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Portishead, United Kingdom

Down P.M.,University of Nottingham | Kerby M.,Somerset House | Hall J.,St Davids Farm Practice Ltd | Statham J.E.,Bishopton Veterinary Group | And 4 more authors.
Cattle Practice

Herd health management is a continual process involving regular farm visits, data analysis and frequent feedback with the dairy staff. The specific objectives of such programmes will vary according to the farmers' aspirations but the focus should always be on the constant monitoring and re-evaluation of the farm's performance so that herd management may be improved over time. Data analysis forms a critical component in the delivery of herd health services and measures should be taken to ensure the completeness and accuracy of records so that the impact of management changes can be monitored in a reliable manner. There are many potential barriers to the implementation and management of herd health programmes but these need to be overcome in the transition from providing a predominantly 'reactive' ambulatory service to a more 'proactive', advice-oriented role. The success of such services requires effective communication and motivational skills if advice given is going to be implemented on farm. The provision of active herd health programmes to dairy clients represents an excellent opportunity for veterinary surgeons to generate a valuable and sustainable income stream if it is charged for correctly whilst improving herd health and performance concurrently. Source

Hudson C.D.,University of Nottingham | Breen J.E.,University of Nottingham | Breen J.E.,Orchard Veterinary Group | Breen J.E.,United Road Services | And 4 more authors.
Cattle Practice

Measuring and monitoring fertility performance is a key part of a veterinary surgeon's role in the running of a successful dairy unit. Knowledge of trends in current fertility performance at national level can be useful in facilitating this process, as it allows a herd's performance to be seen in a more meaningful context. There have been no recent large-scale studies investigating this at national level in the UK. In this paper, data from over 250 herds are used to assess herd fertility by standard techniques. Overall fertility performance appears to have declined from 2000 to 2006, but this trend appears to have reversed in the last year studied. This appears to have been driven predominantly by an increase in rates of submission for service, while pregnancy rate has fallen steadily over the study period. The consequences of these trends are discussed. Source

Breen J.E.,Orchard Veterinary Group | Breen J.E.,University of Nottingham | Breen J.E.,United Road Services | Hudson C.D.,University of Nottingham | And 4 more authors.
Cattle Practice

Intra-mammary infection due to the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus remains the most common cause of contagious mastitis for the majority of UK dairy herds and often results in persistent subclinical infections. Classically, infection has been well controlled by the Five Point Plan, although recent evidence shows that some strains of S. aureus may behave differently in terms of epidemiology. It is important that isolation of this organism from individual cases and bulk tank samples does not automatically trigger a herd diagnosis of a contagious mastitis without evidence for a contagious disease pattern from somatic cell count and clinical mastitis data analysis. Systematic analysis of clinical mastitis and in somatic cell count data is required to understand the impact of this major pathogen in the herd; of particular use is the rate of new infection in lactation, the relationship between the proportion of cows infected and those chronically infected and the apparent rate of cure across the dry period. This paper reviews diagnosis for infected cows and herds, treatment of infected cows and control priorities for infected herds. Source

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