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March and April has been extremely busy at Holbrook Vet Centre. 

While the largies work is slowing down, the clinic is in full swing with smallies! We have been busy preparing for our dental month starting in May, and have had a few successful orthopaedic surgeries lately. Yo and Fiona have recently rehomed a koolie pup, after a big orthopaedic surgery to fix a fractured tibia.

Seumas has enjoyed a weeks leave about the house, prior to that he was doing many pre-sale breeding soundness examinations on bulls. We have begun to get organised for the few Autumn AI programs that kick off in May.

Ben has been busy in the clinic preparing for dental month in May and practising his pregnancy testing on the last of the spring calving cows. 

Shane has been involved in some research on a local enterprise over the last couple of months, they have been looking at the weight loss associated with natural exposure of weaner cattle to Pestivirus through the weaning process as part of an auto-vaccination management program. The findings have been quite interesting and we hope to present some of this information in our next newsletter.


- Reminders

- Staff Profile:

- Fact Sheets

- Vet Articles

      - Worm control in weaner cattle
      - Watching out for 1080 baits and your pets
      - Dental disease in our pets


-    All weaning of calves should be finished, consider parasite control programs for weaners over winter.

-    Pastures should be monitored for germination and locked up to allow the leaf area index (LAI) to increase so that pasture growth rates can be maximised up until soil temperatures become a limiting factor.

-    Where possible our improved perennial pastures such as phalaris and sub clover should be allowed to accumulate to 1,000 - 1,500 kg DM/ Ha to maximise growth rates and then grazed down to and maintained at 1,000kg DM/ Ha.

-    Consider pre-lambing shearing and keep a watchful eye out for any late flystrike.

-    Identify any low BCS cows < 3 /5 BCS and preferentially feed to have at a calving BCS of 3.5

-    Remember to have Pestivirus immunity assessed in the maiden heifers somewhere between May and July.

-    Sheep producers need to consider monitoring worm egg levels post the autumn break, particularly those mobs that did not receive a second summer drench treatment.

-     Due to the weather and season all dog owners need to be mindful of 1080 baits put out before lambing as well as ensuring that snail and rat bait is safely put away where your pets cannot reach it.

Contact the HVC Office to discuss any of these reminders, and book an appointment. 


Worm control in
Weaner Cattle:

Since ivomectin was made commercially available in the mid 80s, highly effective worm control has been easy to achieve. Other, more potent avermectins (macrocyclic lactones), have since been developed, and include moxidectin, abamectin, doramectin, eprinomectin & milbemycin. They have been very well received by producers because of their effectiveness and ease of application. Back lining cattle with these parasitides has become a wide spread & popular practice, while oral drenching with BZ’s, Naphthelophos and Levamizole has all but become a thing of the past.


With use, like all chemical use, whether it be antibiotics, herbicides, insecticides or the like, comes resistance. It is through using effective drenches at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner that the development of resistance will be managed, mitigating its effects on productivity.


Weaner cattle which have received a short acting drench at the time of weaning will require follow up drenching, both presently in late autumn and again throughout winter until the spring break occurs in late winter. A long acting moxidectin drench has been developed for use in weaner cattle, it is registered to maintain young stock as worm free for up to 150 days (5 months), which when used in April/ May will be active right through the high risk worm period until September. Producers should consider their worm control program and consider the integration of this long acting drench product to improve their weaner performance over this autumn/ winter period. The vets at HVC will be able to advise how this drench can be involved in a whole farm parasite control program.


Here are a few points on getting the most out of your drenches;

- Calibrate all drench guns prior to use.

- FEC weaners prior to and 10 days post drenching, at weaning every year. This is your one opportunity to test the efficacy of the drench you are using.

 - Never back line. This high cost option accelerates resistance through delivering a sub lethal dose of drench to many worms. 

- Develop a strategic drenching program/calendar with your cattle veterinarian.


Looking ahead;

- Consider worm control plan over winter; i.e. short acting vs. long acting drenches.

- Fluke test as soon as possible to establish if pre-calving treatments need to include a fluke adulticide.

- Spring heifers will require a pre-calving drench, 7in1, and pestiguard (depending on your program).

- Weaners can be tested between May and July to check for immunity against Pestivirus depending on the program employed.

To find out more about Drenching, visit our fact sheet page on our website. 

1080 Baits - What to look for

Dogs are natural scavengers and as any dog owner knows, they will scavenge for any free food that can be found. At this time of year when fox baiting is occurring it is very important that owners keep their pets on a leash and don’t allow them to wander, particularly on or near farmland. 


These fox baits contain the highly toxic 1080 poison and are used to control pests mainly foxes, wild dogs, pigs and rabbits.  Dogs access these baits through a variety of circumstances such as miscommunication of baiting programs in the area, movements of baits by wildlife such as crows as well as secondary poisoning from affected vomit or carcasses.  Heavy rains cannot be assumed to wash away all poison and following the introduction of baits the area should generally be avoided for 21 days. 


The signs of poisoning are usually noticed within 30 minutes of ingestion although this can vary and take up to 6 hours until signs become evident. Initial symptoms include vomiting, anxiety, disorientation and shaking. This will lead rapidly into frenzied behaviour such as running and screaming as well as drooling from the mouth, uncontrolled paddling and seizures followed by collapse and death. 


If you suspect a poisoning, emergency action must be taken. As there is no antidote available for 1080, your early action may save your dog. Make the dog vomit immediately using either salt or washing soda. Once the dog has vomited take the animal to the vet immediately. Phone ahead to warn the vet on duty of the problem and your imminent arrival.  In hospital the seizures can be controlled and supportive therapy given to encourage removal of the poison from the animals blood stream, this may take several days but can prove successful if initiated as soon as possible.


Prevention however, is better than cure when it comes to protecting your dog. Pets should be kept kennelled or chained if near a baiting area and if left loose ensure that they are kept in sight. When walking your dog keep them on a leash and/or muzzled if necessary.  

Want to know more about 1080 baiting in our area, please contact our office. 

Have you ever taken the time to look in your best mate’s mouth?


The Reason:

Four out of five dogs and cats over the age of three have some form of dental disease which will worsen with age.


It is an easy thing to forget until Bear’s breath is unbearable, Rosie’s teeth are stained or Astro is no longer eating but mouth health is extremely important and a good overall indicator of general health. 

The most important thing to remember is that pets will continue to eat even with cracked teeth, sore gums or an unbearable toothache as they need to eat to survive. Signs to look for are bad breath, stained teeth or inflamed reddened gums. 

Regular dental health checks are important for your pet for two key reasons. The first reason is that our pet’s age must faster than we do and as a result it is imperative to catch little problems early before they become large problems requiring multiple tooth extractions and prolonged surgeries.

The second reason is to prevent complications resulting from the spread of bacteria and toxins to the liver, kidney and heart from diseased teeth via by the bloodstream.   

For more information, check out our website for some handy fact sheets. 

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18 Byng St
NSW 2644

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