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Staggers Alert!
Magnesium deficiency, or grass staggers, is still a significant cause of death in cattle and sheep during the early Spring period. The disease is almost impossible to treat as the onset of symptoms is generally very rapid and for most farmers, the earliest indication that they have a magnesium problem is a dead animal. Given this, adopt preventive strategies to minimise the risk.

The major points to consider are as follows:

1. Provide magnesium to stock prior to the spring grass flush
2. Try and bring cattle in at night for the first week. Especially in cold, wet and windy weather.
3. If lambing indoors, supplement with magnesium prior to turn-out
4. If lambing outdoors, supplement to coincide with the period 2-6 weeks post lambing
5. Try and keep ewes with lambs aged 2-6 weeks on the same pasture - moving them can trigger staggers
6. Reduce silage and any concentrate feeding gradually in the run-up to turn-out.
7. Delay the use of potassium rich fertilisers until later in the year
8. Watch out for poor weather - staggers cases increase dramatically on wet, windy days and frosty nights
9. Consider a belt and braces approach to magnesium supplementation - use a bolus and free access products

The only effective means of giving each individual animal a guaranteed supply of magnesium during the high risk period is by using Rumbul magnesium bullets. These boluses are given 2-3 days prior to turn-out. The boluses last 28 days in cattle and 21 days in sheep and will provide a consistent supply of magnesium, every minute of every day during their active life.
*Information kindly supplied by AGRIMIN.

Given current market value of livestock, it does not pay your customers to run the risk of losing animals - get them to start thinking about staggers now.
Rumbul is a POM-VPS licensed veterinary medicine.
Encysted small redwormEncysted small redworm
Encysted small redworm larvae may account for up to 90% of the redworm burden in your horse1. Even if the horse has shown a negative or low count it could still be harbouring several million of these dormant parasites, hidden within the gut wall2. It is also vital to remember the danger of encysted small redworm.

Encysted small redworm can remain dormant inside a horse for up to two years, but they usually 'wake-up' in the late winter or early spring, developing and emerging from the gut wall all at the same time. In severe infestations this can lead to a disease syndrome known as 'larval cyathostominosis', causing diarrhoea and colic with up to a 50% mortality rate2. Treating encysted small redworm successfully in the late autumn or early winter is important in order to minimise this serious risk.

Even if your horse's Faecal Worm Egg Count (FWEC) is clear, there could still be a significant encysted small redworm burden that must be treated properly every year in late autumn / early winter. Moxidectin is recognised as the only single dose treatment for encysted small redworm. It has been shown to kill the larvae in-situ, without resulting in severe inflammation of the gut wall that other multi-dose treatments may cause3. In addition, moxidectin is licensed for persistent activity against small redworms, killing larvae ingested as the horse grazes for up to two weeks after treatment.


1. Bairden K. et al (2001) Veterinary Record 148, 138-141
2. Dowdall S.M.J. et al (2002) Veterinary Parasitology 106, 225?242
3. Steinbach T. et al (2006) Veterinary Parasitology 139, 115?131

AH634/11
ECR Plus Paste for CalvesECR Plus Paste for Calves
The Problem
Scours are the most common symptom of calf diseases. The faeces turn in colour to bright yellow or white, and increase in frequency and quantity due to higher than normal water content. There are broadly speaking two main causes:
1. Nutritional Scours - usually due to an overloading of the digestive system and generally easy to treat.
2. Infectious Scours - due to hostile micro-organisms causing damage to the villi lining of the small intestine.

The main causes of infectious scours in the UK and Ireland are E-Coli K99, Rotavirus, Salmonella, Coronavirus and Cryptosproridium. Although in an outbreak, scour can kill up to a third of calves affected, calf deaths represent only a small proportion of the total costs of an outbreak of scour. Other significant costs include:
Labour Costs - Increased cow and calf handling costs
Calf Value - Reduced live-weight gain.
Vet Costs - Treatment

The Solution
The options open to the farmer are:
1, Vaccination, which stimulates the dam to produce antibodies that the calf then gets in the colostrums and subsequent milk.
2. Specific antibodies, fed directly to the calf soon after birth. (ECR Plus paste)

Why choose ECR Paste?
During the development of the calf in the dam's body, maternal antibodies cannot be passed on to the foetus via the placenta. Therefore the calf is born without antibody protection and is unable to form antibodies of its own for several weeks. It is during these first few weeks of life that pathogens in the environment can challenge the health and development of the calf. The use of egg powder protein capsules and pastes can help the calf overcome the threat of the resulting digestive upsets. Both products must be fed to the calf within the first 8 hours of life for maximum effect.

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