With some drier weather the past few weeks it's been nice to see some easing up of the feet and mastitis problems we've been seeing for some time.
We had a great turnout at our first cattle herd health evening on June 9. Topics discussed included bull soundness examinations for risk mitigation, and vaccination protocols for vibriosis, pestivirus and leptospirosis.
We will organise the next herd health evening towards the end of July which will have a focus on the profitability of Fixed Time Artificial Insemination programs for commercial beef herds in the district and optimal nutrition prior to the joining season.
Leading into the joining and bull sale season now is the best time to ensure you get your bulls tested to ensure they are firing on all cylinders and we can maximise calves on the ground.
Liver fluke continues to be a burden in some areas of the district. Weaners and yearlings are most commonly affected, however cattle of all ages can be susceptible. The typical signs can include a dull coat, bottle jaw and a poor average daily weight gain (or even weight loss).
The parasite can be treated with several available drenches, however some will only work on certain life stages of the fluke so please contact me if you require further advice.
Keep in mind that liver fluke requires particular species of snails as their intermediate host. These snails usually favour slow moving bodies of water and therefore not all properties in the district will be affected.
An easy way to determine if a fluke drench should be a part of your normal cattle health program is to blood sample a selection of animals within your herd to screen for liver fluke infestation.
You might also like: Prepare now for winter feed gaps
We usually see a steady flow of vaginal prolapses throughout the year, however this month I've attended to several rectal prolapses. The exact reason for sporadic rectal prolapses is often difficult to determine. Some predisposing factors may include excessive coughing, and prolonged straining associated with diarrhoea and conditions such as coccidiosis.
If the rectal prolapse is caught early it can often be popped back in after administering an epidural and then suturing it back in place.
However, if the prolapsed tissue is severely damaged, a rectal amputation may be the only alternative.
Did you know? Gloucester Advocate online subscribers not only have 24/7 access to local and national news, sport, what's on and entertainment - they also have access to our print edition in digital format, with all the advertisements and classifieds at their fingertips.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.