The unseasonal mild weather conditions experienced recently have led to increased incidents of respiratory issues in calves, particularly dairy-bred calves, vets have reported. Offaly-based vet Donal Lynch said that a lot of spring-born dairy calves are showing clinical symptoms of stomach worm.
“Because we’ve had such warm wet weather, grass growth is still good and calves are still out.
“I’m seeing calves with symptoms of gut worms such as scour, lack of thrive and weight loss,” he said.
Lynch also said that he is seeing higher incidences of E coli mastitis in dairy cows as the warm weather helps bacterial spread.
Chris Humphreys, who is a vet based in Co Waterford, told the Irish Farmers Journal that October saw an upsurge in both lungworm and stomach worm.
“There is still a lot of stock out and if it could stay cold while they’re being housed there would be much less humidity in the houses,” he said.
A Tipperary-based vet who deals with mostly dairy cows said that worms are also proving to be an issue in the north of the county where he practises.
“The mild weather was desperate there for the last while. We were seeing issues with worms later in the year this year compared to others. You’d want to be worming them two weeks before housing,” James Keane said.