Broughton Veterinary Group
12 Swannington Road, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire LE9 6TU
Tel: 01455 282512
Elizabethan House, Leicester Road, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17
Tel: 01455 552117
Broughton Veterinary Group is the trading name of Broughton Vet Group Ltd.
Company number 9243007 registered in England & Wales.
Registered office: 12 Swannington Road, Broughton Astley, Leicester, LE9 6TU
JUNE FARM NEWSLETTER 2019
i. FAREWELL JAN!
It is with great sadness that we have to
wish a fond farewell to Jan.
Jan has been an integral part of the
Broughton Farm team for almost 8 years
and in recent years has been our Head
Veterinary Nurse. We, as I am sure you
all will miss her joy of assisting with
surgery, getting stuck in on farm, soaked
during TB tests and her enthusiasm for
poo analysis! Always with a smile on her
She will be greatly missed by all the
team and we wish her all the best for
her next adventure in New Zealand, to
work as a veterinary technician.
ii. GOODBYE BETH
Sadly, we have also had to say goodbye
to Beth this month. Beth has been a
valued part of our farm admin team for
the past 4 years. Beth has managed the
daunting task of keeping the vets
organised, diaries full and providing a
friendly voice at the end of the phone,
with great enthusiasm!
Beth leaves us to return to a more hands
on farm role working with pigs, dairy
and her sucklers at home. We are
looking forward to her continued
involvement with our farm meetings
although now as a member of the
audience she promises not to heckle too
We wish her the best of luck in the
iii. WELCOME FRANCESCA
This month we are welcoming Francesca
into the Broughton Vet Group team.
Francessca has recently graduated from
Bristol Veterinary School.
Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortions and apparent infertility in cattle. Carried by
dogs and foxes and spread to cattle in their faeces.
◦Abortion, between 3 and 9 months of pregnancy
(particularly 5 to 7 months)
◦Still birth or premature calf
◦Occasionally, calves will have brain disease at
◦No other signs seen in the mother
◦Repeat abortions possible in the same cow
As a large number of healthy calves can be infected with Neospora and it can remain hidden in the
herd for years, it is important to eliminate other causes of abortion, particularly BVD or leptospirosis
before a diagnosis of neosporosis is made.
Dogs are a source of disease. So prevention must include:
a) Keeping cattle food and water away from dogs and foxes- particular attention must be paid to land
with public walkways where dogs may be off lead. Dog walkers need to be encouraged to pick up their
b) High hygiene standards at calving. Dispose of placental membranes and aborted or dead calves
before dogs can get them
Transmission from mother to calf is incredibly important. Over 90% of calves born to mothers with
antibodies to Neospora will have been infected in the womb. This will maintain infection in a herd.
To eliminate Neospora you need to:
1) Identify infected cattle: All cattle with antibodies to Neospora are sources of infection to their
calves. Additionally cattle with antibodies are 20 times more likely to abort than cattle without
antibodies. Also infected cows produce less milk than antibody negative cows.
2) Only keep seronegative cattle for breeding. If you don't cull seropositive cows, ensure that you only
breed them to beef bulls. Heifers with antibodies should be sold for meat not bred.
These strategies look expensive to achieve, however the cost of neosporosis far outweighs
the cost of eliminating it from the herd.
DO YOU WORM YOUR DOGS?
Farm dogs need to be wormed against roundworms and tapeworms at least four times a year with an effective wormer
appropriate for their weight. This is to stop them transmitting parasitic diseases to livestock. As well as causing financial losses
due to abattoir condemnations, it is also an important part of any farm assurance scheme. Care should be taken to remove
deadstock promptly to avoid scavenging and hence re-infection.
If you wish to discuss your worming regime, please feel free to contact the surgery.
◦Clinical signs of little help
◦Still born calves should be sent for
◦Antibodies in the mother's blood
Broughton Veterinary Group
Keep enzootic abortion
out of your flock
Abortion in sheep is still a large part of the lambing season.
There are many causes of abortion of which the most common is
a bacteria called Chlamydophila abortus, disease better known as
Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE).
Enzootic abortion causes abortion of dead or very weak lambs in
late pregnancy. The infected afterbirth and vaginal discharges
are highly contagious and spread the infection very rapidly round
the rest of the flock. However, the infection will often lay latent
after initial contraction and remerge in the next pregnancy
causing abortion the following year. Ewes are often well in
themselves at the time of abortion and will develop an immunity
to it in the future. This bacteria can also be contagious to people.
Care must be taken when handling aborted sheep and material.
The bacteria can remain in the environment for 6 weeks.
Control measures have to be put into place in the face of an
outbreak. Post mortems of aborted lambs and their placentas
are vital to get a definite diagnosis. Aborted ewes need to be
isolated and afterbirths and bedding they have been in contact
with must be removed and destroyed. Treatment of ewes in the
face of an outbreak with a long acting oxytetracycline, can help
reduce the incidence of abortion but it will not reverse any
damage already done in the uterus. It may delay the abortion
until the ewe is nearer term and has more milk developed so can
have a lamb fostered on to her. Any lambs reared on a ewe that
has aborted, must not be kept as a replacement.
Prevention is by far the most effective way to control this
problem. Enzootic abortion vaccination is widely available. It
cannot be given to ewes during pregnancy. It has to be given 1-2
months before tupping therefore requires planning over the
summer months. It can be given to lambs as young as 5 months
and if not being mated this year, can be given at any time.
Immunity lasts for 3 years. The cost of vaccination with live
vaccines is offset by the protection, which in many flocks is a
one-off cost per ewe. Saving just 14 abortions in 500 ewes can
make vaccination economically viable*.
Even if there are no signs of abortion in your flock you could still
be at risk. Ceva Animal Health manufacturers of Cevac
Chlamydia, the no 1 vaccine for enzootic abortion, are running
Assure Ewe, a subsidised enzootic abortion blood testing
programme which allows you to monitor and prevent enzootic
abortion in your flock whether you’ve experienced abortions or
At Broughton Vets we would like to support you in controlling
abortion in your farm. Please contact us for further information
on 01455 552117 / [email protected]
Are your rams ready to perform… remember the 4
T’s; Toes, Teeth, Testicles and Tone.
A full mot check should be performed well in
advance (8-12 weeks) of tupping to ensure the flock
is on target for optimal productivity. This gives you
the time to treat any abnormalities or to source
replacements and allow for quarantine time.
Rams can easily be forgotten when it comes to
vaccinations. Ensure your rams have been
vaccinated for clostridial disease and pasteurella.
Rams are twice as susceptible to worms as ewes. It is
advisable to carry out a faecal egg count to check
worm burden. At BVG we run in house FEC samples
in our in house laboratory which enable a quick turn
RAM VASECTOMY TIME
A vasectomised (teaser) ram can be used to bring your
ewes into season before your tups go out. Not only does
this enhance fertility, it can also be a great way of
tightening your lambing period. Once a ram is
vasectomised he should not be used for at least 8 weeks as
he may still be fertile, so now is the time to think about
booking your ram in for the procedure. Vasectomies can
be performed on farm or at the practice.
Toes: Watch the rams walk, there
should not be any signs of lameness
or stiff movement, feet should be
inspected and trimmed accordingly.
Teeth: Check the mouth for overshot
jaws, loss of teeth/full mouth and
Testicles: No lumps, bumps or
thickening should be present in
breeding stock, circumference of
testicles should be measured, they
should be >36cm and in ram lambs
>34cm. Abnormalities in the testicles
can result in poor semen quality. The
penis should also be examined. BVG
farm vets can collect semen sample
and examine the quality if needed,
sub fertile rams cost MONEY!
Tone: Rams should be at a BCS of 3.5-
4 at tupping with the spine well
covered. Remember it takes up to 6
weeks for a ram to change one score
of body condition scoring so any