Keep an eye on animals after region’s downpour

WARNING: Shane Lyons says farmers should watch out for their animals’ health in coming days.

Vets have warned Colac district farmers to keep a close eye on their stock after heavy rain in the past week.

Colac Veterinary Clinic’s Shane Lyons said wet and humid conditions could lead to liver disease, abortion and trace element deficiencies.

“This is the sort of weather that is really conducive to fungal disease,” Dr Lyons said.

“You could be looking at fungal damage to pastures, hay and silage and so forth,” he said.

“That can cause problems with animals’ livers, with liver disease and possibly abortions in livestock but that won’t happen straight away, that will be a delayed effect.”

Dr Lyons said farmers could look for “any unusual symptoms” in their livestock and be aware of deficiencies in selenium and copper, which could cause poor growth and muscle weakness.

“The symptoms are many and varied – it’s mainly in sheep that we’ve seen it actually,” he said.

Dr Lyons said his clinic’s workload had remained constant despite last week’s downpour but a good farming season meant the clinic was busier than in previous years.

“The fact that the season is good usually means stock is around and even though they’re going quite well, for whatever reason we tend to be busier.”

The Vet Group at Timboon and Simpson’s senior veterinarian Peter Younis also urged farmers to watch out for their livestock in coming days and weeks.

“Because of the prolonged humid and wet conditions, we are advising our farmers to expect larger worm burdens, especially in young stock,” Dr Younis said.

“We would expect farm tracks to have some damage, cows’ feet to be a bit softer and therefore we would expect to see some more lameness in dairy cows,” he said.

“We have seen suspected cases of pulpy kidney in unvaccinated lambs associated with the excellent availability of feed.

“It’s a reminder for people to make sure that all young stock, both calves and lambs, are vaccinated with five-in-one vaccine and that there is a sound worm control program in place.”

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