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Bird Flu: What is Avian Influenza and is it present in the UK?

Bird Flu: What is Avian Influenza and is it present in the UK? What is Bird Flu? Bird ‘Flu caused by Avian Influenza occurs naturally in aquatic birds such as wild ducks, geese, swans, gulls but can also infect domestic poultry and other animal species too. It has also been known to infect humans, on occasion (e.g. H5N1, which continues to infect humans sporadically and is a cause of concern as it has  potential to become a pandemic virus). Is Bird…

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Necrotic Enteritis: a devastating disease caused by C. perfringens

Necrotic Enteritis: a devastating disease caused by C. perfringens What is Necrotic enteritis (NE)? Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a type of gastrointestinal condition called enterotoxemia caused by the bacteria Clostridium perfringens. NE has a single causative agent and thus is a much simpler disease than bacterial enteritis (BE), which it is commonly confused with. Although many of the contributary factors the same (coccidiosis, feed quality and general intestinal stressors) the disease is quite different and less complex than BE.  C. perfringens can infect…

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Lockdown #2: RRL remains open

Lockdown #2: RRL remains open As England readies to enter a second lockdown on thursday, RRL is remaining positive that business should be mostly unaffected. Due to our location on the Welsh border, many staff have been in the Welsh lockdown for some time and we have successfully managed to comply with the requirements of working from home wherever possible, whilst keeping the business running as usual with staff working consistent with the Covid Risk Assessment already in place. At the forefront of our minds…

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Bluetongue in sheep and cattle

Bluetongue in sheep and cattle What is Bluetongue Virus? Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a double- stranded RNA virus (Reovirideo: Orbivirus) that causes bluetongue (BT), an insect-borne, viral disease which mainly affects sheep and less frequently cattle (Gubbins et al., 2007). Bluetongue is a notifiable disease in the UK; Notifiable diseases are any diseases required by law to be reported to government authorities. They must be reported immediately to the Divisional Veterinary Manager at the local Animal Health Office. There are 26…

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Paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease) in Cattle

Paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease) in Cattle What is Johne’s disease? Johne’s disease is an infectious disease in cattle and other ruminants which is caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, commonly known as MAP. It is closely related to the organism that causes tuberculosis and can survive on pasture for many months. The infection is contagious within the herd and young animals are more susceptible to the disease than adults. This disease damages the intestines and results in persistent diarrhoea, weight loss…

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Mental Health Day 2020: everyone has mental health, so make sure you look after it!

Mental Health Day 2020: everyone has mental health, so make sure you look after it! At a time when the world feels out of control, looking after our mental health is so important. Yet, it so often gets forgotten! It’s been a really hard year for everyone and maybe you have had a moment to pause and rethink what’s important to you. Here at Ridgeway we recognise that people have mental health just as they have physical health and we…

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Bacterial Enteritis in poultry

Bacterial Enteritis in poultry What is Bacterial Enteritis? Bacterial enteritis (BE), also commonly referred to as Dysbacteriosis, Dysbiosis and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a disease observed in poultry which entails extreme inflammation and pathology in the gastrointestinal tract. Due to similar pathologies in the intestine, Bacterial enteritis can commonly be confused with coccidiosis and Necrotic Enteritis, which are two entirely different diseases (see here for our article on coccidiosis). Misdiagnosis can lead to use of antibiotics or anticoccidials…

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An introduction to Coccidiosis in poultry

An introduction to Coccidiosis in poultry What is coccidiosis? Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Eimeria or Isospora. There are many different genus’ and species that can infect a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Typically, Eimeria or Isospora parasites are host specific and cannot infect other species than their target species. How does coccidiosis occur? Coccidian parasites must reproduce within cells inside the digestive tract. In poultry, a bird will consume a sporulated oocyst (this…

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Calf diseases, prevention and why colostrum is so important for the immune system

Calf diseases, prevention and why colostrum is so important for the immune system In terms of survival, the first few weeks for a calf are significant. As their bodies are still developing, they are not yet primed to effectively fight illness. It is important for a livestock farmer to be aware of these 3 common calf diseases and know what steps can be taken to prevent and treat them. What exactly puts young calves at risk of developing disease? Even…

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Infected Liver fluke snail

Parasite Watch Autumn Edition: Parasites to watch out for in your ruminants!

Parasite Watch Autumn Edition: Parasites to watch out for in your ruminants! What is PGE? Parasitic Gastroenteritis is one of the major contributors to reduced productivity in ruminants. It is an infection caused by an overburden of parasitic nematodes (roundworms) in cattle, sheep and goats. These parasites reside in the abomasum and intestines of the animal, and are most common in lambs and first season grazing cattle. What causes PGE in cattle? Although several species of nematode may be present…

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