Routine Health Checks

Routine Health Checks

Animals should be regularly inspected to check that they are in good health.

Livestock farmers and stock-keepers should have a written health and welfare plan drawn up with the farm vet and, where necessary, other technical advisors. The ultimate aim of the animal health plan is to limit health problems so that they can be controlled mainly through prevention. Farmers can improve the health, welfare, and productivity of their animals through animal health planning and routine health checks. 

Reasons why your animals need regular health checks

Some services your animals may require from a farm vet are the following:

The infection of certain diseases in cattle can often threaten the health and welfare as well as the productivity and profitability of a herd. Vaccination of a herd is important as it can control and prevent these diseases from spreading throughout a herd. A Vaccination is not a substitute for good nutrition but will help to achieve general herd immunity. Vaccinating the herd from harmful diseases is done for health, economic, and welfare reasons. 

It also provides protection for the immune system which must develop a memory. Each vaccination and booster are important as it provides protection by trigger the cattle’s immune system into recognising each disease the animal may be susceptible to. 

Vaccines are available against calf pneumonia, calf scours, clostridial diseases, and to prevent abortions. Vaccines need to be administered in the right way to the right animals at the right intervals to give the best results. It is important to choose the right vaccination programme suited to your herd. This can be discussed with us here at Highfield to see which requirements are necessary for your herd.

The use of anti-parasitics on farms should be part of a targeted plan. Here at Highfield we pride ourselves on tailoring worming plans to an individual farms’ needs, encouraging regular faecal egg counts and using targeted products. Anti-parasitic resistance is a concern world wide and its our mission always provide the best advice to reduce the incidence on farm.

Diagnostics play a huge role in reducing the use of anti-parasitics and here at Highfield we send samples to the relevant Irish labs on your behalf and interrupt the results on their return. We then work with the results to tailor a parasite control plan suitable for your farm.

Fertility investigation
Here at Highfield we have access to the latest scanning technology in the form of the Easi-Scan Go scanner. This is a wireless scanner with an app function to allow the images seen in the vet’s googles to appear on your phone in real time. It also has an image saving function that enables us to email images to you directly if required.  Here at Highfield we feel strongly about teaching the next generation of farm vets and this technology allows for this. 

Early pregnancy scanning is key for more accurate date and also for finding twins. Here at Highfield we recommend scanning your cows for pregnancy at less than 3 months but we can scan from 30 days in calf up to due date. Sexing can be achieved between 55 and 70 days of pregnancy if required. 

Pre breeding scanning is essential to make sure your herd is cycling correctly. If your cow is >35 days calved and was not observed in heat there may be an issue with her fertility . With pre-breeding scanning we are able to assess the cow’s reproduction system and identify any problems such as ovarian cysts or infections in the uterus. Essential to do early in the breeding season to allow time for interventions that may be required. 

How a regular health check works​

Routine farm visits are conducted to examine all types of animals on a farm, including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and even alpacas. While on-site clinical examines will be performed and sample collections if necessary for laboratory testing. These testings would be done on initial call-out if possible. Our large animal service can include emergency call-outs for sick animals or obstetrics and specialised advice on herd health, the outbreak of diseases, or concerns for welfare.

A veterinary health check also allows us to set a baseline from which future changes in your animal’s condition can be monitored, so having a history of health checks makes it easier to catch changes and potential future problems.