We provide 24hr cover, 365 days a year for Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Alpacas. Between us there are 15 farm vets and always 2 on duty every night, weekend or bank holiday. We cover an area from Carlisle in the North to Shap in the South, Brough in the East to Maryport in the West. Out of hours the duty vet can be contacted through the Dalston or Newbiggin phone numbers as normal.
With over 20,000 dairy cows and numerous beef suckler and fattening herds, not a day goes by without a call to a calving, caesarian, torsion or prolapse. Another common emergency is to a cow with a left displaced abomasum - over half of all of these are now corrected laprascopically. Sick cow call outs are also seen daily whether it be a cow with mastitis, metritis, milk fever or staggers and injuries do occur, with some (e.g. cut teats or a calf with a broken leg) requiring urgent attention to give the best possible outcome.
Lambings, caesarians, abortions and prolapses are by far the most common sheep call out, day or night throughout the Spring! Ewes can also suffer from metabolic diseases like pregnancy toxaemia and milk fever and other common issues seen include footrot, mastitis and acute worms (parasitic gastroenteritis). Lambs can also be born with congenital conditions requiring immediate attention e.g. umbilical hernias with intestines protruding out or they can even be born without a back passage, known as atresia ani.
Goat herds and pet goats are becoming more common and its not unusual for us to be called to kid a nanny goat, replace a prolapse or even the occasional casesarian. Goats are inquisitive browsers and tend to get up to things they shouldn't do more than other animals resulting in accidents, injuries and even plant poisonings which can make for some interesting detective work to get to the bottom of what is wrong at times.
Whilst not a common call out we do service several Alpaca herds including one of the largest breeding herds in the country. This gives us plenty of practice at unpacking alpacas (the technical name for the birth of a baby alpaca, known as a cria). Alpaca crias can also get acutely sick and require a plasma transfusion to save their life.