Weather takes costly toll on animal health - Vets report big increase in pneumonia, mastitis and milk fever
Vets are encountering a big increase in animal health problems on farms with a rise in mastitis, milk fever, viral pneumonia and joint-ill being reported.
The poor weather conditions are piling pressures on farmers and animals with delayed turnout having a major impact on health issues.
Macroom vet Pat Bourke said there were definitely more casualties on the farm due to cows being kept indoors due to sodden pastures and lack of grass growth.
"There are a number of problems from increased mastitis due to longer housing and a big increase in injuries from slips and falls. We are also encountering a lot of scour in calves, especially suckler calves as they can't put them out. Delayed turnout is having a big impact," he said.
Mr Bourke from Coolcower Veterinary Clinic said they had also found more pneumonia in calves this year as farmers were overstocked as they were unable to bring them to sales due to the snow. "That has relieved a bit," he said.
However, he also warned it would have a knock-on effect on fertility this year due to body condition score being impacted by the lack of grass.
He pointed out sheep farmers were also suffering bigger losses with lambs suffering from hypothermia. In addition there have been increased cases of joint-ill and a number of lambs lost due to ewes accidentally lying on them due to be housed for longer than usual.
Nenagh vet Eamon O'Connell said there were increased incidents of milk fever in cows as the mineral quality of silage was poor this year and lacking in the required levels of magnesium.