Sylvaine Lacrosse BVetMed MRCVS
As the current weather is very favourable to ticks, it is worth highlighting the risk of ticks coming into contact with your cattle and introducing ‘Redwater’ disease. This disease, which is transmitted to livestock via ticks and caused by the parasite Babesia divergens can be life threatening. The symptoms of Redwater include:
- Acute fever
- Severe dehydration
- Red urine (Haemoglobinuria)
- General ‘unwellness’
- Reduces appetite
We most commonly see the disease in older animals moved from an area of little or no ticks present, to a high tick area. Young cattle do develop immunity to the disease, which is why tick exposure when cattle are under 9 months of age is ideal for building up immunity, as severe Redwater is usually seen in naïve adults. Introducing naïve animals to at-risk grounds is one of the biggest risks as the animals will not be able to mount a rapid enough immune response to Babesia. If you are thinking of doing this, speak to your vet about the use of preventative Imidocard treatment.
With tupping season on the way our team have been busy helping our clients to give their rams an MOT and checking they are fully fit for breeding. It is also time to start planning Toxovax and Enzovax vaccinations for ewes as they are needed 3 – 4 weeks prior to mating so we’re encouraging clients to order this now to ensure they are covered in time.
We have held our first online Beef Discussion Group meeting recently with great feedback from all involved. We’ve been really pleased with the engagement we have had for our online sessions, and will be looking to hold more of these in the future on a range of topics. For more information, please keep an eye on our Facebook page @molecarefarmvets