Potential animal health issues, tasks to consider and reminders for February include...

DAIRY

  • If not done already get your pregnancy scanning booked in today as the longer you wait to do it, the less information you gain! Pregnancies are best aged between six and 12 weeks after mating.
  • Clinical mastitis - monitor cows and be aware of a rising bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) particularly if feed is tightening and milk volume is decreasing. Prepare early for drying off and book in your Milk Quality Consult with your vet.
  • Lameness problems have been widespread and challenging in the first half of the season and may worsen with dry hard ground. Monitor cows daily and act as quickly as possible to assess and treat those with sore feet.
  • Facial eczema was a huge problem last year so, farm location and weather depending, preventative zinc treatment should have been started. Also consider doing some spore counts.
  • For those who winter milk, monitor Autumn calving cows' condition, BMSCC and your feed quality/quantity. Dry off according to calving dates and administer dry cow therapy where appropriate.

SHEEP and BEEF

  • Monitor for signs of Barbers Pole (pale gums, depression, exercise intolerance, increased breathing) and drench at the first sign of trouble as every year we see a number of deaths from this disease.
  • Mating preparations - ensure all ram palpations/testing has been completed and reproductive vaccines are ordered.

DEER

  • Early in the month is a good time to vaccinate hinds against Leptospirosis, whilst later in February or March, depending on birth date, fawns can also be given their first Lepto shot, along with Yersiniavax® for Yersiniosis.

EQUINE

  • Weaning is a potentially stressful period for youngsters so ensure excellent nutrition for young stock. Consider the need and plan ahead for branding, identification/registration and vaccination(s).
  • Horses travelling to shows and events and competing require access to fresh water and keep electrolytes on hand.