Veterinarian Rob Bonanno is excited at the prospect of going out to fewer cases of calves ill and dying of scours.CATHY WALKER February 27, 2013 4:20am
Last week Dr Bonanno said a long-awaited product to vaccinate pregnant cows to protect their calves against rotavirus and coronavirus had been eagerly snapped up by farmers as soon as it hit his Shepparton Veterinary Clinic shelves.
‘‘It’s taken years and years and finally we’ve got it,’’ Dr Bonanno said, brandishing the lone bottle of Rotavec Corona left in his office since farmers were notified it had arrived.
In terms of newborn calf management, the vaccine, manufactured by Coopers Animal Health, is the best thing since sliced bread.
‘‘Rotavirus is the disease that I diagnose most often as causing calf scours (and death) and until this week, there was no vaccine for it.’’
Dr Bonanno said rates of calf scours and subsequent death was ‘‘disappointingly high’’.
‘‘Anything that can bring that figure down is a great thing.’’
He said it was important to get the message out now because the first time to inject cows was 10 to 12 weeks before they calved, and then four to six weeks later, which meant autumn calvers needed to be treated soon.
Calves will gain the benefit of the rotavirus protection only after drinking the colostrum, which is the cow’s first milk, and Dr Bonanno said the importance of ensuring the calf received as much as four litres in its first hours of life could not be understated.
‘‘I tell clients the adage is ‘assume none from mum’ and give the calves stored colostrum.
‘‘That way you won’t die wondering, and hopefully the calves won’t either.’’
The new drug costs a little more than $6 a dose and the treatment is 2
It’s cheap insurance against what Dr Bonanno describes as needless deaths in calves.
‘‘We know for sure there is roto on at least 90 per cent of dairy farms,’’ he said.
Thanks to other scientific advances, the causes of calf scours — rotavirus, coronavirus, E.coli K99, salmonella and cryptosporidia — can now be tested for on-farm and an on-site diagnosis given for most.
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
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