Facial eczema risk

Over the years that we have been advising farmers about the risk of facial eczema (FE) to animals, very little has changed in terms of advice and treatment options.

All animals, other than horses, are potentially affected by FE. The ideal conditions for FE are grass minimum temperatures above 12°C and moisture in the form of rain or high humidity. So far this season we have seen low to mid-range risk on most of our sentinel farms with a few hot spots popping up back in February.

What is a toxic spore level?

It is best not to use absolute levels, as stock grazing pasture with spore counts as low as 20,000 can sustain liver damage if pasture has been around that level over a few weeks; toxin effects on the liver are cumulative.

Sustained-release intraruminal zinc boluses such as The Time Capsule™ and Face-Guard™ provide excellent protection for four to six weeks and can be administered with relative ease. The Time Capsule™ for sheep needs to be topped up at six weeks and for cattle at four weeks. Face-Guard™ lasts for six weeks, however the top up dose varies for animal weight in sheep and cattle.

Discuss your individual situation with your vet and ensure you have the best prevention programme in place for your stock.

Additionally, keep an eye on regional spore counts and likely risk at www.totallyvets.co.nz and/or subscribe to our FE email alerts by emailing Gaye.Stein@tvg.co.nz or ask our reception team to add you to our list next time you are in your local clinic.






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