Livestock & Farm Services
Routine Large Animal Services
Routine work for all species includes the usual emergencies and disease investigations as well as pregnancy testing of cattle and deer and deer TB testing. Our dedicated large animal Veterinarians are ably supported by lay staff who also carry out Faecal Egg Counts, pasture Nitrate tests, and basic blood tests using the in clinic Idexx Minilab. The advantage of these being done at the clinic is that same day results can be given back to farmers.
Special services offered for the different species include:
• Investigating flock fertility, lamb survival and poor lamb growth rate problems.
• Advisor for Sheep for Profit®
• Product trials for several Animal Health companies.
• Footrot Control Accredited veterinarian.
• Ram testing
• Bull fertility testing including Serving Capacity testing.
• Pregnancy scanning – manual and ultrasound.
• Trace Element diagnostics including liver biopsies.
• Investigations into poor growth rates of younger animals.
• Pregnancy scanning.
• Velvet removal and velveting supervision.
• TB testing
• Reproductive management including ultrasound pregnancy scanning from Day 18.
• Lameness diagnosis. Includes the use of a portable X-ray machine if required.
• Injury and wound management including skin grafting.
• Castration, hernia repair.
• Freeze or Fire Branding.
• Reproductive management, including ultrasound scanning, and management of infertility and anoestrous cows
• Trace element analysis, and management of supplementation requirements
• Milk Quality assessment and advice
• Calf Debudding, using sedation and local nerve blocks
• Disease control and prevention eg. leptospirosis, calf health, EBL
• General health and production
• Pregnancy scanning
• Ultrasound Scanners. BCF Easi-scan (back pack portable)
• Portable X-ray machine.
• Portable anaesthetic machine
Bull Fitness for Mating
We use a modified Blocky Cradle Test for annually assessing bull libido and examining them fully for mechanical defects. This allows us to check the ability of run bulls to perform adequately for the coming season, allowing farmers to replace unfit or incapable bulls before the mating season, rather than waiting until pregnancy testing when the damage has been done. The testing is efficient and humane to cows. The test is also used for young stud bulls, giving breeders the very valuable sales tool of having a quantified predicted number of cows that a bull will be able to mate in a season. Where applicable bulls are also tested for BVD and Campylobacter.
Our vets run a fast and efficient ram testing service, palpating run and stud rams, and blood testing for Brucellosis for stud farms or where problems arise. This is an important preventative medicine practice which we urge all sheep farmers to include on their annual calendar.
Drench Resistance Testing
Drench Resistance is one of the most dangerous problems facing New Zealand farmers, with currently available anthelminics becoming progressively less effective. It is estimated that 80% of NZ farms have worms resistant to BZ (white) drenches, up to 30% to Levamisoles, and possibly 20% to combination drenches. Some Ivermectin resistance is already recorded, and it is critical that your drenching programme uses the correct drenches, and that they are used strategically to delay the inevitable march of drench resistance. At The Vet Centre we keep long term records of our farmers' anthelmintic programmes, and provide faecal egg count testing in clinic, to give rapid data to help you with decision making. Our veterinarians have long years of experience in the field, being one of the first clinics to embrace the concept and its implications from the 1980's. We are more than happy to help you in developing a programme to suit your property and can do specific faecal egg count reduction tests to assess which anthelmintics you can or cannot use for your property.
Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination
Peter Jerram has many years of experience in laparoscopic AI in sheep and deer. The Merino Industry in particular has benefitted from extensive use of superior Australian sires since 1986 by this practice, and we regularly get excellent conception rates of up to 90%. Other breeds have successfully used a considerable amount of frozen semen, including Corriedales, Romneys, Suffolks, East Friesians, and Texels. While Peter Jerram has now retired he still does AI work for the practice when required.
We are consultant veterinarians to a large local piggery. Peter Anderson has spent many years assisting in improving production at this unit. Mary Bowron scans sows weekly at this piggery. The use of vaccines, modern practices and improved facilities have seen litter size and survivability increase significantly, to make this a successful and high producing enterprise. We have enjoyed being involved with this enterprise.
Animal Health Calendars
These are set up with individual farmers specific for each property. Farmers are emailed or faxed monthly with reminders of management practices such as when to vaccinate, pregnancy test the cows, put the rams out etc during the next month. Ordering of product or arranging a time to get us to do a specific on farm job is made easy through this system. A wall planner with month by month summary of jobs to do on farm is also a part of the program. Many farmers are now finding these Animal Health Calendars to be an invaluable aid to their management.
Key Account Clients
Those farmer clients who are strong supporters of the practice can become Key Account Clients. Supporting The Vet Centre with their on farm veterinary work and with retail purchases means they can become Key Account Clients and get animal health and product advice at no cost, written lab report results at reduced rates, an OptiLamb report, cattle pregnancy testing results and analysis, and the animal health calendars. We believe this is a win-win arrangement for both farmer and the practice and makes for an excellent working relationship.