Rosedean Shetland Cattle

Preventative medicine and foot trimming

This week has been one of preventative medicine. We routinely vaccinate the breeding cattle against tetanus and other clostridial diseases using Bravoxin 10. Similar to Heptavac for sheep, each animal gets two initial doses 4-6 weeks apart and then an annual booster. Vaccinated cows, as well as being protected themselves, also confer passive immunity to their calves through colostrum.

All our calves get their two initial doses at about 3 and 7 weeks of age, but Ace hasn’t been vaccinated before so he got his first initial vaccination this week and will get his second initial vaccination in four weeks when the cows and Winnie get their booster. He was as good as gold – didn’t even lift his head out of the bucket.

With small numbers, there can be a lot of waste as the vaccine comes in 25 does packs but the vaccine can also be used for sheep, so as well as vaccinating Ace, we gave the 15 ewes their booster as well.

We also applied Closamectin to Ace, Winnie and the four steers; this is treatment for internal worms, liver fluke and external parasites. It’s very convenient and effective but can’t be used on cows producing milk for human consumption – so the three cows get an oral wormer and flukicide called Albex. Very few flukicides are licensed for use in dairy cows, which makes things a bit difficult.

Last time, I gave them the wormer in their daily sugar beet and they ate it reluctantly; this time they were having none of it. Well, not much of it so I don’t know how much they have had but certainly not a full dose, so it’s back to the dosing gun next week.

And finally, Nik, our foot trimmer was here to give the three cows their annual pedicure prior to turnout.

Blizzard pedicure

Blizzard pedicure

He was happy with the condition of their feet and they were relaxed enough in the crate so all was good.

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