McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre treat large animals

Our vet team at McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre are experienced in treating large animals

 Our friendly veterinarian team are able to give advice on sheep, goats, alpacas, and cattle.

We also offer a housecall service (on certain days) for large animals if there are appropriate facilities available (this includes small holding pen or race for goats and sheep and a crush for ALL cattle). Without appropriate facilities we will not be able to conduct a house call due to OH&S Regulations.

If you would like a house call or having any questions please feel free to call us on 4587 9000.

Our practice routinely stocks large animal vaccines and medications for your convenience. 

We have provided some general information and health care advice below for your information.

Care of Sheep

Newborn Lambs

It is important to disinfect the navel
The navel of a newborn lamb is a possible route for infectious agents. Navel cords more than 2 inches long should be clipped closer to the body. To avoid infections, navel stumps should be disinfected soon after birth. Spray or dip the navel area with an antiseptic solution such as Gentle Iodine (1% iodine), Betadine®, or Chlorhexidine (Nolvasan®).

Colostrum

Colostrum is the "first milk" that a ewe produces after lambing. Colostrum contains a high level of several nutrients that are important for lamb health and performance. Colostrum also contains a high level of antibodies against a variety of infectious agents. At birth, the lamb does not carry any antibodies because antibodies in the ewe's bloodstream do not cross the placenta.

It is critical that lambs receive colostrum during the first 24 hours of life in order to ensure adequate absorption of colostral antibodies. Antibodies are large protein molecules that can cross the intestinal wall and enter the blood stream of the lamb only during the first 24 to 36 hours of life. Absorption of these antibodies is most efficient during the first few hours after birth. It is recommended that lambs receive 10 percent of the body weight in colostrum by 24 hours after birth.

 Vaccinations

Sheep are vaccinated to protect against some of the common serious infectious diseases. Vaccination stimulates the body’s defence system to build immunity to a particular disease, by exposing sheep to either the live organism presented in a safe form (e.g. scabby mouth or anthrax vaccines), or to a killed or inactivated organism or part of an organism (e.g. the clostridial vaccines).

Vaccinations in an annual program, require an initial dose in the first year followed by a booster dose 4 to 6 weeks later to provide maximum protection.

Clostridial (5 in 1) vaccination

The clostridial diseases enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney), tetanus, blackleg, black disease, malignant oedema and swelled head in rams can all be prevented by vaccination. Vaccines are available either as 5-in-1, which protects against all of the above, or 2-in-1, which protects against pulpy kidney and tetanus only. 

Tail Docking

Lambs tails require docking to prevent flyblow. This should be done at 2-4 weeks of age.

De-Horning (Goats & Sheep)

Lamb and kids horns can be dehorned to prevent human and other livestock safety. This should be done at an early age, before 2 weeks old. This service is done under a sedative, with antibiotic and pain relief injection given. This service is available at McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre.

Worming/Drenching

At McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre we are able to conduct faecal egg counts to determine your worm burden and advise an appropriate drenching regime.

Worming should be given for effective control for gastrointestinal parasites. Parasites in sheep and goat include:

  • Barbers Pole Worm
  • Small Brown Stomach Worm
  • Black Scour Worm
  • Large Stomach Worm
  • Stomach Hair Wom
  • Thin-neced Intestinal Worm
  • Large-mouthed Bowel Worm
  • Nodule Worm
  • Large Bowel Worm
  • Whipworm
  • Intestinal Threadworm
  • Nasal Bot
  • Liver Fluke
  • Tapeworms
  • Itch Mites
  • Hookworm

For more information on sheep and goat worming come in or give us a call.

At McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre we have individual drench options available.

Care of Cattle

Internal parasites

The presence of worms can decrease a cow’s ability to use feed effectively. Poor nutrition may cause stock to have a lower resistance to parasite infestation. Worm burdens can increase if stock are regularly fed on the ground in the same area. Close grazing of pasture can increase the chance of picking up worms. Before treating dry cows ensure that the withhold period of the treatment is less than the remaining time of pregnancy, otherwise milk will have to be withheld after calving.

If stock have access to wet areas, which may be the only green feed on the farm, consider treating for liver fluke. Seek veterinary advice before drenching for liver fluke in milking cows.

Worming should be given for effective control for gastrointestinal parasites. parasites in cattle include:

  • Barbers Pole Worm
  • Small Brown Stomach Worm
  • Black Scour Worm
  • Large Stomach Worm
  • Stomach Hair Wom
  • Thin-neced Intestinal Worm
  • Large-mouthed Bowel Worm
  • Nodule Worm
  • Large Bowel Worm
  • Whipworm
  • Intestinal Threadworm
  • Nasal Bot
  • Liver Fluke
  • Tapeworms
  • Itch Mites
  • Hookworm

External parasites

Ticks, lice and buffalo flies have a greater effect on animals in poor condition or under stress. Apply appropriate treatments to control these parasites according to label instructions. Always check that the product is suitable for the type of animals such as milking cows. Observe all withholding periods.

Clostridial and other environmental diseases

Ensure that all animals are part of an effective 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 vaccination program. The incidence of clostridial diseases increases when animals graze short and sparse pastures. Hand-feeding on the ground may also increase the incidence. 

Vaccination

Vaccinate calves from 6 weeks of age. Two doses are required, 4 to 6 weeks apart. Give the first dose 4 to 6 weeks before marking and a booster at marking.  Previously unvaccinated adult stock should receive two doses 4 to 6 weeks apart. Then an annual booster after the initial two injections.

 

If you have any questions about the health of your animals, please contact our veternarian team on: (02) 4587 9000
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