Newsletter January 2019

24 hour emergency service
017683 51819

Office opening hours

Monday-Friday     8am - 6pm
Saturday               9am - 1pm
Sunday                 10am - 11am

Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX


January 2019 Edition 

Happy New Year to all our clients!

Congratulations to the winners of our Christmas quiz, the Bousfield family at Holme Farm Appleby.

The runners up were

Mrs Fletcher, Barwise Hall

and Mr Ewin, Eden Flatt.

Don’t forget we have a ‘responsible use of medicines talk’ at Appleby Golf Club on Wednesday 23rd January at 7pm.

Spaces are filling up fast so call the practice to book your place!

Colostrum management in cattle

As we all know good colostrum management is absolutely vital to ensure

a calf gets the best start in life. It provides the calf with antibodies against all the diseases its dam has encountered, is an excellent source of fats and proteins, contains vitamins, promotes ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive tract and contains hormones which help development of the intestines. The ‘5 Qs’ are a handy way to make sure that colostrum management is tip top on your farm!

1)     Quantity

It is generally recommended that a calf should receive 10% of its bodyweight in colostrum as soon as possible after birth, which in practice is usually 3­4L. This would require 20 minutes continuous feeding on the cow, so if in doubt, stomach tube or bottle feed the first meal. It has also been shown that feeding a further 2-­ 3L 6-­12 hours later further increases the number of antibodies transferred to the calf. Here is an example of how the volume of colostrum fed has had an impact on a group of Brown Swiss calves:


  Fed 2L colostrum Fed 4L colostrum
Number of cows in group 37 31
Average daily weight gain (kg) 0.8 kg 1.03 kg
Age at 1st conception (months) 14 months 13.5 months
% culled before 2nd lactation 24.7% 12.9%
Total milk in 1st & 2nd lactation 16,044L 17,072L

2)       Quality

The highest quality colostrum is produced at the first milking after calving, thereafter quality deteriorates. Many factors influence colostrum quality:

Age ­ cows generally higher quality than heifers.

Length of dry period ­ a short dry period usually lowers colostrum quality (at least 4 weeks is necessary to produce good quality colostrum).

Vaccination status of the dam ­ antibodies passed on to the calf.

Stress during the last 5 weeks before calving ­ less antibodies are transferred to colostrum if the cow is under any kind of stress in the last 5 weeks of pregnancy.

Trace element status ­ selenium, vitamin E and iodine effect colostrum quality

Cows with mastitis, chronic disease or that have leaked milk before calving have a much reduced colostrum quality.


Ideally all colostrum should be tested prior to feeding, with only good quality colostrum fed at the first feed. We have a refractometer at the practice to test colostrum quality if you are interested in assessing the status of colostrum. Results can be surprising ­ colostrum that looks like it would be good quality is not always so!

If in doubt, we stock Immucol Platinum colostrum. This contains highest levels of antibodies of all the replacers and is guaranteed Johnes, EBL and IBR free.

As always, the colostrum from cows that are positive for Johnes should NOT be fed to calves.

3) Quickly

Colostrum should be fed as soon after birth as possible! The highest absorption of maternal antibodies is in the first four hours after birth. You may have heard the gut of the newborn calf described as being ‘open’. This means that it is able to absorb larger proteins than an older calf could. These large proteins include the mother’s antibodies, but also E.coli and other opportunistic bacteria. As soon as the first large proteins are absorbed the gut begins to close. It is very important to make sure that the first proteins are antibodies and not bacteria!! Otherwise a calf may well develop septicaemia or scour.

4)       sQueaky clean

As mentioned above, any bacterial contamination will put the calf at risk. Bacterial numbers double every 20 minutes in colostrum stored at room temperature.

All equipment used to collect, store and feed colostrum should be scrupulously clean! There should be no visible dirt, equipment should be cleaned with detergent between feeding and allowed to air dry.

To lengthen the shelf life of colostrum it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Alternatively it can be frozen for up to 12 months. Make sure to label the bag with the cow ID and date of collection so any colostrum from a cow subsequently found to be Johnes positive can be traced and destroyed. Any calf fed colostrum from another dam should have its number recorded. Before feeding, frozen colostrum should be gradually reheated and not microwaved.

5)      Quantify

Up to 50% of calves do not get enough colostrum. It is useful to monitor the success of a colostrum protocol so amendments can be made if necessary. We can take a blood sample from calves aged between 1 and 7 days of age to test total protein level. We test this in house, with results available by the end of the day.

Clostridial diseases of sheep                                 

We have had a few cases of clostridial disease diagnosed lately ­ this can be a significant problem in unvaccinated flocks and often the only sign of infection is sudden death.

Clostridia are bacteria which are present in the environment (especially soil) and within the digestive tract. The most common clostridial diseases are as follows:

  • Pulpy Kidney ­ most commonly Associated with a change in diet and concentrate feeding. Sudden death.
  • Blackleg ­ clostridia enter through cuts and wounds or contaminated needles, sheep are dull and depressed with a fever, they may be severely lame on one
  • Braxy ­ unvaccinated weaned lambs in the winter months, associated with ingestion of frozen root crops or Sudden death.
  • Tetanus ­ seen in lambs, stiff muscles, seizure activity and eventual death due to respiratory
  • Big head ­ seen in rams during late summer/early autumn when head butting is common, see swelling of the head particularly surrounding the
  • Lamb dysentery ­ commonly seen in lambs under three week of Lambs may appear hunched up with a bloody scour, but are often found dead.
  • Blacks disease ­ associated with immature fluke migrating through the liver in late summer/early autumn and can affect unvaccinated sheep of all Sudden death.


Several vaccines are available which are very effective. In general the protocol is to initially give two vaccinations four to six weeks apart followed by an annual vaccination four to six weeks before the expected lambing date. Lambs can be vaccinated from three weeks old so the protocol is complete before weaning and the subsequent decline in protective antibodies from the ewe.

Nearly all cases of clostridial disease are fatal so prevention with vaccination is essential! Some cases of blackleg and bighead may respond to treatment with Penicillin and anti­inflammatories if caught early.


Newsletter December 2018

24 hour emergency service
017683 51819

Office opening hours

Monday-Friday       8am - 6pm
Saturday                  9am - 1pm
Sunday                10am - 11am

Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX


December 2018 Edition 

It’s that time of year again! In this month’s festive newsletter we have a Christmas quiz, with a prize to be won! We also have an article about the new scour vaccine for cattle. We will be hosting  a ‘Responsible use of medicines’ talk on 23rd January to help compliance with Red Tractor Recommendations. Details are on the back page – please call the office to book your place!

Please call the office to confirm your place.

Festive Opening Hours

Sunday 23rd Dec Closed

Monday 24th Dec   8am-6pm

Christmas day  Closed

Boxing day  Closed

Sunday 30th Dec 10am-11pm

Monday 31st Dec  8am-6pm

Tuesday 1st Jan        Closed

As always we are available 24/7 for emergencies.

Finally, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Responsible use of medicines talk


We will be hosting this talk to help compliance with

Red Tractor Recommendations.

When:         Wednesday 23rd January, 7pm 

Where:     Appleby Golf Club

 Cost:         £40

 Course content

Appropriate medicine usage, critically important antibiotics, storage, handling, safe administration, understanding data sheets, withdrawal periods, avoiding antibiotic failures, record keeping and dry cow therapy.

The course is suitable for all farmers. It meets all the criteria for the Far

m Assurance recommendation that at least one member of farm staff should be trained in medicines administration.

Food and a certificate of attendance will be provided.

Bovigen Scour

Bovigen® S

cour now approved as a 1­shot vaccine in cows and heifers (12­3 weeks pre­calving)


Available on special offer now

Virbac’s calf scour vaccine Bovigen Scour is now registered for use as a 1­shot vaccine in both cows and heifers, regardless of previous vaccination status. The vaccine, given 12­3 weeks prior to calving, boosts the dam’s colostrum antibody levels to rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli K99 – the major viral and bacterial causes of calf scour.

Immunity is transferred to calves via the colostrum and protection depends on the calf ingesting an adequate amount of colostrum from the vaccinated dam soon after birth. A good

colostrum management program is therefore essential.

Calf scour is a very common and distressing problem, and Bovigen Scour offers an effective option in the management of the disease.

If you are concerned about calf scour please get in touch with the practice to discuss the potential benefits of using the vaccine in your herd.

Bovigen Scour (3ml dose) is available in 5 and 30 dose bottles

For this month only it is available at a special price 


Tethera’s Christmas Quiz

Can you work out the answers to the following questions?

The answers can all be found in the anagrams beneath the questions. Hand back your completed question sheet for a chance to win a prize.

  1. Often associated with winter and Christmas time, the robin is a welcome sight as the weather turns colder, but what is their favourite thing to eat for Christmas dinner?
  2. In which country do they believe that cows begin to talk and seals take on human form on New Years Eve?   
  3. Mary rode into Bethlehem on a donkey, but if her donkey had suddenly become stiff in the legs with muscle spasm and prolapse of the third eyelid what disease should she suspect? (*Bonus Point, what are her chances of getting to Bethlehem now?*)
  4. Turkeys often form the centrepiece of a Christmas dinner, but in medieval times what bird was enjoyed to celebrate on the 25th?
  1. The three wise men said to have attended the birth of Jesus arrived on camels, but if one of the camels had given birth in December which month would they have conceived in?
  2. The nativity suggests Shepherds were watching their flock at night when an angel appeared and gave them a fright, but what breed of sheep would they be watching over?                                                                        


Anagrams ­ solve the anagrams and match them to the questions above Core bot j Aunt set j Ace pock j Is a was j same mr owl j die clan



Newsletter November 2018

24 hour emergency service
017683 51819

Office opening hours

Monday-Friday       8am - 6pm
Saturday                  9am - 1pm
Sunday                10am - 11am

Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX


November 2018 Edition

This month we have some more exciting news as we are thrilled to welcome Ruth and Sophie 

as  new directors of Tethera. We are very happy to have found two vets with the qualities to develop develop the business and keep the company in private hands.


A thank you to everyone who has attended our BVD Stamp It Out meetings. If you didn't manage to get to one of our meetings this year, fear not, we will be arranging more in the new year. If you think you may be interested in attending one of our future meetings then please give us a ring or mention it when you're in so we can give you some more information.

Focus on Mastitis


Which bacteria is causing my mastitis?

Mastitis is an unwelcome presence on all farms to a greater or lesser degree, the key to managing ma


s is knowing what you’re up against. The definitive way to know is to take a sterile milk sample from a mastitic cow to have i

t cultured BEFORE you treat her. Taking a sterile milk sample is important here as we only want to culture what’s in the milk, not what’s on her udder and teat skin.

Here's a reminder on taking a sterile milk sample:

  1. Wear Gloves
  2. Strip teat X4
  3. Brush off excess dirt with paper towel and pre­dip (leave on for 20­30s)
  4. Dry and remove pre­dip from teats
  5. Using spirit, clean the teat end until swab comes away clean, use a separate swab for each teat and clean the farthest teats first (if collecting from all teats)
  6. Open collection tub, angle at 45 degrees to the teat and hold cap upside down to prevent contamination, do not allow the teat end to touch the
  7. Collect 3­5ml of milk in the container, do not overfill, sample nearest teats first
  8. Clearly label samples with cow number and quarter
  9. Chill samples until they can be delivered to Tethera


It’s a good idea to try and take samples from all clinical cases and freeze, these can then be submitted for culture at a later date should you need.

Different causes of mastitis­

­ Staph Aureus, a contagious bacteria (often spreading cow to cow during milking time), can cause both clinical and sub­clinical mastitis so you may just see high somatic cell counts (SCC). Often difficult to eradicate from the udder and can result in cows intermittently having high SCCs on record.

Control measures include hygienic milking practices, effective dry cow therapy for high cell count cows, good parlour upkeep to prevent teat damage, and consistent culling policies.

­Strep Uberis, found mainly in the environment but there is also evidence for spread cow to cow, straw yards are a big risk factor for this kind of mastitis. It can cause both clinical mastitis cases and elevated SCCs.

Control, maintaining a hygienic environment and including both pre and post dipping in milking routine.

­ E.coli, found in the environment (high numbers in soiled bedding and faeces), wet and humid conditions will increase the rates of infections in cattle housed and at pasture. Cows are at a high risk of developing E.coli mastitis just after drying off and just prior to calving. Subclinical infections are uncommon, cows with clinical mastitis vary from mild and self­curing cases to severe and life threatening infections.

Control, improving general hygiene and good teat hygiene at drying off and in the parlour.

­ Strep dysgalactiae, more widely distributed in the environment than agalactiae, cows are often infected between milkings when the teat end comes into contact with faeces or soiled bedding. Infection can also occur at milking time if there is poor udder preparation or if there is poor teat condition. Clinical cases are relatively easy to treat.

Control, good milking routine with attention paid to teat condition and maintaining cleanliness in the shed.

­ Strep agalactiae, this bacteria survives only in the udder, so is easier to eradicate from the herd than some other bacteria.

Commonly causes sub­clinical mastitis and is transmitted cow to cow. Often it only affects one quarter and bacteria are excreted intermittently causing peaks and troughs in your SCC data.

Control, good milking routine, appropriate antibiotic usage for clinical mastitis cases and for high cell count cows at drying off.

New Product

Introducing ANIMEDAZON SPRAY­ a new blue spray to try

Reducing Losses in Early Pregnancy in Sheep               

The weeks surrounding tupping and just afterwards are crucial in deciding the scanning % and therefore the success of your lambing period. Early embryonic losses are not uncommon in sheep and can be due to a range of factors that you can address to avoid a low scanning %.

  • Ensuring ewes are at the correct body condition score prior to tupping will give the best chance of Ideal body condition score is between 2.5 ­

3.5 (depending on upland or lowland flock). It is important to maintain this condition into early pregnancy and keep your ewes on a level plane of nutrition for the first month encouraging embryos to hold. Avoid a sudden change of diet ­ if the weather turns in early winter, supplement your ewes with some extra forage. After implantation occurs (months 2 & 3) ewes may be allowed to slowly lose 0.5 of a condition score if they were tupped at the ideal BCS. Thin ewes should be encouraged to slowly gain weight over this period.

  • Infections can cause pregnancy losses, either directly (toxoplasma can cause early losses) or indirectly through making the ewe immunosuppressed or decreasing the availability of nutrients (chronic fluke or fever).
  • Toxoplasma lifecycle reminder ­ cats are the definitive host for toxoplasma and shed oocysts in their faeces, the oocysts can then contaminate pasture and infect Toxoplasma can then be spread transplacentally and cause foetal death in early pregnancy, still born and weak lambs if the infection occurs mid pregnancy or birth of normal but infected lambs if ewes are infected late pregnancy. The infected but otherwise normal lambs will abort their first lamb if kept and bred from. Vaccination is the best control measure to prevent and limit further abortions.

­Enzootic abortion, caused by chlamydophila abortus and transmitted from sheep to sheep through abortion material and discharge. Ewes infected during late pregnancy (last six weeks) will abort the next pregnancy. Vaccination is the best control measure.

  • Selenium/Iodine deficiency, ewes deficient in selenium can have a lowered fertility and produce lambs with white muscle disease, ewes deficient in iodine can have late abortions, still born and weak Selenium and Iodine appear to work together to ensure that brown fat is mobilised properly in young lambs which improves lamb survival. It is important therefore to ensure the diet being fed to the ewes contains sufficient amounts of both minerals.


Newsletter October 2018

24 hour emergency service
017683 51819

Office opening hours

Monday-Friday       8am - 6pm
Saturday                  9am - 1pm
Sunday                10am - 11am

Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX

October 2018 Edition    

As we say goodbye to summer, it's time to focus on the next challenge, whether that be tupping, autumn calving or just preparing for winter.

'We would like to wish Sophie and Richard massive congratulations on their recent engagement, it really is lovely news and we are all very excited in the office at the prospect of a good party!!!! We wish them all the very best for a long and happy future together.


We would also like to congratulate Kay, our newest recruit, on the safe arrival of her 9 collie puppies.'

Focus on Mastitis

Making the most of your cell count data

Milk recording forms a crucial part of monitoring the health of your cows and can provide a huge amount of useful information when trying to pin point where a problem is coming from. The more regularly you record, the more data there is to work with, however, even less regular testing can aid in diagnosing problems.

So, you have a high cell count cow, what next? Things you should consider when looking at her data

­ Is this her first high cell count? Or has she had high cell counts before, either in this lactation or previous, multiple high cell counts can indicate a chronic infection. If she recorded high before drying off and is still high at first recording, this indicates she hasn’t cured over the dry period.

­ Where is she in her lactation? If this is her first recording after calving, it’s likely she picked up the infection during the dry period or at calving time. If she spikes high later during lactation its likely she’s picked up infection from the parlour or the shed/pasture.

­ Does she have clinical mastitis? Or is the high cell count the only sign, this can help identify which bug might be causing the problem. For example, E.coli mastitis will likely cause visible changes in the milk and a sick cow, but infection with Staph. Aureus can be subclinical ie, only elevated cell counts.

­ Is she the only high cell count cow from the group, or are there multiple cows spiking high at the same time? This could relate to a seasonal or management change, it is worth looking back over previous years data to see if the trend is repeated year on year.

­ What is your herds Johne’s status? Johne’s can contribute to high cell counts and reduced fertility in the herd.

Having considered the above, we can start to target our approach to eliminate the cause of high cell counts in the herd.

Triclabendazole resistance

How to stop it developing on your farm

Liver fluke, or Fasciola hepatica, is considered to be endemic in the wetter areas of the UK. This of course includes the Eden valley and surroundings where we are not unfamiliar with a spot of rain! For years the mainstay of treatment has been products containing Triclabendazole, as these are effective against all stages of fluke. Unfortunately our reliance on Triclabendazole has lead to resistance developing on farms across the country.

Triclabendazole is a drug we still want as part of our armoury when dealing with fluke, but to preserve its usefulness we must use it sparingly and with other measures on farm. Here are some suggestions for tackling fluke;

  1. Grazing management, fence off wetter areas of pasture and consider not grazing high risk pastures during periods of highest risk (late summer/autumn).
  2. Only use flukicides when necessary, take into account the history of occurrence on your farm, parasite forecasting (NADIS provides monthly updates on parasite forecasts) and if we have diagnosed fluke on your farm (through muck sample analysis).
  3. Only use Triclabendazole when targeting immature flukes, at times of the year when acute fluke disease is likely (such as late summer/early autumn) it is appropriate to use triclabendazole. At other times, when targeting mature flukes is the goal (winter, spring and early summer), consider using a different treatment (we stock Albex, Solantel and Closamectin).
  4. Correct dosing, weighing individual animals for dosing is best practice, however we know that this is not always possible, so animals should be grouped together according to estimated weight and dosed for the heaviest animal in the group. Underdosing animals can lead to some fluke surviving.
  5. Quarantine incoming stock, reducing the risk of introducing resistant fluke to your farm, SCOPS and COWS provide good guidelines for quarantining sheep and cows respectively.
  6. Carry out resistance testing via faecal egg reduction tests so we can assess the current situation on your farm. Please call the surgery to discuss or for the protocol for testing.

Top tips for Tups Preventing blocked rams                                      

Stones, or uroliths, can form in the bladder of tups fed on concentrate rations that are high in phosphate and magnesium. These stones can then lodge in the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside), and cause a full or partial blockage. A blocked urethra not only causes severe discomfort, but can lead to kidney failure and death if left untreated.

What to look for:

­ Teeth grinding and signs of pain                   ­ Lack of appetite

­ Separation from the group                           ­ Swollen prepuce

­ Bloody urine dripping from the prepuce

­ Presence of crystals in the wool around the prepuce may be indicative of stones, but can also be present in normal tups.

If you notice a tup displaying any/all of the above signs, please contact us for advice as prompt veterinary treatment is essential in cases of blocked rams.

This problem can be avoided by providing a source of fresh accessible water, adding ammonium chloride to the ration, supplementing the diet with sodium chloride (to increase water intake) and providing adequate roughage to stimulate saliva production and increase water uptake.

‘WORM YOUR HORSE’ ­ due to the weather conditions this summer we are seeing a huge and sudden burden of worms in our equine population. This is causing serious clinical signs including colic which is leading to death in some cases. Please prevent the risk by fetching us muck samples so we can check for worm burden before it causes any problems and advise on a worming plan.'



Newsletter September 2018

24 hour emergency service
017683 51819

Office opening hours

Monday-Friday       8am - 6pm
Saturday                  9am - 1pm
Sunday                10am - 11am

Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX


September 2018 Edition

This month we welcome our new vet, Kay McDonald. Kay graduated from Liverpool University in 2018 with distinction. She’s moved to Appleby from Northumberland to start her career in farm animal practice. If you see her passing by please say hello.

BVD Stamp it out

You may have seen recently in the farming press that the government is putting £5.7 million into BVD control in England.

This money will be available for the next 3 years. BVD is estimated to cost the industry £60 million/year, and causes poor health in calves and infertility and abortion in adults. The aim is to dramatically reduce the prevalence of the disease by testing 50% of farms in England. Many other countries have eradicated BVD or are in the process of doing so, so that BVD eradication is very achievable!

Initially, £61.80 will be available for a ‘check test’ to see if BVD is circulating, all the costs of sampling will be covered as well. If BVD is found to be circulating, £440 is available to do a more detailed search to find any persistently infected cattle.

This funding is available to all cattle farmers, including those who are already BVD accredited or are tissue tagging. Even if you are vaccinating it would still be worthwhile making the most of this opportunity to test, to check that vaccination is working effectively.

We will be running meetings to discuss BVD and how to access this funding ­ currently we have 2 meetings planned:

Wednesday 26th September, 7pm Tuesday 6th November, 12:30pm

In order to access the funding farmers must attend one of the meetings and sign up prior to the meeting.

Both meetings are at Appleby Golf Club. Pie and peas will be provided!

Places are limited to 10 farms per meeting, although if there is a lot of interest we will arrange meetings for next year.

Tethera at Appleby show

Congratulations to Show Quiz winners!

Appleby show quiz was won by the Hewitt family, Bankhead. Dufton and Crosby show quiz was won by Jo Brown, Bow Hall. Thank you to everyone that entered.




Rams make up half of the flock, so it is important to make sure they are in optimal condition for tupping time! Using an unsound ram will decrease your lambing percentage and result in a protracted lambing period. It takes 7 weeks for a ram to produce sperm, so it’s important to check him over well in advance of the breeding season. Here are a few things to look out for…

Body condition ­ rams in the optimum BCS of 3­3.5 produce a significantly higher amount of testosterone than thinner or fatter tups.

Sperm production can be increased by 100% with good nutritional uptake prior to mating, although it’s important that the tup is fed a diet low in phosphate and magnesium to prevent a blocked bladder! Check teeth, feet and for other diseases which may decrease his BCS. The tups scrotal circumference should be more than 32cm ­ any less may be a sign of reduced fertility. The testes should be an even size, firm, freely mobile and with no lumps or bumps. We recommend semen testing the tups before they are put in with the ewes so that infertile or subfertile tups can be identified before it is too late



Clinical trial

We are participating in a clinical trial into foul in the foot in dairy cows. The aim of the study is to identify the different strains of the bacteria which cause the problem. Any dairy or beef farm can participate. The study requires a swab to be taken from an animal which has not been footbathed or had antibiotic treatment within the past 3 weeks. A swab and medium are provided and the sampling can be done by yourselves or a vet.

To take the sample, clean the foot with water only and then dry the space between the toes. The swab needs to be taken from the centre of the foul lesion and put in the fridge until it can be sent off.

Please let us know if you are interested in taking part in this study.

Newsletter July 2018

24 hour emergency service
017683 51819

Office opening hours

Monday-Friday       8am - 6pm
Saturday                  9am - 1pm
Sunday                10am - 11am

Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX

July 2018 Edition

Summer is well and truly here!
Hopefully you have all had chance to make some 
good silage and hay.


There have been some significant changes to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme recently. Please take time to read over the changes which we have outlined in this month’s newsletter and get in contact if you have any questions.

Farm assurance
As many of you are aware, new rules have come into place for the Red Tractor Farm Assurance. There are 2 main areas of change:

1. Dairy, beef and sheep farms- as you are hopefully already aware, the highest priority critically important antibiotics (HP-CIAs) must now only be used as a last resort, under veterinary HP-CIAs are defined as 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones (and colistin).

In practice the drug names that are affected are-

  • Marbox/ Marbocy
  • Naxcel/ Excenel
  • Cobactan
  • Cephaguard

The reason this has come into force is that HP-CIAs are used as a last resort for humans. There has been a lot of publicity in the press recently about antibiotic resistance, so it is important that we safeguard the future use of HP-CIAs in both human and animal medicine.

The use of any of the above drugs on a red tractor farm must now be supported by a vet report and diagnostic testing which demonstrates that the above drugs are the only viable option. This evidence must be produced at the farm inspection, and failure to provide this evidence will result in a non compliance.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the rules, alternative treatments, or health plan requirements. Alternatively please ask any of our vets when we are out on farm.

2. Beef and sheep farms are now required to have a health plan (including antibiotic usage review) completed by their Please contact us at least a month before your visit is due as it takes time for us to collate antibiotic usage.

Bovella users
We have vouchers for up to £50 of BVD testing for you! Remember, when vaccinating for BVD it is important to do some on-going testing as no BVD vaccine is completely foolproof if a PI is present. Please ask us for further details and to discuss the best test for your herd.


Action Johnes!!
Several milk buyers (Arla, Omsco, Meadow Foods, Nestle) require a written Johnes action plan to be signed and implemented by 31st October 2018.

Every farm must now know their herd status, which involves testing a minimum of 30 cows once/year. Because Johnes testing needs to be done at least 60 days after the TB test, the next few months will be a good time to arrange testing. Once testing is completed, we can then provide a written plan. Please contact us if you would like any further information.

Come and join us for a brew and the craic at some of the local shows we attend . . .

Appleby Show Thu 9th August
Dufton Show Sat 25th August
Crosby Ravensworth Thu 30th August


Lambing 2019!
Yes, we’ve only just finished lambing 2018, but it’s not too early to start planning for next year. . .

Cidr ovis is a new product containing progesterone. Similar to sponges, it can be used to synchronise oestrus and ovulation, as well as advance the breeding season. The main advantage of Cidr Ovis is that it causes less
discharge and is easier to remove than sponges. The CIRD is left in place for 12 days, with an injection of eCG at removal. Oestrus occurs 1-2 days after this.

Did you have more than 5% abortions during lambing 2018? If so, the Flockcheck scheme is running again until 31st July. This is a free blood test for up to 8 ewes and will test for Enzootic and Toxoplasma abortion which are both preventable by vaccinating. Please get in contact if interested.

If anyone is interested in using Regulin implants to bring forwards next year’s lambing please let us know as soon as possible as implants will need to be inserted soon!
Regulin can advance lambing by up to 6 weeks.



Anyone wishing to pay by BACS our bank details are as follows:
Sort code: 30-67-67 a/c no. 13306668

Many thanks for all your prompt payments

Top tips for controlling Digital Dermatitis in cattle

Digital Dermatitis is a serious problem on many dairy herds, and an increasing number of beef herds. If a high proportion of the herd is affected it can have a severe impact on yields and fertility. It’s not easy, but it is definitely possible to keep it under control.

Digital Dermatitis

First – if you don’t have Digi on your farm – if you’ve never seen lesions like the one on the picture – keep it out! Don’t buy in cattle, and ensure that all foot trimming equipment is cleaned and disinfected before coming onto your farm.

Once it’s on your farm, it’s unlikely you’ll eliminate it, but you can control it. Think of it like controlling cell counts – you have to keep at it:

Hygiene is important – keep feet as clean as possible. Run automatic scrapers as frequently as possible, ensure ventilation and drainage is good, and keep any straw yards dry and well bedded.

Foot bathing is essential. What goes into the footbath is less important than how it’s done:

Ensure it’s deep enough to cover the hoof completely

Check the volume of the footbath, and calculate the correct concentration:

A 200 litre footbath will need 6 litres of formalin or 6kg of copper sulphate to make a 3% solution.

Around 200 cows is generally the most you should put through a footbath before changing it, though that depends on the size and how clean the feet are.

Frequency is the key to success – if there’s a lot of Digi about, you’ll have to footbath more frequently. Many farms footbath 5 days a week; farms with less of a problem may get away with twice a week.

Make it easy! Set up a system that becomes part of the normal routine.

Antibiotic footbaths are effective, but shouldn’t be used routinely. Digi can be kept under control by regular footbathing with formalin, copper sulphate, or other proprietary products (if using formalin, make sure you’re not breathing in the fumes when milking – it’s nasty stuff). If Digi is allowed to get out of control, an antibiotic footbath may be needed to get it back under control, before starting a regular programme of routine footbathing. Antibiotic footbaths are off-licence, and a potential risk for antibiotic resistance, so we should avoid using them where possible (they’re also expensive!).

If you’re seeing Digi amongst your cows, speak to a vet about the best way to get on top of it on your farm.

Lambing time records

Keeping some simple figures at lambing time can really help us to make improvements within your flock.

Even if the most basic tally chart was kept at lambing time it would give us something to work on.

Basic information to keep: Number of lambs born dead, number of lambs died after born alive, number of ewes died over lambing period, number of lambs marked, Number of lambs sold later in the year.

Relate these figures back to scanning results.

National average for losses between number lambs scanned and number sold is a much as 22% really we should be aiming for 10% loss or less.

The more details/ records kept the better chance we have of improving productivity. Beyond basic records would include: number stuck lambing, number of prolapses (pre and post) number of cases of watery mouth, scour, joint ill. Weight gains and a calculated DLWG of the growing lamb.

If you would like a recording sheet for basic and more detailed information please pick one up from the practice.