Tuesday, December 10 2019 11:05 am
Post-flood Animal Health Advice • Access to good feed may be a challenge. It is important to supplement where possible and try ensuring cows receive energy they need. Consider OAD milking to reduce energy demands for a while. • After flood waters recede it may still be necessary to supplement as the silt contamination of pasture may reduce palatability and subsequently voluntary feed intake. • Although there may be lots of water about, cows can become dehydrated in floods because they find the flood water unpalatable. Make sure troughs are clean with fresh drinking water if possible. • It is important to supplement magnesium. • We’d recommend going forward to monitor the mineral status of animals more closely than in other years as the silt contamination of pasture when consumed can reduce the animal’s ability to absorb minerals. • Mastitis – with the environmental conditions and reduced milking frequency mastitis is likely to be higher risk. Focus on first principles – such as ensuring teat spray covers the teats well and is mixed at the stronger concentration. If it is apparent you are beginning to have a problem with mastitis, you could strip one teat or all teats at each milking to increase detection sensitivity. If you are still milking twice a day Intracillin may be the most sensible choice if there are a number to treat, otherwise Penclox will be a good 24-hourly treatment. Most environmental cases should respond well to treatment. • Clostridial disease (sudden death) will be higher risk due to mud/silt. Many farms are now vaccinating for this before cows go on to fodder beet. If you haven’t done this in May this year, we would recommend a booster now. • Salmonella is also spread by flood water. We have seen several cases of Salmonella in the Rangitata area in recent years so with the added stress and spread by water we would recommend affected farms vaccinate. Vaccination is approx. $1/dose so a cheap vaccine to prevent a nasty disease. • Lepto is another disease spread by water – hopefully you are fully vaccinated but please contact us if not. Even if you are vaccinated pay extra attention with avoiding the zoonotic risk from lepto i.e. wear protective gear, don’t eat/drink/smoke in the shed, cover cuts/grazes. • Other diseases such as lameness, pink eye, those related to stress may present themselves – please don’t hesitate to contact us should they present themselves. • Youngstock – feed is likely to be the main issue – consider keeping calves on milk longer and giving extra meal/silage until they can graze properly again. Parasite risk going forward is likely to be higher – you could use Cydectin to give 8 weeks protection against lungworm as well as the normal oral drench. Yersinia and salmonella will be higher risk – both can be vaccinated against, please contact us if you would like more information on these.