Make precision-led decisions for better udder health outcomes - Veterinary Practice
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Make precision-led decisions for better udder health outcomes

Vetoquinol provides farmers and vets with smart technology to achieve healthier herds and better outcomes

When it comes to managing udder health care, particularly costly diseases like clinical mastitis, knowing and understanding what is going on at farm level is crucial. Vetoquinol provides smart technology that enables farmers and vets to adopt a modern approach to achieving healthier herds and better outcomes.

Sean Riches, Product & Solutions manager for Vetoquinol discusses how, by using the right tools and information, farmers and vets can work more collaboratively and make effective decisions that improve animal welfare, farm productivity and profitability.

“Vets are often not directly involved in the day-to-day management of non-severe clinical mastitis at a farm level,” says Sean. “The nature and prevalence of the disease and the farmer’s traditional approach mean many cases are self-managed based on a review and discussion with their vet at the annual health plan meeting. This can lead to inconsistent or inappropriate protocols and less-than-optimal results. Having access to precise data and simple-on farm diagnostics could change the game and help farmers and vets achieve better outcomes together. This detailed information can identify the most appropriate treatment for the case or cases in question.”

VetIMPRESS and VetoSlide provide the data and on-farm diagnostics needed for the important assessment of udder health at a farm level. Milk records – from either NMR, CIS or QMMS are imported into VetIMPRESS, including the Individual Cow Somatic Cell Count (ICSCC) – alongside other yield information directly linked to the cow’s ear tag number. This enables farmers and vets to make more informed decisions about how clinical mastitis is being managed. For vets, it can enhance their approach as the single source of truth when it comes to udder health. For farmers, with clear, precise recommendations from their vet, they have a trusted advisor they can rely on.

Nowhere is this more important than when ensuring the responsible use of medicines. The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway (AHWP), launched in 2023, supports continual improvements in animal health and welfare through a funded annual vet review. As direct payments are cut, farmers who achieve higher levels of animal health and welfare on their farms can access financial incentives for reducing diseases, such as mastitis, increasing productivity, and decreasing the environmental impacts of farming. For the vet practice, capturing and using livestock health, production and clinical data in VetIMPRESS can help guide and advise on responsible antibiotic use at this annual review so farmers can achieve these outcomes in a more sustainable manner.

“Mastitis accounts for approximately 60 percent of antimicrobial use (AMU) on farm (Tommasoni et al., 2023), so action needs to be taken,” says Sean. Within VetIMPRESS, vets and farmers can access and use AMU reports, helping to understand what they have been using and potentially how effective they have been in managing disease. This not only encourages the responsible use of medicines but also, with appropriate use, means a reduction in the amount of milk wasted.”

Achieving better outcomes together means making every vet visit count. Many vets and their dairy farmer clients discuss antimicrobial reports as part of their annual health plan review, but using them more often enables greater insights and better decision-making.

VetIMPRESS user Nicola Falder of Glenthorne Vets finds the clearer overview of herd health that the platform provides invaluable.

“The reports I generate within VetIMPRESS on behalf of my dairy farm clients help them keep track of the antibiotics they are using and how much. As a vet, having accurate and reliable records of medicines given to individual animals means I can make much more informed and effective decisions. Instead of wading through data to find what I need, I get to spend more time talking to and working closely with my farm clients.”

Nicola has been using VetIMPRESS with her clients, such as dairy farmer Dan Avery, so they can both have access to medicine records and treatment records for individual cows. “Access to this data allows us to make further treatment and management decisions,” says Dan of Stydd Hall Farm, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. “We can treat cows more effectively while ensuring we comply with legislation for red tractor audits.”

Dan Avery at Stydd Hall Farm

“VetIMPRESS is really useful for routine fertility visits,” continues Dan. “We can easily document and review previous treatments, which allows us to make decisions at cow level while the vet is still on the farm. A fertility report is then generated, giving us dates to remove CIDRs and serve cows, and it also provides a list of cows to bring round on the next routine.” Dan is sent a copy of this report after every vet visit to ensure that all fertility management is followed correctly.

“Using VetIMPRESS has decreased our calving index and days to first service, which will increase our profitability in the long term,” concludes Dan.

Closer farmer and vet collaboration and smart technology can future-proof the dairy industry.

“Through our modern solutions, Vetoquinol is supporting the dairy industry in improving udder health care by enabling farmers and vets to work more closely and take a more targeted approach,” says Sean. “Improving udder health improves the general health and welfare of cattle and the herd, which then leads to improved performance and productivity and drives more responsible use of medicines. This ensures a more sustainable dairy industry for the future.”

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