Newsletter Spring 2020

Pregnancy diagnosis in cattle

That time of year is rolling around again, where pregnancy testing is starting to get well underway. In addition to the manual preg testing we normally offer, this season we are excited to be offering pregnancy scanning with an ultrasound probe. Scanning can be conducted from 6 to 20 weeks gestation, and is less labour intensive for the operator (and quicker), often allowing us to get through bigger numbers in a shorter time.

Our vets operating the scanner are also able to manually test, so provide a “double check” manual palpation of the cows that are not detectably pregnant on ultrasound. Phone either the Naracoorte or Penola Clinic to book your cattle in sooner rather than later, to help us ensure we get to your mob at your desired time.

Have you considered using teaser or vasectomised rams?

The “Ram” Effect- This is when a teaser ram or vasectomised rams are used prior to the joining date with ewes that are being joined “out of season”, by doing this you increase the number of lambs born within the first 2-3 weeks of lambing.

What classifies as “out of season”?

Ewes are “seasonal polyestrus cyclers”, and their cycling is affected by day length. It differs between different breeds but in this region there is shown to be benefits of using teasers/vasectomised rams prior to Mid Jan in 1st Cross Ewes, and Mid Feb for Composites.

What’s the difference?

Teasers – Wethers’ injected with testosterone prior to going out with ewes, which need to be injected every year.

Vasectomised Rams – Have undergone a procedure called a vasectomy, which means they have the presence/ look and have the testicles of a ram, however after their surgery cannot pass on sperm. Once the procedure is done they can be used for life, and are the “superior” choice between the two because they have better “presence, behaviour and smell” of a ram.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what it involves using teasers, vasectomised rams and the procedures involved/ associated costs and benefits, please feel free to give us a call.

Post Mortems and Disease Investigation Subsidies

While we never want to be called out to a sudden death or flock disease investigations, our livestock vets are well equipped to help you investigate a disease outbreak, poor performance or sudden death in both your sheep and cattle.

There are a number of government and PIRSA based subsidies we can apply for on your behalf in the cases of significant diseases or sudden death, with some of these covering a portion or all of laboratory fees, or veterinary time.

We have had a number of investigations recently where we have successfully used these subsidies to help fund the post mortem, meaning we can get results to you for a lower cost. With stock prices where they are, it is certainly worth phoning one of our livestock vets for a chat if you feel like you may be facing a problem, and they can discuss with you the options for your case.

Lame Sheep and Cattle

Foot issues have started to raise their heads again, and it’s always best to get on top of them early. Keep an eye out on your sheep as they are running through the yards, whether it’s for drenching, weaning and monitor them in paddock. It can be difficult to tell the difference between common feet conditions, such as abscess vs strawberry footrot vs scald vs footrot, and each need to be treated differently to get onto these issues.

Come in and chat to us, or give us a call if you think something is happening on farm, and we can help you best.

For our cattle clients, we are equipped for foot trimming where required to help alleviate various causes of lameness, including foot abscesses, overgrown or broken toes, scissor claws or other foot infections.

Shearing sedation

With shearing just around the corner, we are already having some clients phoning requiring ram sedation. Please remember that to provide such a drug, we need to ensure we have an on farm visit at least once every 18-24 months, so if you haven’t had us on property in that time, please phone early to organise your visit.

We are more than happy to provide any necessary vet jobs while out on farm, including sick stock assessment and treatment, bleeding for brucellosis or trace mineral assessments, pregnancy testing cattle, vaccinating working dogs or just discussing a few issues you have at hand and giving advice.

Supplies for Victorians

During these changing times, we are still striving to supply our Victorian clients with a veterinary service and supplies as best we can. As we have come to know, restrictions change frequently, but we are always on the front foot of keeping our permits valid and trying to provide what is indeed an essential service to our cross border clients. Please never hesitate to phone the clinic to see if we are able to service your property as required.
In terms of veterinary supplies, we are able to send supplies across the border with a courier daily to Edenhope for a small freight cost. If you need pain relief for mulesing, sedation for shearing, ongoing medication for small animals or horses, electrolytes, 4 in 1, Ketol or any other item you rely on us to normally supply you, please phone the clinic and we will be more than happy to help out in as many ways as possible.

Free Vet Reporting-Worm Egg Counts

Following some fantastic feedback from clients, we have decided to extend our offer on FREE vet reports for our faecal egg count samples sent to the clinic. We still email a hardcopy of results, with the vet generally phoning with recommendations or making notes on the email. Remember that we offer unbiased advice on drenching protocols due to not being involved in the sale of products, and our relationship with the laboratory means we can rapidly send further samples for more advanced testing in the face of a significant problem.

As always, we are more than happy to help with any queries you have, or bookings:

PENOLA CLINIC: 08 87372252