Sickness levels rising among region’s cows

Rain and humid weather are affecting Colac district dairy cows.

Rain and humid weather are having an effect on the health of Colac district dairy cows.
Colac Veterinary Clinic’s Shane Lyons said he has seen an increased number of abortions, cows with mastitis and lame cows since record rain fell on the south-west region in summer.
“The main thing is that we have had an increase in the cases of mastitis,” he said.
Mr Lyons said the combination of warm weather and wet weather had led to the increase in mastitis cases, which farmers can identify in swollen udders and watery or clotted milk.
Mr Lyons said the infection could lead to decreased production and a lower quality of milk.
The wet and humid weather has also led to a “slight increase” in the number of cows suffering abortions.
Mr Lyons said the humid weather could lead to fungal development on food, which he said could have a toxic effect on unborn calves and be a significant cause of loss for farmers.
Mr Lyons said he had tended to lame cows in the district – but said he had not seen any lame sheep.
Irrewarra dairy farmer Lionel Clayton said he had two cows aborted and “a couple of lame cows as well”.
“I probably put it down to the humidity and the weather. It’s pretty awful at the moment, this hot and steamy sort of weather,” he said.
Mr Clayton said fungus in the grass probably caused the abortions, which would have an effect on milk production.

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