no evidence of any general physical/structural condition or of a physical condition of the reproductive tract indicating sub-fertility or infertility. This evaluation will identify structurally unsound bulls in legs, feet, sheath and general structure. Semen – Crush-side assessment indicates that the semen is within normal range for motility, colour and percent progressively motile and is suitable for laboratory evaluation. Morphology – Semen examination of percent normal sperm using high power magnification to ensure minimum standards for normal function are achieved. Can we examine and categorize the...

Barbers pole worm – an unusual but deadly worm in south western Victoria in sheep and alpacas

Adapted from http://www.wormboss.com.au/ Barbers pole worm – or more correctly Haemonchus contortus – is not usually a problem in south western Victoria. However, over the last few years we have seen isolated cases in spring and autumn. Barbers pole worm likes wet warm conditions and this has been the case in some recent seasons. Populations can build quickly because of the worms’ huge egg output. Barbers pole worms are large, blood-sucking worms which can quickly suck blood causing severe anaemia and rapid death in both sheep and alpacas. Haemonchus contortus The barber’s pole worm (BPW), Haemonchus contortus, is quite long (20 to 30 mm) and clearly visible. Only the adult female has the characteristic ‘barber’s pole’ appearance due to the pink (blood-filled) intestinal tract of the worm twisted around the paler reproductive tract. The male worm is smaller (around 15 mm) and pale pink. Females are prolific egg layers, laying up to 10,000 eggs per day. BPW eggs require warm, moist conditions to hatch. Once hatched, however, they develop into tough larvae that can survive for months on pastures before being ingested by grazing sheep or alpacas, where they then grow into blood-sucking adults. Adults can become arrested or inhibited inside the sheep for varying periods. They resume activity when environmental conditions become more favourable or when ewes have lowered resistance around lambing time. Clinical signs Because they are blood-sucking worms, clinical signs include: Anaemia Lethargy Failure to gain weight Submandibular oedema (bottle jaw) Collapse Death Diagnosis The only accurate way to diagnose worm infections before productivity losses have occurred is to conduct a worm test (worm faecal egg...