News & Advice


M. bovis testing in beef cows

It has been almost 4 years since Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in New Zealand. Not long after its diagnosis, New Zealand embarked on an ambitious eradication strategy. That in itself has caused a great deal of trauma for many farmers who have seen their herds destroyed upon detection of the disease. Here we are, […]


Restricted Veterinary Medicine Authorisations

Many sheep, beef and deer farmers will be reviewing their annual scripts at this time of year, so why not use this process to your advantage rather than treating it as a pain in the proverbial? Often this is your one chance to sit down with your Vetlife vet and revise your animal health plan […]


Iodine and selenium supplementation in ewes

Improving your lambing percentage is one of the keys to attaining higher sheep farm productivity and profit.  A successful mating period boils down to three essential elements: maximising the number of ewes mated in their first cycle minimising the number of ewes not mated maximising the twinning rate The trace element status of ewes in […]


Crop transitioning

Planning for transitioning stock onto winter feed crops is of great importance in both preventing animal health issues and achieving intakes for maximum production. The goal, when transitioning stock onto a crop, is to give the rumen environment time to adjust to the new feed and prevent the development of problems such as acidosis on […]


Clostridial disease

Clostridial diseases are diseases caused by bacteria that are able to form resistant spores. These spores are resistant to extremes in temperature and can survive in soil for many years, with some clostridial bacteria also existing within the normal intestinal flora of healthy stock. Under the right conditions, such as when a spore is present […]


Very unhumorous humeral fractures

We have all heard the disaster stories of farms having up to 30%, and higher in some cases, of their heifers becoming acutely lame in a forelimb, resulting in them having to be euthanised. Often these are well- grown healthy heifers just walking around in the paddock. A “gunshot” noise can be heard, and the […]


Management of the ewe hogget pregnancy

In-lamb ewe hoggets are a priority class over the winter because feed levels must meet the liveweight gain requirements of the hogget as well as the needs of the fetus and mammary gland. Management strategies must ensure maximum production of both hogget and offspring to weaning and not compromise two-tooth breeding. Feeding during pregnancy must […]


Live export of cattle from NZ – an urgent plea

If any livestock agent offers a deal for the sale and export of your dairy or beef cattle – please remind them (the agent) and yourself that, until certain on-farm animal health export certificate conditions are met, those animals may not be going anywhere. In other words, until certain mandatory export conditions for the farm […]


Grain overload in sheep

With the harvest season upon us, it is timely to remind ourselves of the potential dangers of grain overload (rumen acidosis). This usually occurs in sheep not being gradually introduced to a grain feeding regimen or being put onto stubble where there is substantial grain remaining or spills. Grain is sometimes used in late summer/autumn […]


Fly and lice

The most serious and economically damaging ectoparasites facing the NZ sheep farmer are fly and lice. The cost to our farming industry runs into millions of dollars annually. There are over 15 million dollars spent each year on chemicals alone. The farmer must consider a range of factors when designing an integrated ectoparasite control programme. […]


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 […]


Faecal Egg Count Reduction Tests (FECRT)

Whether there have been previous resistance issues on the farm or not, this testing is a worthwhile investment. This is the only way to know if the drenches that you are using are actually effective on your farm. Parasite resistance to drenches is a continual problem, and once resistance to a drench has developed, drenches […]



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With 18 clinics based throughout the South Island, we look forward to welcoming you into one of our Vetlife clinics.