Farm vet: I got more than I bargained for with a scouring heifer
Published 03/08/2016 | 02:30
I was called to a scouring heifer last Sunday, and got a little more than I bargained for.
The heifer was bright enough, had a high fever, and a peculiar explosive 'pipestem' diarrhoea, which basically looked like she was passing her faeces through a straw…unpleasant to say the least.
She was suffering from babesiosis or redwater, which is quiet rare in Co Meath, since it's the first case I've seen here in four years.
It is more common in other parts of the country, and while working with a great bunch of farmers in Donegal I regularly came across it.
Thankfully the farmer spotted her early and she responded well to injections.
Animals spotted late may need blood transfusions, and even with them suffer a significant mortality rate.
The science and pasture maintenance side of things are well documented, but the main points regarding the disease and its treatment I wanted to raise are as follows:
Consider the use of oxytetracyline along with imidocarb for specific treatment of the disease.