Farmers have enjoyed a great summer in terms of weather – the grass grew, hay was made and all looked promising. Now September has arrived, autumn is on its way, but happily the sun is still shining.
It is the time of year when our attention in the farm department starts to focus on next spring’s lambing.
Tups are routinely examined a few weeks before they go out with the ewes. Checks are done of their teeth, feet and testicles. Fertility tests are quick and easy to do on form and provide peace of mind that their expensive investment is still fertile one year on from his last outing.
Ewes should also have a ‘once-over’, treating those with persistent lameness, removing ewes with defective udders, usually caused by previous bouts of mastitis, and ewes with ‘broken-mouths’, or to those who don’t understand, if your teeth fall out and you are a ewe, you are not retained for breeding.
Thin ewes may benefit from worming, but it is not usually necessary to treat the whole flock. However, rams should definitely be treated.
Alongside all of this, vaccination of ewes to prevent abortion is required.
For any more information on this, just give us a bell at our Morpeth veterinary centre and speak to one of our farm vets.
Autumn also brings work for our small animal team.
There are frequently outbreaks of ‘kennel cough’ in September and October. Slightly damper conditions and close contact with other dogs as walks become shorter, I think, add to transmission.
It is now a badly named disease. Historically, it was picked up in kennels, but we increasingly see dogs that have all been in the same park, or the same beach, suffering from this nasty bug.
A simple vaccination will prevent your dog suffering from this miserable disease.
This seems a good opportunity to also remind you that conkers from horse chestnut trees are poisonous to dogs. So try to avoid your dogs ingesting them, and if they do, give us a phone call as they should be seen by a vet.
Autumn also brings with it the joys of fireworks – they are great for kids, but stressful for dogs and owners.
If you require advice on how to deal with your pet around fireworks, this month is the time to start as most therapies take a few weeks to sort out and have maximum effect.
Please pop in, or give our small animal team a call on 01670 512275.
KATE MATHESON, Director and Senior Vet