QMS is a partner funder of the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS), which was formed in 1995 to promote animal health and welfare through better disease control and prevention.
NADIS publishes monthly parasite forecasts and disease alerts for farmers and livestock keepers, which outline the challenges faced by cattle and sheep in the different regions of the UK. The NADIS website also has lots of free webinars on a variety of livestock health topics.
Some of the most recent health bulletins produced by NADIS are below - click on the titles to access the full bulletin
Coccidiosis is a common parasitic infection in lambs. The clinical signs are rapid weight loss and scour, often with some blood. The parasite multiplies very rapidly in the gut leading to massive environment contamination, especially around feeders and water troughs. Drugs can be used as a preventive measure as well as for treatment.
There are many diseases caused by clostridial bacteria, including Balckleg, Pulpy Kidney and Tetanus amongst others. The over-riding clinical sign for all these diseases is sudden death. Vaccination is safe, effective and cost-beneficial. It can be done from 3 weeks old. Ewes can also be vaccinated to help protect lambs via colostrum
Orf is also known as Contagious Pustular Dermatitis, Scabby Mouth and Contagious Ecthyma. The causal virus can remain infective in the environment for months. It causes proliferative lesions around the coronary band and mouth, and is common in orphaned lambs. Secondary infections require antibiotics. The disease can be passed to people.
Blowflies can cause extensive skin damage and can cause death. Adult flies are attracted to faecal staining or footrot lesions. Maggots can often be seen on the skin and there is a putrid smell from the lesions. Regular inspection and fly repellent are essential preventive measures.
PGE in Cattle
Parasitic gastroenteritis usually affects growing cattle during their first summer at grass. Typical signs are scour and weight loss. Prevention of PGE should include pasture management and agreeing a worming strategy with your vet.
Responsible use of antimicrobials
To protect animal health, antimicrobials should only be used when necessary. Responsible use of antimicrobials involves a reduction in the need for antimicrobials as well as using them correctly. The need for the use of antimicrobials can be reduced by good husbandry and management practice.
Scald is the most common cause of lameness in sheep in wet conditions. The interdigital skin is red and swollen and covered by a thin layer of white material. Individual cases of scald can be treated using antibiotic sprays.
Bluetongue is a notifiable viral disease spread by midges. Fever and stiffness are most common in sheep, with occasional swelling of the face and discharge from the eyes and nose. Defra has issued a warning to be vigilant during 2016.