Farm - 12-12-2023 - Joe Pescod BVetMed MRCVS - 0 comments
Farm Newsletter - Pneumonia season

Read the full December newsletter here

I hope you are getting on well and that you see some dry days soon!

Pneumonia season is well underway - I'd like to encourage prompt use of a thermometer whenever you have the slightest suspicion that a calf is looking under the weather. Early treatment with an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic when temperatures increase above 39.5 degrees C can make a huge impact on reducing the seriousness of a bout of pneumonia, and the lasting damage it can cause. Once you've had a case, check on the rest in the group: if more than a third are showing signs, speak with your vet regarding treating them all.

Following on from last month's newsletter discussing liver fluke, I wanted to look further into costings and recommend housing as an opportunity to perform diagnostics as well as treatment. 

Consider the following:

In a 40 cow suckler herd, you might use a common triclabendazole[CW1]  (Fasinex 240, Tribex; or a combination product Cydectin Triclamox; Combinex) drench at 35ml to treat a 700kg cow. You also treat the forty 450kg store cattle from the previous year with 25ml each. This comes to 2400ml and a 5L bottle will set you back around £380 (ex VAT).
The benefit of using the triclabendazole is that it is licensed to kill immature fluke as well as adults, so that when you drench housed animals 2 weeks post-housing you can be relatively confident that the cattle are now free of liver fluke. However, as Joe R mentioned last month, there are disadvantages to using triclabendazole based drenches. We know now that the frequency of incomplete cure rates is increasing - there is growing resistance in the fluke population[CW2]  to this chemical, in the same way that there is widespread resistance to white wormers in the gutworms affecting the UK sheep flock. If we can save this product for when we really need it, we might extend its usefulness. 

Triclabendazole is also on the list of chemicals which are more toxic to the dung beetles on your pasture. Whilst you are dosing at housing so this doesn't immediately affect them, it is important to bear it in mind - the FYM will need to go somewhere at some point!   


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