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Latest News from Vet Services

Look Out For Dwarf Calves This Spring – May 2020

The condition, more correctly called Congenital Chondrodystrophy and Joint Laxity, has been recorded for over 20 years in the UK with similar reports across the world.  Click here to read more.

Nematodirus Warning – April 2020

Recent cold nights and warm days have led to SCOPS forecasting for moderate risk of Nematodirus hatch in some parts of Northern Scotland.  More info here.

African Swine Fever – April 2020

The last thing the country needs right now (or at any time) is an animal notifiable disease outbreak.  Read more here.

Rickets In Hoggs In South West Scotland – February 2020

SRUC diagnosed rickets in hoggs on several farms during late winter/early spring 2019 so it is worth keeping an eye out for this condition over the next few months, particularly as sheep return from their winter grazings.  More info here.

Copper Poisoning in Sheep – October 2019

SRUC's Ayr Disease Surveillance Centre have seen an increase in cases of copper poisoning in the past month.  Click here to read more.

Risk of Over Fat Autumn Calving Suckler Cows – August 2019

Grass growth this summer has been spectacular and autumn calving cows will be extremely fit in many cases with the risk of associated calving difficulties.  More info here.

Lungworm in Cattle – July 2019

Lungworm diagnoses generally increase during July and August before peaking in September.  Click here to read more.

Blackleg – July 2019

We have had a run of blackleg diagnoses in the PM room, with cases seen in beef and dairy youngstock aged between 3 and 10 months,  Read more here.

Dumfries Ovine Abortion Submissions – June 2019

Reviewing the 2019 ovine abortion testing results so far is timely ahead of making potential vaccine choices for flocks this summer.  More info here.

Summer Scour Syndrome – June 2019

Over the last few years we have recognised a syndrome of unresponsive diarrhoea and wasting in weaned dairy calves at grass.  Read more here.

Nematodirus: High Risk Forecast – May 2019

The updated SCOPS Nematodirus forecast is currently indicating very high risk for some regions. Click here for more info.

Lamb Dysentery – May 2019

We have recently made two diagnoses of Lamb Dysentery (Clostridium perfringens type B enterotoxaemia). More info here.

Pneumonia Review – April 2019

Now is an excellent time to review farms with recognised pneumonia problems during the housing period and those with an associated higher antibiotic use.  Read more here.

Nematodirus Forecast (South West Scotland) – April 2019

The risk for south-west Scotland is currently listed as low.  More info here.

Calf Viability, Colostrum Intake and Immunoglobulin Status – March 2019

The focus on colostrum quality and amount fed is vital for spring calving sucklers. Calving ease and duration are also a significant factors. Read more here.

Pre-Calving Minerals for Suckler Cows – March 2019

A recent project looking at the minerals used by a group of spring calving suckler herds produced some interesting findings in the range of minerals being given.  Full story here.

Listeriosis Alert – February 2019

We have had a run of cases in the last two weeks associated with Listerial infection including both bovine and ovine abortions, encephalitis, and suspected listerial enteritis.  More info here.

Ammonia Treated Straw Less Effective This Winter? – February 2019

You may wonder what the extraordinary weather last summer will have done to affect the quality of the forage available this winter. Read more here

Salmonella Mbandaka – January 2019

After Salmonella Dublin, Salmonella Mbandaka is the second most common Salmonella species isolated at our Dumfries disease surveillance centre.  Click here to find out more.

Detecting Ewe Undernutrition in Late Gestation – January 2019

70% of foetal growth occurs in the last 6 weeks of gestation making it crucial to avoid ewe undernutrition during this time. More info here.

Suckler Cow Silages for Winter – December 2018

With spring calving roughly three months away a key question for beef farmers right now is “what is the body condition scores of my pregnant cows and how is my planned feeding between now and calving going to affect that?” To read more click here.

Ergot Toxicity from Late Cut Grass Silage – December 2018

Ergot toxicity has recently been diagnosed as the cause of an outbreak severe hind-limb lameness in a suckler cow herd in North-East Scotland.  Click here to find out more.

Blindess in Lambs After Housing – December 2018

Blindness in housed finishing lambs can be caused by a ‘post housing encephalopathy’, which is probably as a result of indirect salt poisoning or water deprivation.  More info here.

Scottish BVD Update to October 2018

In October 2018 there were 319 BVD PI animals on 102 Scottish holdings listed on the ScotEID database.  43% of these holdings had a single PI animal and a further 23.5% had two PIs on farm. Click here for more info.

African Swine Fever Update – December 2018

Scottish Government and the other UK administrations have been working together with APHA on a communication strategy to help raise awareness of the disease and the potential risk pathways by which the disease could be introduced.  Read more here.

Increase in Diagnoses of Pasteurellosis in Hoggs – November 2018

During the last week we have seen a sudden increase in diagnoses of pasteurellosis in hoggs.  Read more here.

Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance Report – November 2018

Health Protection Scotland has published the Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance in 2017 Report. This report includes antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use data in humans, and antimicrobial resistance data in animals (provided by SAC Consulting Veterinary Services' Bryn Tennant and Geoff Foster).

Chronic Proliferative Rhinitis Due To Salmonella Diarizonae In Sheep – November 2018

Click here to read a short case study from our Dumfries centre on Chronic Proliferative Rhinitis.

Bluetongue: Knowing the Risks – October 2018

There have been imports of 2 different consignments of Bluetongue (BTV8) positive cattle and sheep into the UK in recent weeks.  Read more here.

Congenital Mandibular Deformity in Calves – October 2018

Have you seen any cases in recent years?  Read more here.

Where are we with Liver Fluke? – October 2018

2018 is proving to be a difficult year for fluke forecasting.  More info here.

PGE Alert for Lambs – September 2018

Many of the faecal samples received at our Dumfries centre during the last week have contained significant numbers of worm eggs at higher levels than previously seen this summer.  Read more here.

Liver Fluke – August 2018

Although things might be changing, the weather so far this summer has not been favourable for either the environmental stages of Fasciola hepatica or their snail intermediate hosts.  Read more here.

Bracken Poisoning – August 2018

A dry summer brings with it an increased risk of plant poisonings and we have seen bracken poisoning cases at our centres across Scotland in recent weeks.  More info here.

Young Stock Issues at Grass – August 2018

In the last few weeks we have diagnosed a number of conditions in the post mortem room, affecting both beef and dairy calves, which are worth looking out for on other holdings – read more here.

Hot Weather Related Conditions – July 2018

The ongoing hot weather increases some risks for animals – more info here.

Coccidiosis in Suckled Calves – June 2018

Even though we are experiencing an early summer, diagnoses of coccidiosis in this year’s spring suckled calf crop have been common.  More info here.

Nematodirus Reminder – May 2018

The brief spells of warm weather have been welcome but will increase the risk of a nematodirus hatch.  More info here.

Ovine Abortion Diagnoses – May 2018

Since January, Ayr DSC has received 51 submissions of ovine abortion material from 39 farms.  A diagnosis has been reached in 59% of submissions with the most common diagnosis being Chlamydia abortus the causal agent of Enzootic Abortion in Ewes (EAE). More info here.

Lambing 2018 some things to consider – April 2018

The lambing season so far has been challenging!  The severe winter weather, poorer ewe body condition and increased levels of peri-natal lamb diseases have all posed their problems to different extents on farm.  We can only hope as the main outdoor lambing season approaches that the weather and grass growth improve. If you are faced with dealing with peri-natal lamb mortality problems on your client’s farms one of the most important things to do is to post mortem lambs to decide what the main issues are, what are the pre-disposing causes and then what can be done now and in the future.  Simple PMs on farm gives the vet the opportunity to review a larger number of cases. More info here.

Following up on pneumonia outbreaks, do you need to consider Salmonella Dublin? – March 2018

A review of our VIDA diagnostic data for submissions where a diagnosis of Salmonella Dublin was made revealed a few interesting findings.More info here .If you are interested in more details on Salmonella Dublin control, please refer to a recent In Practice article at the link below written by vets from the Dumfries centre

It’s money in the bank! – February 2018

RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture) #ColostrumGold campaign focuses on quick colostrum administration to virtually eliminate watery mouth, half cases of  calf pneumonia, and  improve piglet survival right up to weaning age, as well as reducing antimicrobial usage on farm. We are coming up to the busiest time of year, so now is the time to remind stock keepers to implement a colostrum management plan and start considering vaccination protocols with a view to reducing antibiotic use and increasing profits over the coming year.

Calves: Four litres (or 10% of bodyweight, depending on breed size) within the first two to four hours – the earlier the better (equates to twenty minutes of continuous suckling). If you are checking your colostrum quality, IgG levels of more than 50mg/ml are desirable. Lambs: One litre per 5kg lamb within the first 24 hours – the first feed should be given within two hours. Piglets: born with less reserves so more sensitivity to hypothermia than other neonates – the first feed should be within half an hour of birth, and 200ml-290ml of colostrum over 24 hours. More info

Forage availability this Winter – December 2017

As always, different farms have had different fortunes when it comes to silage, hay and straw availability this year due to weather conditions and circumstantial changes. If your clients mention that they are concerned this year about their access to good quality silage or straw, please click here for checklist of health conditions for them to look out for, in order that they can take early action and give you a call. (Perth Team)

Keep a Look Out for Psoroptic Mange in Cattle December – 2017

Last week we diagnosed severe Psoroptic mange in a Charolais bull.  This is a very unusual diagnosis in Scotland, though the disease is prevalent in mainland Europe and Ireland.  Click here to read more.

Salmonella Dublin – Bulk Tank Serology – November 2017

We now offer bulk tank Salmonella Dublin serology testing and if used routinely this can help take some of the guess work out of health planning for Salmonella Dublin. For more information click here.

Bluetongue Update – November 2017

For an update on recent bluetongue activity click here.

Acute Fasciolosis – November 2017

A significant proportion of recent sheep PM cases have produced a diagnosis of acute fluke infection, causing death in a large number of cases.  Click here to read more or click here to find out if it is cost effective to house lambsas a preventative measure.

Thin Ewes: What is the cause? – September 2017

From individual to group problems, click here to find out what could be causing ill thrift in a flock.

Nematodirus – Now not just a spring phenomenon! – September 2017

In recent years, Nematodirus outbreaks have been observed in autumn, and even in some cases in winter. This may be due to several factors. In some years, spring temperatures have been variable, and there may not have been a full ten days above 10C, meaning that not all eggs will have hatched in the spring. Additionally, it has been found that on some farms, eggs are able to hatch without the “priming” of a period of chilling, and so can hatch later in the year e.g. in Autumn. More info. here

Preliminary Liver Fluke Forecast, South West Scotland – Aug 2017

The information compares 2012 and 2017 rainfall data by area for the May to July period.  2012 was selected for comparison as a baseline ‘wet year’.  

  • The Scotland West area has seen more wet days than in 2012.
  • The Dumfries, England North West and North Wales figures are slightly drier than in 2012.  More info here.

Livestock Health Scotland Calf Loss Project – looking for North East farmers - July 2017

LHS and SACCVS are looking for suckler cow herds in the North East of Scotland that are interested in participating in a project investigating calf losses from breeding to weaning.
Our goal is to recruit 300 cows that are running with a bull now, with the intention to be spring calving in 2018 (1st February to 31st May 2018). More info here.

How are this year's lambs growing? - June 2017

It is easy to generalise but the good weather at lambing time followed by warm dry conditions (less suited to parasites) coupled with the current fantastic grass growth means that the 2017 lamb crop is growing very well at present. Click here for a few issues to think about.

BVD / Mucosal disease outbreaks - May 2017

Since the start of national eradication programmes and as a result of the widespread use of BVD vaccines it is rare for us to see ‘outbreaks’ of mucosal disease through the Dumfries centre these days.  Therefore when we do see them they stick in the memory, as was the case earlier this month. More info here.

First Lamb Deaths Due to Infection with Nematodirus battus - May 2017

Our Dumfries branch made their first diagnosis of fatal Nematodirus battus infection late last month. Uncountable numbers of the parasite were recovered from the small intestine of a 6-8 week old lamb.  Small numbers of Teladorsagia sp. were recovered from the abomasum. More info here.

Inhalation of Copper Containing Drenches by Young Lambs - April 2017

During May and June 2016 SAC Consulting Veterinary Services investigated three separate incidents of lamb mortality following inhalation of copper containing mineral drenches.  Read more here.

Beef Calf Viability - April 2017

For beef calves, ensuring good calf viability is essential for rapid and sufficient ingestion and absorption of colostrum.  Click here to find out more.

Scour in calves post turn out - April 2017

Of the 12 species of bovine coccidia, Eimeria zuernii and Eimeria bovis are the most familiar pathogenic species, however there is a third which is less well known.  Read more here.

The danger of feeding colostrum from cows to newborn lambs - April 2017

We recently had a submission of two one-week-old lambs from a holding where six out of seven orphan lambs had died. All had received natural colostrum from a cow on the first day of life. Click here to find out more.

Schmallenberg: Confirming a Diagnosis - March 2017

Our Dumfries veterinary centre has confirmed the diagnosis in numerous cases, all of which have been in northern England or just on the Scottish border but we are aware of anecdotal reports of many more cases. Find out more here.

Salmonella, it's not just Dublin! - March 2017

While Salmonella Dublin is still by far the most common Salmonella isolate we identify in cattle, we do isolate other Salmonellae from cases received at the Dumfries centre. Find out more about Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella bovis morbificans and Salmonella Mbandaka here.

Pre-Lambing Services and Checks - March 2017

BOHB and Urea analysis can be carried out on blood samples from 10 ewes at a cost of £36 to check energy and protein adequacy of the diet.  Find out more about the package here.

Q Fever Facts - February 2017

We recently diagnosed Q Fever as the confirmed cause of placentitis resulting in still birth in dairy calves and have also have had further cases in aborted lambs.  Find out more about the disease here.

Free PM investigations for Septic Arthritis in Lambs - January 2017

SAC Consulting veterinary Services are currently offering free post-mortem investigations for suspected cases of Septic Arthritis in lambs.  Find out more.

BVD Free England - January 2017

SAC Veterinary Services is one of the approved labs under the BVD Free England initiative and we are equipped to handle any of the common sample types for BVD testing.  Find more information here or read the BVD Free England newsletter here.

Ergot Risk Warning - December 2016

Colleagues in the SRUC Crop Clinic have highlighted an increased risk of ergot contamination of cereals following the cool, wet conditions earlier this year, having received several samples from Lothian and the Borders which contain ergot.

There is no treatment for Ergotism, which can cause reduced milk production and growth rates in both cattle and sheep as well as gangrene in extremities, temporarily blindness/deafness and potentially fatal convulsions. Read more here.

Salmonella Dublin Serology - December 2016

We are now in a position to offer serology as an additional diagnostic test for Salmonella Dublin.  Serology provides a more sensitive assessment of herd status than culture-based techniques, particularly if there are no acute, symptomatic cases.  More here.

Don't Share Needles! - November 2016

PCR tests are immensely sensitive and can pick up a very low viral burden. Reusing the same needle when collecting blood for PCR testing can affect the results of diagnostic testing, its interpretation and ultimately the actions taken by the animal owner. Also there is the potential for iatrogenic disease transmission. 

We recently tested several hundred sheep bloods for Border Disease virus (BDV) by PCR and found a similar number of BDV positive samples and inconclusive results. Positive and inconclusive results were from animals sampled at the same time. Inconclusive results often arise when genetic material is detected but in low quantity.  We suspect the unusual high number of inconclusive PCR results was due to cross-contamination of the samples when they were collected. This has served as a timely reminder of the need to use a new, sterile needle for each animal when taking blood samples for testing.

Re-Emergence of Schmallenberg Virus - October 2016

Recently we have received reports of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) resurfacing in Holland and Belgium with clinical presentations of milk drop and diarrhoea in dairy cows and abortion with foetal deformities.  The Dutch reports suggest that clinically affected cows have been PCR positive for SBV and have also shown evidence of seroconversion.  More here.

Preventing Rickets in Hoggs - October 2016

This spring we diagnosed rickets twice at the Dumfries centre and there were several other telephone enquiries about suspect cases. 

Rickets is usually described as a condition of hill hoggs away wintered on good dairy grazing and is a consequence of Vitamin D deficiency at a time of fast growth triggered by improved nutrition.  Rapid skeletal growth ensues but calcification of new bone is impaired leading to widening of growth plates.  Stiffness, recumbency and carpal valgus can result - more here.

Sleep flies, sore teats and swollen legs! - October 2016

This sounds like quite a combination and certainly a case of the October blues if you are an affected cow! We have had numerous, recent telephone reports of clusters of these cases on a range of dairy farms with some samples from these cases testing positive for Mycoplasma wenyonii.

This is a blood borne non-culturable Mycoplasma species that can be detected in either blood smears or by a pan-Mycoplasma DGGE test. Over the years we have had blood samples test positive from both healthy and clinically affected cattle but there is always an increase in the number of case reports at this time of year. Clinical history and signs are clearly important, however a positive Mycoplasma DGGE result in a clinically affected case is thought to be significant. More info here.

Thin ewes- what's the cause? - September 2016

In the run up to the main tupping season checking ewe body condition score (BCS) and considering the impact that disease may be having on it is an important part of flock health planning.  Advice from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has suggested that for ewes below BCS 3 it is possible for them to increase body condition by a whole score in 8 weeks.  This is conditional on them being provided with the best quality grass at a minimum height of 4cm.  One of the main reasons for them not achieving this weight gain under such conditions may be disease. More info here.

Acute Rumen Fluke Infection - September 2016

Acute rumen fluke was diagnosed as the cause of death in a four-year-old ewe last week at Dumfries.  The ewe was the third to die in a group of 60, and the other ewes in the group were noted to be leaner than expected.  This ewe had scoured before death, and at post mortem intestinal content was watery and malodorous.  Very large number of immature rumen fluke were detected in the duodenum and jejunum, the surface of which was covered by fibrin. More info here.

Gaining Scottish Government BVD Negative Status Via Tissue Tag Testing – September 2016

Herds using tissue tags can achieve negative status once all calves born in a 12 month period have been tested for BVD virus with negative results. Many herds have been tissue testing for over 12 months and a quick glance at their testing history suggests that they should be eligible for negative status. Unfortunately when we check the data in ScotEID we are discovering gaps in testing. Now might be a good time to review your clients’ BVD status and highlight any issues to them. More info here.

Milk Fever Risk in Dairy Cows – August 2016

(On The Hoof Thurso & Inverness)

The risk of both clinical and subclinical hypocalcaemia can be higher in the summer months.  Two possible reasons for this are:

  1. If transition cows are at grass then they have the potential to gain body condition on grass which is likely to be too high in both Calcium and Potassium.
  2. For housed transition cows dry matter intakes can be compromised in warmer weather either because of heat stress or because of an increased risk of heating / secondary fermentation of the TMR at the feed face.

Results from a three year trial run by James Husband at EBVC suggested that 57% of cows were experiencing hypocalcemia post calving. More info here.

Black Disease: subtle lesions, serious problems – August 2016

The disease is caused by Clostridium novyi type B, usually presenting as sudden deaths. The lesions at post mortem can be subtle with an area of pale necrotic tissue surrounded by a red zone of hyperaemia. Click here for more information on findings.

OPA: Did you know...? – July 2016

During the last 2 years SAC diagnostic laboratories have diagnosed cases of OPA in sheep from 98 different farms – almost 1 new farm a week. Click here for more infomation on findings.

SACCVS Aberdeen Monthly Regional Surveillance – May 2016

Aberdeen received 357 samples from cattle, pigs and sheep in May (excluding BVD monitoring), relating to 151 cases. 46 cases were for monitoring healthy stock or screening tests, leaving 105 diagnostic submissions. At least one associated condition (VIDA diagnosis) was recorded for 50% of the diagnostic submissions overall (2014/15 average 46%), and for 86% of non-foetal post-mortem submissions (18/21 cases; 2014/15 average 77%). More info here.

Sudden death in spring born suckled calves - Idiopathic Necrotising Enteritis – May 2016

While there are many causes of sudden death in spring born sucked calves including pneumonia, scour and Clostridial disease be aware of Idiopathic Necrotising Enteritis (INE) which is most commonly seen at this time of year.  This condition can resemble mucosal disease but the specific cause is unknown, making the condition of particular interest to us.  We believe the condition will be under reported. More info 

How is your Spring 2016 Suckler Calving going? – May 2016

DSC Thurso and Inverness report on the latest findings in the PM room - we are seeing plenty of suckler calves through the PM room at the moment with the expected range of diagnoses.  Every year is different and every farm is different, but below is a summary of some of the stand out conditions we have been seeing through lab and discussing with vets and farmers this April.  More info here

Diagnosing pulpy kidney - Aberdeen Team – May 2016

It is the peak season for pulpy kidney in the next few months. Clostridial vaccines are good but transfer of antibodies to lambs relies on good colostrum intake.  Beware the immunity gap if lambs have not received two doses of vaccine before colostral protection wanes.  Diagnosis is not always straightforward as post mortem findings and test results can vary from case to case.    More info here

Sheep Abortions with no Diagnosis, what next? - May 2016

With the lambing season now virtually over it is a good time to take stock of flock reproductive performance, abortion rates and diagnoses, and in particular where no confirmed diagnosis has been made.  Various things should be considered and questions asked before deciding what, if anything, to do next: Click here for more information.

Nematodirus Update - April 16

Last week post mortem examination of a 20kg lamb at the Dumfries centre revealed scour, around 8,000 nematodirus worms in the small intestine and 250 nematodirus eggs per gram (epg).  On the same day our Ayr centre reported nematodirus results of 1,250 to 1,800 epg in samples received from eight-week-old scouring lambs.  These are the first nematodirus reports of the season for South West Scotland more

Listeria report from Dumfries Disease Surveillance Centre - March 2016

February brought with it multiple diagnoses of listeriosis in all its forms suggesting there may be a high risk of disease this spring. More info available here

New Nematodirus forecast goes live! - March 2016

A new improved Nematodirus Warning Map will appear online on the SCOPS website from the beginning of March.  More info available here

Rumen drinking in milk fed dairy calves - February 2016

Rumen drinking and secondary acidosis is a problem of artificially reared calves, which we see fairly commonly in the post mortem room and have seen a few cases recently.   More info available here

Sampling for an Ovine Abortion Investigation - February 2016

If it is not possible to get lambs and their placentas to the vet lab for testing then samples can be collected on-farm or in the practice and submitted to the lab instead Click here

Are your cattle itchy this winter? - January 2016

Problems develop in winter because thick winter coats provide sheltered, humid conditions Click here

Sheep - don’t get caught out by Worms this Winter - January 2016

Think again if you consider worms to be just a summer problem Click here

Need Help With Your New Year’s Resolutions? - January 2016

Struggling to come up with a New Year’s Resolution?  Here are some money saving suggestions for sheep clients.

1.  Check that your wormer is working properly.

This applies to all wormers but the white drenches (1BZ group) are a good place to start.  These have been on the market since the 1960s and are showing their age.  Figures from the most recent survey prove that they are not working properly on 94% of Welsh sheep farms.  This is not unexpected but the fact that white drenches still account for 80% of wormer sales is worrying.  The negative impact on lamb growth rates across the UK must be huge.  Take advice from your vet/advisor on how to carry out this testing.

2.  Buy some Zolvix (4AD group) or Startect (5SI group).

These are the newest wormers on the market and everyone should be using them as part of good worm control.  There are two key times - as part of quarantine treatment (to stop the introduction of worms that are resistant to the older products) and as a mid/late season dose for lambs that have been treated with other wormers earlier in the year (to kill any worms resistant to the older products that have built up over the summer).  They are more expensive but are they worth it?  Yes - if you want to see in the 2026 New Year as a sheep farmer.

3.  Reduce the number of worm treatments given to ewes.

How often should ewes be wormed?  Once a year or not at all is the answer in most cases.  Adult ewes in good condition can control their own worm burdens.  Thin ewes can be treated at lambing and pre tupping. (Take advice if Haemonchus is a problem in your flock.)  Avoid “accidental” worming e.g. using a combination product when only fluke treatment is needed or using injectable 3ML wormers “just in case” of scab.

4.  Create some low risk grazing for lambs after weaning.

Low risk grazing consists of fields that have few or no sheep worm larvae on the grass.  In mid summer/autumn low risk fields are areas that have not been grazed by sheep that year.  Weaned lambs stocked on low risk fields will grow twice as fast as those on high risk fields (even if they are being wormed every three weeks).

5.  Collect some dung samples to see if treatment is needed.

Collect 10 individual samples for a pooled worm egg count in the lab.  This takes a bit of planning but has been shown to reduce the number of doses given saving you both time and money.

Brilliant if you can do all 5, but dipping your toe in the water and trying even one is a positive step.  For more information on worm control in sheep go to

English and Welsh clients: SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, Allan Watt Building, Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0QE  01315353130
Scottish clients please contact your local disease surveillance centre

Antibiotic Sensitivity of Pneumonia Bacteria Isolated at SAC Dumfries - December 2015

World antibiotic awareness week ran from the 16th to the 22nd November 2015 with the aim of increasing awareness of global antibiotic resistance and encouraging best practice to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. As we head into winter it is -a good time to review antibiotic sensitivity patterns for pneumonia bacteria cultured from cattle and sheep at the Dumfries DSC over the last few years (see below).

  • Isolates are routinely tested against the following antibiotics:  ampicillin, amoxycillin clavulanate, ceftiofur, enrofloxacin, florfenicol, neomycin, trimethoprim sulphonamide, tetracycline, tulathromycin and tylosin.
  • The methodology used was the disc diffusion technique and not calculating minimum inhibitory concentrations. 
  • It is acknowledged that sensitivity in vitro does not give a full indication of efficacy in vivo.

All isolates were sensitive to ceftiofur and trimethoprim sulphonamide. 

Table 1:  Percentage of pneumonia bacterial isolates showing sensitivity to selected antibiotics in vitro*.





P. multocida


M. haemolytica


M. haemolytica


B. trehalosi







Amoxy. Clav.



































" summary=" Percentage of pneumonia bacterial isolates showing sensitivity to selected antibiotics in vitro">

*Antibiotic sensitivities calculated according to British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) methodology.

It is worth bearing in mind that some isolates are resistant in vitro to several antibiotics.  For example we have identified Pasteurella multocida isolates that are resistant to either tetracycline, florfenicol and tylosin or tetracycline, tulathromycin and tylosin.  One Bibersteinia trehalosi isolate proved resistant to both enrofloxacin and florfenicol.

BVA advice is that fluoroquinolones (e.g. danofloxacin, enrofloxacin), 3rd (e.g. ceftiofur) and 4th (e.g. cefquinome) generation cephalosporins and macrolides (e.g. tilmicosin, tulathromycin) should be reserved for conditions that respond poorly to other classes and where culture and sensitivity has been carried out.

We would suggest that when dealing with pneumonia cases and outbreaks sampling to confirm that causative bacteria are sensitive in vitro to the antibiotics used is important and if you wish to discuss sampling strategies to do this effectively, please get in touch.

Dumfries Tel: 01387 267260 Fax: 01387250028 Email:

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