News & Advice


Dry Cow Therapy decisions for 2021

It is the time of the year when we start to think about preparing for drying off the cows, and, in particular, what Dry Cow Therapy decisions need to be made this season. To make sure your cows are set up for a great milk quality season, there needs to be a meaningful discussion around […]


Should I tail score my cows?

When discussing tail scoring with clients, I find this is often a sensitive and sometimes taboo topic. This is possibly because several farmers have been prosecuted for permitting tail damage in their herds in recent years, and clients assume that, by scoring their cows, they may be implying their staff have a problem. Obviously, this […]


Copper in dairy cattle

Why worry about copper? Copper deficiency in cattle can have the following impacts: Ill thrift and poor growth Altered coat colour and condition Immunosuppression Anaemia Gait abnormalities – calves Fractured humerus issues (broken shoulders) – 1st and 2nd calvers Reduced reproductive performance How to successfully ensure copper levels are good in your herd We cannot […]


How do anthelmintics work?

Injectable anthelmintics enable active to get into the bloodstream where it is distributed throughout the treated animal. This enables the drug to reach parasites that can be in various body tissues or organs of the host animal. It is extremely important to assess the bodyweight of the treated animal accurately, because these anthelmintics may have […]


Lungworm in young stock

Recent rain around Christmas will lead to unprecedented grass growth. Unfortunately, the conditions promoting good grass growth also promote parasite survival. Parasites like moisture, warmth and shade which are the conditions currently prevailing on most irrigated pasture and on a lot of unirrigated pasture. Lungworm reared its head last autumn on some properties, and the […]


Dry-off decisions in cows

The results are in: Mating season is over, and the outcome should be appropriately considered – what went well and what did not? And, more importantly, why? Although these considerations affect next season’s approach to mating, another challenge is equally important – Dry-off. And the foundation for achieving top results next year is laid down […]


TSE surveillance

      In December 1984, on a farm in Sussex, suspicions of a new disease in cattle began to develop. In the following year, a postmortem diagnosed Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or Mad Cow Disease). This was the beginning of a public crisis in and for the United Kingdom. This crisis cost 177 human […]


Dairy youngstock management in autumn

Ensuring optimum animal health in youngstock going into the autumn period can help maintain growth rates, hit liveweight targets for mating and minimise illness and disease. At this time of year, it is important to consider all aspects of health and feeding. Health issues of importance include parasitism, yersinia and trace element deficiencies. Feeding will […]


Thinking of exporting cattle out of NZ?

Plan well ahead (1-2 years) with Vetlife so that your NAIT number qualifies on animal health requirements. The live exporting of both dairy and beef cattle to destinations such as China continues. Part of the strict legal requirements is for the exporting farm (NAIT number-based) to have suitable animals, based on the health status of […]


Scouring calves

From Christmas through the autumn – does a bit of green on the rear end mean anything? Every year we support some clients dealing with scouring calves through the 0-3 month period. However, calves that scour from Christmas onwards through the autumn are often ignored, invariably on the basis that “this is normal, the grass […]


Post weaning management of calves

After weaning, sometimes our calves, sent off to run-off blocks,  can get a little forgotten, and all the hard work you have put into your replacements can easily be lost if effort is not made to monitor them.  All too often in the summer, we are called to see sick R1s, and, nearly always, the […]


Early treatment of non-cycling cows and novel treatment options

Non-cycling cows in dairy herds can have a significant impact on the reproductive and economic viability of a herd. It is important to identify and treat these cows early as they often have reduced submission and conception rates, and these can result in reduced in-calf rates, a prolonged calving period and fewer days in milk […]



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