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.
Elements of the vision for revitalising the Shepparton central business district are falling into place.
The Tungamah Football Netball Club has completed a fairytale season to clinch the Picola and District Football Netball League South East Premiership with an emphatic 106 point win over the Katamatite Tigers at Tungamah.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh will announce upgrades to Bendigo to Echuca rail line, as well as a further upgrade to the Deniliquin line for rice freight, during celebrations at Echuca Railway station tomorrow.
David and Katrina Christie’s Nanneella dairy farm is now home to one of the biggest sheds in the district, a 160m by 37m monster.
Don’t write Ky off yet, says coach ahead of preliminary final
Seymour event packs out St Mary's College on Saturday night.
People travelled from all around the region to attend an open day at the Berrigan Rural Fire Service on Saturday.
Mia Mia Cricket Club is about to field its first cricket team since 2001
Cobram Mens Shed chips away at the issue of mental health but calls for more space.
Breakout seasons from Deni Rovers Jamie Thorpe and Nick Hay have seen the pair rewarded with respective best and fairest titles.
Now the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is enshrined in law, many opponents of the controversial plan to return irrigation water to the environment appear to have lost interest.
More than 320 000 foxes and 1500 wild dogs had been eradicated under the bounty scheme in the past three years.
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