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Title: The Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service
Author: Kelly, J. M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The veterinary input to many dairy farms is at best routine fertility visits confirmed to examination of the reproductive tract, and at worst occasional emergency calls. The Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service (DHHPS) was established to provide the opportunity for veterinary surgeons to lead a multidisciplinary team which can monitor health, fertility and production and can plan remedial action, when necessary. Over a period of twenty years it has continued to identify infertility, mastitis and lameness as the main reason for the involuntary disposal of dairy cows, although on some farms BSE has been a major factor. The trend in the last few years has been for an increase in culling for reasons of disease rather than or age or yield. The average disease rates have remained consistently high with over 100 treatments per 100 cows each year. Infertility, mastitis and lameness are the most common disease problems on DHHPS farms. Blood profiling and condition scoring have demonstrated that at least a third of cows tested were mobilising excessive fat during the transition from the dry period to early lactation. The DHHPS found 34.3% of 9,235 dry cows, sampled 0-14 days before calving and 28 per cent of 20,502 cows between 5-40 days post calving, had raised BHB blood concentrations. 30.6 per cent of the same dry cows and 21.9 per cent of the early lactation animals had elevated NEFA results. Blood urea was measured to reflect the current protein intake and the protein/energy balance of the ration. 14 per cent of 9325 dry cows and 9.5 per cent of 20502 of early lactation cows had low urea N (<17 mmol/l). 25 per cent of the cows sampled between 5-40 post partum had blood urea nitrogen concentrations above 3.3mmol/l. Low magnesium levels were detected throughout the year. 9.2 per cent of 9235 dry cows and 7 per cent of 19,738 early lactation cows between 5-40 days calved had blood magnesium concentration <0.8 mmol/l.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.V.M.S.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available