Metrichecking is a quick effective method of detecting cows with endometritis (a low grade uterine infection). Endometritis will result in cows being slower to cycle and having lower conception rates. VETPlus recommends a whole herd check, which can be done with minimal disruption during milking. Cows need to be calved at least 14 days to be metrichecked, and the sooner after calving they are checked the sooner the infection can be cleared with a treatment of intrauterine Metricure.
Health Check Trace Element Programmes
Health Check is a scheduled trace element monitoring programme which tests dairy cows at critical times of the year. Tests are carried out on blood, liver and pasture. Health Check is a cornerstone of our "Optimal Animal Health" policy.
Clients pay an annual fee which includes visits, travel plus materials to check springing cows, colostrum cows, pre-mating cows and cows in the dry period. The tests target key trace elements as well as monitoring pasture conditions which may impact on metabolic disease.
Milking Machine Testing
Milking machine malfunction can cause teat damage, which will increase cell counts and mastitis infections.
Regular testing, service and maintenance of milking equipment will improve the speed and completeness of milking and can help reduce mastitis. Milking Machine testing only takes a few hours and can be done between milkings or when the cows are dried off.
Our vet technician Paula is a registered Milking Machine Tester and currently works in partnership with Dave Goddard at Camco Dairy Services to ensure a prompt and comprehensive service to our Dairy clients.
Intelact Farm CONSULTANCY
The Intelact Philosophy - Lifting Productivity driving Profitability.
Our whole farm consultancy approach through Intelact embraces all aspects of farm productivity and profitability by taking an all-encompassing approach to herd, pasture, feed, environmental and financial management and customising solutions to improve your productivity and profit.
Our focus is on increasing the pasture harvested (which is the farm KPI most correlated to profitability) and ensuring that the farm system is optimised to achieve your goals and ambitions. We consider all aspects of the farming operation (financial, environmental, nutritional, agronomical, people) to help shape the decisions that will benefit you.
With training and experience in Environmental and Nutrient Management, our team are helping you stay “ahead of the game” with the changing face of farming requirements through Regional Council Plan implementation. For example, with the Waikato Regional Council Plan Change (Healthy Rivers) we can determine the Nitrogen Reference Point for your farming operation and create Farm Environment Plans (considering the implications in your system through complete farm modelling (UDDER), environmental modelling (Overseer) and financial analysis).
VETPlus veterinarians Dan Sullivan, Fanny Leduc and Greg Nicks are trained under Intelact systems and would be happy to come and see you to talk about how these systems could be of benefit to you. They all hold qualifications in Nutrient Management, and Dan also is one of the first in New Zealand to be a Certified NZIPIM Dairy Farm System Consultant.
Click here to find out more - intelact.co.nz
Leptosure – more than just vaccination.
Most farmers will know someone who has contracted leptospirosis, either in family, friends or even themselves.
Leptospirosis is easy to catch from an infected animal. For dairy farmers it is usually by way of infected cattle's urine through cuts in the skin, or splashes in the eyes or mouth.
Assisting animal birth, handling membranes, kidneys or the bladder from infected animals are other ways of becoming infected. Infected pigs are also a common source of infection for humans because of the exposure to urine, as is exposure to urine from infected rats, mice and hedgehogs, e.g. handling calf feed contaminated by rat urine.
The effect of leptospirosis in humans varies from no apparent effect, to flu-like symptoms or severe illness. If the disease progresses to kidney failure, liver failure or meningitis, then hospitalisation is required. The symptoms are often prolonged and recurrent because the physical damage to the kidney and liver may remain after the infection has cleared. Some farmers who have contracted leptospirosis have ended up on dialysis due to permanent kidney failure.
In the past, the major group affected by leptospirosis has been dairy farmers due the exposure to urine splashes when handling cows. The introduction of a voluntary nationwide cattle vaccination programme in 1979 has however greatly reduced the incidence of leptospirosis in dairy farmers. But cases still occur, even in individuals working with vaccinated stock. There are now still around 100 human cases of leptospirosis annually in New Zealand and the number has been constant in recent years. It is clear that vaccination alone is not enough to prevent the disease.
Leptosure provides a risk management based approach to leptospirosis on dairy farms. Implemented correctly, the Leptosure programme will reduce the risk of contracting leptospirosis to herd owners, their families and workers.
Leptosure involves more than just vaccination. It starts with a consultation between the farmer and a Leptosure registered veterinarian. As well as ensuring an adequate vaccination programme is in place, the veterinarian and farmer together design a risk management plan that assesses and controls the other major risk areas. These include control of livestock movements, personal hygiene, education of employees, effluent management and rodent control. Issues around the management of any pigs on dairy farms are also important. There is a great emphasis on education, as it is easier to understand the control measures if you understand how the disease works.
Once the risk management programme has been implemented, the farm will be assigned a ‘Protected Leptosure’ status. The status will be recorded on the New Zealand Veterinary Association national database and will be reassessed on an annual basis to ensure ongoing compliance with the programme.
Certificates and gate plates are provided as evidence of Leptosure compliance.
If you would like to discuss the benefits of this programme further, please talk to your veterinarian.
Healthy Hoof Programme
Sick of dealing with lame cows? If so, then get in touch about the Healthy Hoof Programme. Dr Greg Nicks is a trained provider for the Healthy Hoof Programme at VETPlus.
The programme is a simple step wise approach to managing lameness on dairy farms caused by physical factors. It consists of a year long programme with 5 key steps that each farm takes with the help of the trained provider.
In essence it is a health planning service for lameness. There is a strong focus on staff training in both the prevention and treatment of lameness.
The programme has been developed with vets as well as local and international lameness experts. Don’t struggle with lame cows on your farm as they take up time, cost money and above all are a welfare issue. Please get in touch for more information.
Preventative Hoof Trimming
With the help of a purpose-built portable hoof trimming crush (‘Wrangler’) and power tools, we can quickly trim all those overgrown feet cheaply. With hoofcare as with anything else, prevention is better than cure. A well-balanced foot will help with cow comfort and reduce chances of lameness and loss of production.
If you are interested in this service, please contact Fanny at VETPlus Reporoa.
InCalf Advisory Service
InCalf: Total herd approach to reproduction management.
The InCalf programme was first put together in Australia and has had good success. DairyNZ has been working closely with its Aussie counterpart to adapt it to New Zealand conditions. The data used by InCalf come from two very extensive studies performed on both sides of the Tasman over several years.
In short, InCalf helps farmers and their advisors focus on several measures of reproductive performance. A Fertility Focus Report can be printed from Minda or Mistro to give you an idea of actual herd reproductive performance. Following this it becomes fairly easy to identify possible weaknesses in management. A Dollar value can be put on those weaknesses, and a plan can be put in place to help you focus towards a target: a better reproductive performance.
Reproductive performance is driven by the herd’s 6-week in-calf rate (or how fast cows get in calf) and the final empty rate (or how well cows get in calf). It is seen like a cake that has 8 ingredients: get any of them wrong and the 6-week in-calf rate and empty rate won’t be optimal.
InCalf is based on accurate measuring and regular follow-ups of the situation in order to make Incremental Gains in reproductive performance.
VETPlus has trained InCalf advisors. Please call us for more information.
Grade Busting and Mastitis Advisory Service
Mastitis and cell count costs you money, even below grading levels. We can advise you on ways to control them.
If you need a cell count or inhibitory substance grade sorted fast, we can dispatch a team of vets and technicians on farm. We will help you find the source of the problem and eliminate it so you can start supplying quality milk again.
** Did you know that Fonterra will give you demerit relief if you involve a professional to help resolve grading problems? **
We can advise on anything from ways to help prevent mastitis to the best treatment options for your farm. Although there are some general rules of thumb that can apply to everyone, sometimes a tailored approach is needed. No matter what the situation, we will do our best to help.
Heifer grazing with VETPlus
At VETPlus we recognise that good heifer grazing can be hard to come by. In co-operation with select graziers we can offer you first class, veterinary monitored, heifer & weaner grazing. Heifers are weighed regularly and you will receive regularly written & graphed reports of their progress over the contract period.
Payments are on a weight gain basis and a legal contract ensures the responsibilities of all parties are clearly defined. An animal health package is included to ensure that your animals get the best of veterinary care.
Dairy Farmers and Graziers can contact the Reporoa branch for further information.
Milk Culture and Sensitivity
VETPlus Reporoa is now able to culture mastitis samples in an in-house laboratory. With this service we can test your mastitis samples and give you a result back within 48 hours. We will also be testing the sensitivity of the mastitis bacteria enabling us to advice you on the best mastitis treatment for your cows.
The best method to take a milk sample is by:
- Cleaning the teats (make sure they are clean and dry)
- Forestripping (discarding a few streams of milk from the teat – observe for clinical mastitis)
- Scrub teat ends vigorously with cotton balls moistened with 70% alcohol (until no more dirt appears on the cotton balls – do NOT use a single cotton ball on more than one teat)
- Sample approximately 5-10 mls (do not allow the lip of the sample tube to touch the teat end)
- After the sample is taken, teats should be dipped in an effective germicidal teat dip.
- Store samples in the fridge if you cannot bring them straight down to the clinic. If you are delayed by more than 24 hours, freeze down the sample and bring it to us frozen.
If you have any queries regarding mastitis treatment or milk sampling, please feel free to give us a call at VETPlus in Reporoa.
In-house Faecal Egg Counting
By counting the eggs produced in the animal’s faeces, we gain an indication of the number of worms inside the particular animal. By doing this procedure in our clinic we significantly reduce the turnaround time from getting the samples to reporting the results.
Faecal Egg Counting doesn’t tell us the specific worm type (ie Ostertagia (brown stomach worm) vs Haemonchus (barber’s pole). This requires the eggs to be incubated, hatched and the larvae counted under a microscope, which takes a period of 12-14 days.
Knowing the level of worms inside an animal or group of animals enables us to diagnose worms as a cause of illthrift. We learn some of the information required to assess whether they need drenching. We can assess how well a drench has worked.
To have a faecal egg count done we require at least a good teaspoon of fresh faeces per animal. These can be collected directly from the animal/s or picked up from the ground after holding a portion of the mob in a yard or corner of a paddock. But the samples must be fresh.
If you cannot get them to the clinic the same day they must be kept in the fridge overnight.