Monthly Tip

Dairy Farmers

With cows dried off and away from farm it can be easy to fall into a false sense of security that all the hard work is done. Whether it be Kale, oats or fodder beet, or anything in between; these diets deviate from the standard diet our cows are fed throughout the year and require monitoring. If things aren’t handled appropriately deaths can occur on all these crops. The common problems we see are from Kale and Fodder Beet. Ensure you check your Kale, Rape and Oats etc for Nitrate levels. This can be tested at the clinic. Just ensure that you give the clinic a call to check s

omebody is available for a fast turnaround. With fodder beet transition is the key. Make sure that you have measured you crop yield and that you are feeding what you think you are feeding. If y

ou take cows out remember to readjust your feeding levels. If you have cows looking sluggish, or down cows call your Vetlife veterinarian right away for further advice.

Contact your Vetlife veterinarian to discuss any of these points.


Sheep & Beef Farmers

Sheep – What you need to know

With lambing under way or imminent it is important to be prepared with treatments and supplies. Pre-lamb Clostridial vaccinations +/- drench should be given approximately two weeks prior to the start of lambing. Your lambing kit should include calcium metabolic, energy drench, bearing retainers/sutures, disinfectant, lubricant, penicillin, colostrum, dextrose for intraperitoneal injection, stomach tube and teats. Also good to have some shoulder length gloves for those ripe lambing’s.

Beef-  What you need to know.

As for above have a basic calving kit on hand including metabolic’s, lubricant, disinfectant, gloves, penicillin and calving ropes. If you cannot make any progress on a calving for 15 minutes then call for assistance. Now is a good time for the sensitising dose of BVD vaccine in heifers.

For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.

Working Dog Monthly Tip                                 

Those spring feelings….

Breeding tips for working dog owners if you DO want to breed from their dogs:

  • Ideally breed your male and female working dogs between 2 – 6 years old. After six years of age there is often semen quality deterioration, fertility reduction, libido loss and increased risk of infection
  • Take the bitch to the dog rather than the other way around – some dogs perform better on home territory
  • See your Vetlife vet if attempts at mating have not resulted in a successful pregnancy – there are many options for identifying possible causes of infertility

Tips for working dog owners who DON’T want to breed from their dogs:

  • Check the security of your kennels/runs for both bitches and dogs – ideally invest in a separate, secure kennel and enclosed run
  • Owners commonly believe when a bitch has finished bleeding from the vulva that she is no longer ‘in heat’ – but usually this is when she is most fertile and will stand for a dog
  • If a mis-mating has occurred please speak with your vet early to make a fully informed decision – there is a small window of opportunity to spey your bitch


Remember to like and follow TeamMate – The New Zealand Working Dog Project on Facebook and Twitter.  I’m hoping to put more data from Massey University on this page in the next couple of months so keep an eye out.


For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.


Eye problems in horses

Eye problems in horses should always be regarded as emergencies.   They are incredibly painful and, if left untreated, can rapidly deteriorate and the horse may end up losing an eye.   Signs you might see include tears, discharge, crusting, squinting, sensitivity to light, swollen conjunctiva, cloudiness of the cornea and constricted pupils.  The horse may rub its eyes.   Traumatic injuries to the cornea are common, but there are a variety of infections that can also damage the eye.   Like most problems the earlier therapy is started, the better the outcome.  Don’t delay, call your vet!


For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.

Pet Owners


Have you recently given your pet a worming tablet? Routine worming is recommended to prevent the buildup of intestinal parasites. A heavy worm burden can cause some serious issues, and can even be life-threatening in young animals. Also, some intestinal parasites are zoonotic, meaning that humans can become infected with them as well (especially young children!). Head over to your nearest clinic for more information and to get a worming tablet for your pet now.

For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact your local clinic.