SporeMAP Facial Eczema Management

Is facial eczema costing your farm money?



Is your current preventive programme working?

Over the past few seasons facial eczema has been a major cost to many sheep and dairy farms.
VetEnt investigations have highlighted several factors associated with facial eczema outbreaks:
Unaware of the facial eczema challenge

Starting the preventive programmes too early or ending them too early.
Not knowing the level of challenge on different parts of the farm.
Unaware that animals are affected

The obvious skin lesions are only the tip of the iceberg. Only a small proportion of the animals develop skin lesions which appear about 2 weeks after the challenge.
The real cost of facial eczema is associated with the liver damage which can have a significant impact on milk production, cow live weight, dairy heifer growth rates, ewe mating performance and lamb growth rates even when there are no signs of skin lesions.
Cows not getting enough zinc

Under dosing due to under-estimating cow liveweights, inaccurate mixing and dosing, using low quality zinc products.
Mycotak not being used correctly

Mycotak must be applied with Mycowet onto pastures that are green and growing and have spore counts less than 15-20,000.
SporeMAP can help!
It’s a programme to help you Monitor what’s happening on your own farm, Analyse what’s happening on your farm and Plan for effective prevention.
Find out and understand what’s happening on your farm
District Monitor Programmes

A more effective way to give you an idea when you should start doing your own spore counts to know what’s really happening on your farm
Each clinic has been broken down into districts each with a monitor farm.
Pasture spore counts are done from several parts of each monitor farm every 2 weeks. Our SporeMAP clients are told each time the report for their district have been updated. Spore count trends are available in the website and in each clinic.

 Farm Monitor programmes

We will warn you when the spore count trends indicate the risk is high enough to start doing your own monitoring.
We will get you set up to do it with protocols for taking pasture samples, do the spore counts for you and help you analyse the results and plan for prevention.
Understand the disease better

Our philosophy is “the more our clients understand their risks, the more successful their risk management”.
An integral part of SporeMAP is to help you understand what is a very complex disease. Some of our knowledge has come from our own research and investigations which often contradicts quite a few very old, established myths about facial eczema and its management.

SporeMAP for dairy cows & replacement heifers

Is your prevention programme going to work in a real challenge?  

1st farm visit

Discuss your current prevention programme
Check zinc levels and liver damage in your cows
2nd farm visit (follow up based on results from 1st farm visit)
Measure & check zinc dosing systems
The outcomes of these investigations will be used to implement an effective risk management programme.
SporeMAP for sheep

Planning for prevention

Applying fungicides
Selling susceptible animals        
Grazing "safer" pastures
Zinc treatments
What’s happening in your animals?

Our research suggests a trigger point when liver damage is likely to affect ewe mating performance and tolerance to facial eczema varies widely between flocks. We can use    blood test to get an indication of the tolerance status of your flock which will help to provide a cost benefit analysis for whole flock treatment with zinc capsules.

Click here to see the latest spore count results.

§  Vaccination. Working dogs should be vaccinated annually. There are still enough unvaccinated dogs in our area which means we see cases of Parvo and Lepto every year.  These diseases are expensive to treat, painful and more often than not, fatal. Prevention is cheaper than cure.  With your commitment we can do our best to maintain low incidence of these diseases around our district.

§  Flea: We all know what it feels like to face a big day after a disturbed sleep.  Flea control prevents scratching in the kennel at night and leaves your dog fresher and less distracted for a productive day’s work.  The key to flea control is using a product that kills fleas quickly and has persistent activity. 95% of fleas survive in the environment, so regular treatment keeps unwanted hitch hikers at bay.

§  Nutrition: To obtain optimal performance during summer periods of high workload, farm dogs require a nutrient-dense food with a high amount of calories per bite.  The feed needs to be high in animal protein (at least 30%) and high in animal fat (at least 20%). Provision of these food groups not only provides the calories they need but includes L-Carnitine that enhances the efficiency of fat metabolism, lowering the heat production of the body. This allows a dog to “run cooler” when performing heavy work,  have up to 50% more energy, and  recover quickly, allowing continued high performance from your team day after day. Refer chart attached for a comparison of leading dog foods.

§  Worming:  Round worms are out of site, out of mind - but they have significant impact on the health of your working dogs. Some of these worms can be passed onto humans - children being the most susceptible. Your dogs may not necessarily display obvious signs of worm infestation (poor weight, scours, general malaise) so a proactive approach is best with an effective worming product every three months. Sheep Measles is the most significant tapeworm in New Zealand. There is no need to discuss the financial impact this disease could have on your farm with the price of lambs at present. It’s just not worth mucking around with. Monthly dosing with a tapeworm tablet will ensure control is established.

We’ve used our buying power as the largest vet group in the country to negotiate some good savings on this drive to improve the health of working dogs this summer. For more information see our brochure overleaf.

Make an Appointment

For emergencies or urgent appointments within the next 24 hours, please phone the clinic directly.