News

News

We use these pages to publish articles on recent events and developments in parasitology, veterinary science and agriculture. We also use them to keep you up to date with what’s going on at Ridgeway Research.

If there’s a topic you’d like us to cover please let us know. We’re keen to make sure our news items remain interesting and relevant and so welcome your feedback.

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Schmallenberg Virus: What are the facts?

Schmallenberg Virus: What are the facts? Schmallenberg virus (SBV) was first encountered in October, 2011 in Northern Europe.1 The virus was initially isolated from a sample from the town of Schmallenberg, which is how it got its name. The virus is associated with clinical disease in ruminants, both domesticated and wild, and can cause a wide variety of clinical signs. It is transmitted by biting midges (Culicoides spp.), much like bluetongue virus, and can cause extreme problems in infected animals.…

Parasites in Spring: 4 Equine Parasites to Watch Out For

4 Common Equine Parasites Your Horses Might Have Internal parasites are a common in the lives of most grazing animals. They are often consumed along with grass, feed or water, and then make their way into various internal organs. While many parasites can infect horses, there are only a few that cause, or can cause, significant health problems. Many of these can be identified though faecal egg counts (FEC). 1. Large redworms Large redworms, or large strongyles are some of…

Tick Prevention Week: Companion Animals

Tick Prevention Week: What you need to know for companion animals What are ticks? Ticks are very commonly found on companion animals, but do you as an owner know how to prevent this? What are the consequences of a tick bite and what do you do if man’s best friend has a tick on him? Ticks are well known vectors of disease, and can transmit disease from animal to animal, and from animals to humans. It is not ticks themselves…

Tick Prevention Week: Livestock

Tick Prevention Week: What you need to know for livestock What are ticks? Ticks are obligate parasites, meaning they require a host to complete their lifecycle. They are of great veterinary and medical importance as they are only inferior to mosquitos in their disease spreading potential. Tick species feed on livestock and other animals around the world and are a diverse and successful group. Tickborne agents can be mildly pathogenic, severely pathogenic and some can infect humans too. Additionally, ticks…

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis What is toxoplasmosis? Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. While symptoms in humans are usually mild, if a pregnant woman becomes infected, it can have severe implications for both her and her baby. Infections in livestock animals such as sheep can cause abortion of lambs and lower birth weights. Infected cows , however, tend to be more resistant to the disease.1 What is the lifecycle of Toxoplasma gondii? The only definitive hosts of Toxoplasma,…

Avoiding Lambing While Pregnant

Why you should avoid lambing if you’re pregnant Lambing season is upon us and the lovely sight of new-born lambs brings a welcome spring picture after the long winter. However, lambing can pose quite a significant risk to pregnant women. There are multiple bacteria, parasites and viruses that are present in bodily fluids that can potentially cause problems in humans. This is also true for recently born lambs, ewes that have recently given birth and any contaminated material such as…

Listeriosis in sheep

Listeriosis in sheep What is listeriosis? The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis across the world. It is associated with serious disease in a wide variety of animals, including humans. Listeriosis is of major veterinary importance in cattle, sheep and goats. In the UK, it most commonly affects sheep.  The gram-positive bacteria can survive in the environment for a long period of time. Grazing animals ingest the organism from pasture, with transmission of the disease via the faecal-oral route.  Listeriosis is a zoonotic…

Spring Pastures

Spring Pastures: What to consider before letting your animals out to pasture With lambing season upon us, there are many things to consider when grazing animals. Many cattle herds and sheep flocks are housed indoors over the winter months for various reasons. I’m sure they wouldn’t be too fond of the recent snow flurries that we’ve had! Indoor housing during the winter months provides protection from the elements and cold conditions, as well as conservation of energy that would have…

FEC: What is a faecal egg count and why should I use it?

What is a FEC? Faecal Egg Counts, also known as FEC, WEC or EPG count assesses the worm burden within an animal. A FEC does what it says on the tin – a technician will look at the faeces and literally count the number of eggs in a set amount of the faeces. This is then taken as a representative for the burden of the animal. Results are typically presented in EPG or eggs per gram, allowing you to compare…

Nematodirosis in Lambs

What is Nematodirus ? Nematodirus spp. is a thread like roundworm that infects the small intestine and causes disease in lambs, goats and occasionally cattle causing a high number of deaths. Nematodirus spp. infection largely affects lambs at spring time as adult sheep develop a natural resistance to the infection. Due to its unique development and life cycle, a phenomenon known as the spring flush can occur. Three species of Nematodirus spp. can affect sheep, with Nematodirus battus the most…

Foot and Mouth Disease: The UK Outbreak of 2001

What is foot and mouth Disease? In 2001 the UK fell party to an epidemic of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which led to the slaughter of 6.5 million animals and a cost of £8 billion.1 But what have we learned from it, and what has been done to stop it from happening again? Foot-and-mouth disease is a viral disease found in cloven hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, deer, water buffalo, pigs and cattle. It is present all over…

Clostridial Diseases in Sheep

What are Clostridial Diseases? Clostridial diseases are a group of severe diseases seen in sheep caused by Clostridia spp. bacteria. These bacteria are widely recognised as pathogens in livestock, humans, and companion animals and can survive in spore form in the environment for long periods of time. Faecal contamination of pasture is the primary source of infections picked up from the environment. At the same time, it is normal for many of these bacteria to inhabit the intestines of healthy animals. The problem…

Lice infestations in cattle and sheep housed indoors over winter

Lice in sheep and cattle – what are lice? Lice are endoparasites that live permanently on their host, that either feed off of blood meals or on the skin, hair, fleece and any other debris on the skin.  These are named sucking or chewing lice, respectively. Chewing lice found commonly are Bovicola ovis (sheep) and Bovicola bovis (cattle). Sucking lice are also found to affect cattle with 3 species commonly affecting the UK; Linognathus vituli, Solenopotes capillatus, Haematopinus eurysternus, whereas sucking lice…

Sheep Scab and Psoroptes ovis

What is Sheep Scab? Sheep scab is a endemic disease caused by Psoroptes ovis, more commonly known as scab mites. Scab mites defecate on the skin which causes an allergic reaction. With a short life cycle of only 14 days, scab mite populations can increase fast and can infect an entire flock, even more so when kept indoors and in close proximity. The mite can survive for up to 17 days off the sheep but must use the sheep to complete…

Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year

Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year We’ve been lucky enough to see quite a range of parasites at Ridgeway this year, including some new ones and some that we are already familiar with. We thought we would share a few of these with you as a little round up of our work this year. We look forward to seeing what new and exciting species 2021 brings for us! Dictyocaulus filaria…

A Big Merry Christmas from all of our Staff Pets at RRL!

A Big Merry Christmas from all of our Staff Pets at RRL!

Christmas 2020: the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental health and take time for yourself after the strangest of years…

Christmas 2020: the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental health and take time for yourself after the strangest of years… Who would have thought that 2020 would entail a global pandemic and very altered day to day life as we know it? Why didn’t Doc from back to the future warn us just to skip 2020 altogether? Jokes aside, it’s been a really tough year for everyone. Whether that’s been from lack of work, working extra hours, becoming ill or…

Cystic Ovarian Disease

Cystic Ovarian Disease What is Cystic Ovarian Disease in cattle? Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is a major problem associated with poor fertility in dairy cattle. Reportedly, from 6 to 19% of dairy cows develop cysts, however it is possible that the incidence of the disease is as high as 60%, as many heifers which develop ovarian cysts recover without intervention1, meaning they may go undetected. It is characterised by the presence of one or more enlarged anovulatory follicles on one…

Scrapie in sheep: all you need to know

Scrapie in sheep: all you need to know What is ‘Scrapie’? Scrapie is a degenerative disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS) which is fatal, affecting sheep and goats. It is a type of disease known as a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy and has a worldwide presence, and first emerged in Europe and the United Kingdom 250 years ago. Flocks can suffer from as much as 10-20% mortality rates due to scrapie, introducing a massive economic burden for the industry. Scrapie…

Facility Maintenance Operative Wanted

Do you have experience in maintenance and repairs? With good interpersonal skills? An exciting position has become available for an experienced Maintenance and Repair Operative to become a part of the team at Ridgeway Research Ltd. You will be experienced in providing maintenance and repairs, managing a varied and very busy schedule. You will need to be able to prioritise the workload, whilst completing tasks to a high standard. Self-motivated, with the ability to manage your own work load.You will…

How has Coronavirus impacted the Dairy Industry?

How has Coronavirus impacted the Dairy Industry? All around the UK, industries have been feeling the effect of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and business shutdowns. With the advent of Lockdown 2.0, it is important to see what effect this has had on the UK’s largest farming sector. The impact on the dairy industry… Before the first lockdown started, around 8% of all liquid milk produced in the UK went into the hospitality sector, which created a huge surplus of milk when…

Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be

Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be In our last article we explained what Bird Flu is, the types of strains,  categorisation of low and high pathogenicity and reports of recent outbreaks within the UK. In this article we will look at recognising signs of bird flu, how to report it to DEFRA, increased biosecurity measures you should be taking whilst the UK is an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, and what to do prevent…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Administration Assistant

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an individual to provide administration support for an Animal Health Company. If you are looking for a new challenge, enjoy variety in your work and wish to be part of a team striving to make a difference to animal health then we want to hear from you! About us: Ridgeway Research Ltd is a well-known UK Contract Research Organisation within the Animal Health Industry delivering research & development on veterinary medical and feed additive…

Animal Care Apprentice

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an animal care apprentice to join the team to support scientific research in an animal health company. If you are looking for a new challenge, enjoy variety in your work and wish to be part of a team striving to make a difference to animal health then we want to hear from you! About Us: Ridgeway Research Ltd is a well-known UK Contract Research Organisation within the Animal Health Industry delivering research & development…

Anthelmintics: when should I use a wormer?

Anthelmintics: when should I use a wormer? What are Anthelmintics? Anthelmintics or wormers are widely used across the globe, and a lot of the time can be misused causing resistance issues. Anthelmintics are drugs used to treat infection with nematodes (roundworms like Ascaradia galli in chickens), cestodes (tapeworms like Moniezia expansa in sheep) and trematodes (flukes like Calicophoron daubneyi in livestock). How do I know which wormer to use? Firstly, how do you know your animals need to be wormed? Have you noticed symptoms or seen…

Moving towards sustainable use of veterinary antibiotics, globally

Moving towards sustainable use of veterinary antibiotics, globally Misuse of antibiotics Penicillin discovered by the famous Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, was used to save millions of lives during wartime. Following the discovery,, reliance on antibiotics has increased throughout the twentieth century and overuse of this simple solution has led to an increase in resistance to antibiotics. The scientific community are aware of the growing threat of antibiotic resistance but has this information reached farmers across the world? Case study: India…

The challenges of going off grid and preparing for the unexpected!

The challenges of going off grid and preparing for the unexpected! Tick heaven: Dartmoor… We don’t normally revisit a topic within a month or so, but a staff member’s recent experience makes a repeat warning worthwhile as we seek to explore uncrowded areas of the UK this summer…. It’s never a good sign when you’re travelling and you look down at your legs only to scream “WHAT IS THAT?!”. It was a tiny “seed” tick……the young larval or nymphal tick…

What is Blowfly Strike in Sheep?

What is Blowfly Strike in Sheep? Blowfly strike is a common annual battle that sheep farmers must face, particularly during the summer months where the weather is usually warm and wet, optimum conditions for flies and maggots to thrive. What is Blowfly Strike? Blowfly strike is caused by the larvae of dipteran flies which invade the tissue on living sheep causing lesions that can lead to tissue and muscle damage. The primary flies (green bottles) strike first laying their eggs…

Struggle and strength during COVID-19

Now in August, it’s almost five months since our lives were modified with COVID-19-related restrictions. There are so, so many things that have changed within the business as a result of it. Despite all of the changes and associated challenges, we are performing and achieving results. Having heard Dr Pippa Grange talking about deep wins (as against shallow wins), it feels as if we have actually increased our capacity to achieve deep wins over the past five months, as we…

Quality monitoring of Liver fluke metacercariae

Quality monitoring of Liver fluke metacercariae At our laboratory part of the work we do is to maintain several colonies of snails, these are the intermediate host in the life cycle of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica. The metacercariae we produce are supplied to Universities and Pharmaceutical Companies and used in research to gain a better understanding of the parasite, its control and the growing problem of its resistance to anthelmintic treatments. To ensure the metacercariae we supply to our customers…

Heat detection: is your heat detection method ineffective?

Heat detection: is your heat detection method ineffective? Why do we need heat detection? Heat detection is an essential component of the dairy industry. Missed or mistimed heats lead to increased calving periods and a resulting financial burden. Similarly, wasted Artificial Insemination (AI) and loss of pregnancies caused by mistiming of AI adds to this financial burden.  There is a plethora of heat detection aids in the market, ranging from simple mount detectors like Estrotect to fully automated robotic in…

Determination of heat and whelping dates in bitches using progesterone assessment

Determination of heat and whelping dates in bitches using progesterone assessment Identifying the optimal time for mating a bitch can be critically important, particularly if the mate lives some distance away, with lengthy ill-timed journeys something to be avoided at all times but particularly at present. At the other end of pregnancy, as whelping approaches, knowing when a bitch is going to whelp can be helpful in making the necessary arrangements for whelping. Progesterone measurement can assist in decision making…

Attention to Parasitology Laboratory customers

Attention to Parasitology Laboratory customers We have been made aware of an issue where our emails containing results are not reaching customers. Please ensure you check your junk/spam folder and if you have not received communications from us within 48 hours of your samples arriving here, please get in contact with us. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for bearing with us.

An introduction to equine pinworm (Oxyuris equi).

An introduction to equine pinworm (Oxyuris equi). What is pinworm? Oxyuris equi is a common horse pinworm that affects the equine population across the world.  The nematode has a direct life cycle with no intermediate host. It resides in the large intestine where, after mating, adult females migrate out through the anus to lay their eggs onto the perianal skin. The eggs are covered with a sticky fluid and after 3 to 5 days have developed into infective larvae. This…

Risk of lungworm in unvaccinated calves and cattle

Risk of lungworm in unvaccinated calves and cattle What is Lungworm? Lungworm is a nematode that can affect many species of animals including sheep, cattle, deer, goats and horses. Each species typically has associated species of lungworm that it is susceptible to. The bovine lungworm called (Dictyocaulus viviparus) is the most common cause of lungworm in cattle. Depending on species, lungworms reside in the bronchi and bronchioles of the lungs (and sometimes heart) where they lay eggs. These eggs are…

UK Parasite Watch July Edition: Parasitic Gastroenteritis (PGE)

UK Parasite Watch July Edition: Parasitic Gastroenteritis (PGE) What is PGE? Sheep Parasitic Gastroenteritis or PGE is one of the biggest challenges to the welfare and economic value of keeping sheep, being the most commonly diagnosed cause of mortality in young lambs in England and Wales. As the infective period progresses eggs will be shed onto pastures by infected animals. High pasture burdens may lead to disease and reduction in welfare and profit. What causes PGE? The causative agents of…

Adapting to the loosening of COVID-19 lock down and preparing for the return to the new “normal”.

Adapting to the loosening of COVID-19 lock down and preparing for the return to the new “normal”. As we reported in our ‘News’ in April 2020, Ridgeway has been open for business throughout lock down. The Parasitology Laboratory has been very busy sourcing new parasites whilst maintaining both of its Liver and Rumen Fluke snail colonies. What’s been happening at RRL? As the UK and countries in Europe are gradually loosening the movement restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic, the…

Top 10 uses of rapid progesterone measurement in milk

Top 10 uses of rapid progesterone measurement in milk Progesterone (P4) is a hormone well known for its uses in fertility management and heat detection in cattle. Today we are showing you 10 ways you can use progesterone measurement in milk to aid in improving your herds fertility. You can use rapid progesterone detection tests to confirm heat when you have observed bulling or have a cow that does not demonstrate signs – a low P4 result confirms heat, allowing…

Heat Stress in poultry – what are the signs and how can we combat it?

Heat Stress in poultry – what are the signs and how can we combat it? I’m sure many people across the UK have been enjoying the beautiful weather recently, which has been welcomed and made it a little easier to remain in our gardens following social distancing restrictions. The same cannot be said for the poultry industry – as the months become hotter and we venture into the peak of summer, heat is a real problem for poultry. The poultry industry…

Milk: an incredible life perpetuating commodity which can also be used as a health monitoring tool.

Milk: an incredible life perpetuating commodity which can also be used as a health monitoring tool. What is milk? Milk originates as the special fluid produced by mammals to feed their young – young that range from Wildebeest young where the precocious new born calf is ready to run with the herd within hours of birth to mammals where the young has to be supported by its mother or parents for years (as is the case with humans!). What are…

Curious facts about the rumen fluke Calicophoron daubneyi

Curious facts about the rumen fluke Calicophoron daubneyi Another week nearly over with a brilliant bank holiday weekend on the horizon (I know I have been very grateful for the glorious sun!). Well done if you are managing to work through the obstacles coming our way at the moment. Here at RRL we are still here, still open and still working to ensure that we are following all guidelines. We have fully incorporated the governments risk assessments for laboratories and research…

Milk and its many uses

Milk and its many uses An introduction to milk Years ago, a cow’s milk was produced for the sole purpose to be suckled by her calf. Utilisation of cow’s milk as a source of food was well developed by the 19th century with the dairy  being an important part of the farm, producing milk, cream, butter and cheese. A good example of a farm dairy can be seen at Acton Scott. Over time cattle have been selected for milk production or beef. Further…

An update on Ridgeway Science and more from Bridgit Muasa’s research in Africa…

An update on Ridgeway Science and more from Bridgit Muasa’s research in Africa…  Ridgeway Science Still Open for Business! We are experiencing unprecedented times at the moment but we would like to assure you that we have measures in place to ensure that there will be no interruption in our services. We continue to be able to send ELISA kits to meet your needs and receive any samples for in house testing. Over the past month we have shipped consignments…

Working through the COVID-19 chaos, we are still open for business.

Working through the COVID-19 chaos, we are still open for business. Ridgeway Research Ltd is operating as usual despite the constraints imposed by the UK’s lockdown response to Covid-19. Over the past month schedules have been rearranged, working patterns changed and up to half of the staff now work part or full time from home.  Parasitology Laboratory In the parasitology laboratory the introduction of social distancing coincided with a full schedule, which resulted in a very intense period of planning…

Consistency amidst change – digital communications and remote working have been thrust upon us; a step in the right direction towards the ‘modern’ workplace?

Consistency amidst change – digital communications and remote working have been thrust upon us; a step in the right direction towards the ‘modern’ workplace? A quick pick me up These photographs of newly turned out dairy cows cheered me last week – a sign of consistency amidst all of the abrupt change that we are encountering at present. I suspect that turnout is also a relief for farmers after a very wet winter with its extensive flooding in this part…

Calling all students; an insight into an industrial research placement and what the next academic year could bring..

Calling all students; an insight into an industrial research placement and what the next academic year could bring.. An article from our university placement student this year: “One of the many important reasons I applied for placements during my second year at Aberystwyth University was to gain a greater insight into research and the veterinary industry. Initially, I was unsure what my future career prospects would be after graduating as most students apply for jobs or graduate degrees, but I…

In the midst of a pandemic, spring has still sprung…

In the midst of a pandemic, spring has still sprung… What we are doing to combat this Pandemic and remain open? It is about ten days since we sent the following message to our customers: “The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) is creating uncertainty for everyone globally.  We are contacting you to keep you informed of steps that we have taken to ensure that Ridgeway can continue to deliver a high level of product and services directly to you.   Ridgeway will continue to…

Dictyocaulus filaria – A potential cause of coughing sheep

Dictyocaulus filaria – A potential cause of coughing sheep What is Dicytocaulus filaria? One or two sheep coughing in a flock – particularly a harsh dry cough – could be a sign of Dictyocaulus filaria infection. This is a “lungworm” with the adult worms that measure some 4 – 10cm in length – living in the bronchi and causing bronchitis. Unlike other lungworms in sheep, this lungworm has a direct life cycle with larvae passed in droppings developing into infective larvae on pasture. Other…

The shifting nature of veterinary pharmaceutical R&D delivery…a new niche opportunity

The shifting nature of veterinary pharmaceutical R&D delivery…a new niche opportunity Increasingly, large pharmaceutical companies are evolving their business strategies and are incorporating outsourcing of R&D as a norm. Traditionally, large pharma companies would operate in house R&D activities. Nowadays, a multifaceted approach exists for delivering new technologies incorporating in house R&D activities; use of contract research organisations (CROs); and utilising venture capital funded start-up companies. Why are veterinary pharmaceutical companies moving to favour outsourcing of R&D? Companies are moving…

International Women’s Day: Female African Dairy Farmers

International Women’s Day: Female African Dairy Farmers The numbers on a poster on the Health For Animal website marking International Women’s Day on the 8th March, caught my attention: two thirds of the 600 million poorest livestock keepers globally are women. 90% of the income they earn is ploughed back into their family or society. In East Africa, dairy is the biggest industry for female livestock keepers. This is a population of small holder farmers that produce milk for their family and…

Progesterone profiles in dairy cows: what can they tell us?

Progesterone profiles in dairy cows: what can they tell us? The previous article in this series from Ridgeway Science reviewed the dairy cow oestrus cycle and we’re following that with a more detailed look at the progesterone-dominated luteal phase of the cycle, reported by Blavy and colleagues in 2016. What is Progesterone? Progesterone is a steroid hormone and is produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary after ovulation. If a cow becomes pregnant, the corpus luteum will be maintained…

An overview of Calicophoron daubneyi (Rumen Fluke) life cycle; culturing rumen fluke at RRL

An overview of Calicophoron daubneyi (Rumen Fluke) life cycle; culturing rumen fluke at RRL. Calicophoron daubneyi (rumen fluke) Throughout the UK and Ireland the incidence of Calicophoron daubneyi (rumen fluke) infections in sheep, cattle, and goats has become an increasing problem. In some areas of the UK rumen fluke infections have even been found to outnumber that of Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) infections. Although these fluke share the same intermediate host (the mud snail Galba truncatula), a lot less is known about rumen fluke, however…

An Introduction to Capillariosis in chickens

A quick introduction to Capillaria and its effects in chickens.

What does oestrus detection have to do with economics and carbon footprints?

What does oestrus detection have to do with economics and carbon footprints? Oestrus detection Last week’s article identified the importance of accurately detecting oestrus so that time and money are not wasted unnecessarily. Wastage can occur on any scale. From the micro level – a straw will be wasted if a cow not in oestrus at AI, to the individual cow level where, for example, a cow is culled due to fertility issues related to failure to detect oestrus to…

Progesterone: how it can be used to predict fertility in cows

The Oestrous Cycle The cows reproductive cycle is termed the oestrous cycle and consists of several phases including a luteal phase (after ovulation the corpus luteum is formed) and a follicular phase (luteolysis and ovulation)1. A healthy cow typically has a cycle between 18-25 days long, during which the progesterone levels increase and decrease systematically. What Is Progesterone? Progesterone is a steroid hormone and is produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary after ovulation. If a cow falls pregnant,…

Liver Fluke: A further insight into it's effect on livestock.

Liver Fluke: A further insight into it’s effect on livestock. Liver fluke infections cost the UK farming industry an estimated £300 million per year, through animal death, or decreased productivity in chronically infected animals that may show no obvious signs of disease. At Ridgeway Research Ltd we are committed to animal welfare and aiding the scientific understanding of parasite life cycles and their control. At our laboratory we maintain the Liver Fluke life cycle, producing and supplying metacercariae to Universities…

What is Lungworm? A quick guide to lungworm in cats & dogs

What is Lungworm? A quick guide to lungworm in cats & dogs. Lungworm is a potentially fatal parasite which can infect cats and dogs and is increasingly causing disease within companion animals. This guide gives need-to-know information and tips and tricks on how to avoid your pet contracting lungworm and how to best tackle an infection. What is Lungworm? Lungworm affects both dogs and cats and is caused mainly by the worms Angiostrongylus vasorum or Crenosoma vulpis in dogs and…

Congratulations to Maggie Fisher

Congratulations to our Managing Director Maggie Fisher on becoming First Vice-President for the WAAVP (World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary

New offering!

This year Ridgeway Research Ltd [RRL] has added the chicken tapeworm, Raillietina cesticillus to its collection of life cycles that include liver and rumen fluke. Each life cycle enables

Business Innovations

Ridgeway is no stranger to R&D when it comes to drug innovation but what are the latest trends in farm business innovations..? Last week The Company attended the Farm Business

Chicken Parasites

This week in the lab we identified chicken lice (Menacanthus stramineus). Infections of lice can develop anytime of the year, however they are more common in Autumn

CSBSP8 & EVPC 2019: New trends – new challenges!

We are looking forward to attending the 8th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology (SBSP) and the Annual Meeting of the European Veterinary Parasitology College (EVPC) from October 10-11, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The programme is quite extensive, with a number of top parasitologists as key note speakers. Maggie [Managing Director of Ridgeway Research Ltd] would welcome the opportunity to meet both old faces and new, so please get in contact if attending to arrange to meet her there.

USA dairy cow

Contented dairy cow in Madison, Wisconsin, US. Has it used #P4Rapid ? If you are interested in P4Rapid and how it can help you, visit Maggie Fisher on the VRM stand No. 21 at the WAAVP 8th -11th July 2019.

Ridgeway Research Ltd is attending the WAAVP 2019

Maggie Fisher [Managing Director of Ridgeway Research Ltd] is looking forward to attending the WAAVP this year in Madison from the 8th -11th July 2019. The WAAVP is a great conference and we are all interested to see what developments have been made over the last few years. Maggie would welcome the opportunity to meet both old faces and new, so please look out for her on the VRM stand no. 21, which will have a display of the rumen…

Ridgeway is at Fieldays

Ridgeway Research Ltd is exhibiting at Fieldays, Hamilton, New Zealand until Friday this week. On the first day, Peter Holdsworth met the British Deputy High Commissioner, Helen Smith.

Come and meet us at Fieldays

Come and meet us at Fieldays in Hamilton, New Zealand 12 – 15 June 2019. Ridgeway Research Ltd can be found on the British High Commission Stand. We look forward to meeting you there!

Ridgeway offers its condolences to Peter Maitland’s family.

Ridgeway is sad to hear some news that one of its close associates has passed away recently. Peter has been linked with Ridgway for over 10 years and helped on a number projects, most recently as part of our QA team. He will be sorely missed.

Rabbit Fleas – a vector for Myxomatosis

Our Laboratory identified some rabbit fleas [Spilopsyllus cuniculi] this week. Rabbit fleas transmit Myxomatosis so just be vigilant and take care to keep pet rabbit runs away from wild rabbit colonies. Please get in touch if you have any parasite identification needs!

Congratulations to Bridgit Muasa!

Congratulations to Bridgit Muasa on winning the BSAS Industrial Competition in April! Bridgit examined the effect of the timing of P4Rapid use in relation to oestrus and return after AI. Click here Click here for more details.

Black flies attacking horses and donkeys

Keep an eye out for black flies (Simulium species) attacking horses and donkeys. The images show black flies collected on a cellotape strip taken from inside a donkey’s ear. The flies were blood sucking and causing dermatitis. If you have any parasites that need identifiying please contact us and we will be happy to asssit you.

Resistant Liver Fluke Strains Now Available.

New for 2019, Ridgeway Research are now offering three strains of Triclabendazole resistant Liver Fluke. The three strains from Kilmarnock, Stornoway and Penrith have been Fully Profiled and proven to be resistant to Triclabendazole. The strains were only isolated in 2017 and since then have been passaged twice in ovine. We have a limited quantity available so please, if you are interested please contact us soon as possible to avoid missing out.

London Vet Show

There is an opportunity to meet with Colin Capner of Ridgeway Research Ltd at the London Vet Show in London on the 15th or 16th November. Interested? Please send us an email or phone us.  

RRL PATH Uganda Trip 2018

With heavy eyes and very full suitcases we started off for Bristol airport in the early hours. After pretty much a full day of travelling, sleeping, and planning we finally arrived in Kampala, with our PATH associates. We travelled to the hotel and settled down for (what was left of) the night. The next day consisted of getting some local Ugandan shillings, going to a local market and purchasing some local clothes and gifts and a lengthy working lunch/planning session…

Liver Fluke update

Liver Fluke update With recent high rainfall to the West of Britain in 2017, there is a high risk of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) according to the National Animal Disease Information Service (http://www.nadis.org.uk/parasite-forecast.aspx). Colin Capner a recent addition to the staff at Ridgeway Research attended London Vet Show (LVS) during November where there were discussions on a wide variety of veterinary related topics including liver fluke control in sheep. As increasing numbers of vets and farmers experience concerns around possible…

WAAVP

WAAVP   Maggie Fisher attended the International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Parasitology held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As usual it was a memorable scientific experience and a great opportunity to meet old and new faces alike. If you want to contact Maggie and gain further insight into how Ridgeway Research Ltd can help your business please use the contact form in the ‘contacts us’ section.  

P4 Rapid at UK Dairy Day

P4 Rapid have a stand at the UK Dairy Day on the 13th September.   Come and meet the team on stand F32 and find out how P4 Rapid can help you. The fast, easy and accurate test for heat detection. They are also hosting a seminar entitled ‘What are the differences between heat detection methods?’ at The Sharing Knowledge Zone 1 at 12 noon presented by Maggie Fisher. Find out more about UK Dairy Day here

The rising threat of anthelmintic resistance

The rising threat of anthelmintic resistance An anthelmintic (or wormer) is a drug used to destroy parasitic worms. Anthelmintic resistance (AR) is when worms become able to tolerate an anthelmintic and so survive a dose of a drug that would previously have killed them. The resistant worms pass this ability on to their offspring. And as more and more of the resistant worms survive, the rate at which resistance develops increases. A significant global concern AR is a growing problem…

Our new Ridgeway Research website is live!

The new Ridgeway Research website is now live! Welcome to our new website. As with any project of this size it’s taken us a while to get here. Now we have though, we’re delighted we took the plunge and invested in the new site. We want to help you get the most from our services and expertise and the new site should help you do this. It features: Comprehensive information about what we do An introduction to who we are…

Top 10 Tips for an Effective Worming Strategy

Our top ten tips for an effective worming strategy Most animals need to be wormed at some point. And many of us assume our animal will be protected if we worm it every three months, using the same off-the-shelf treatment. However, if we want to protect our animals effectively, we should all develop a far more considered approach to how we worm them. As we understand more about the effect different worms can have, and how they are developing resistance…

Ridgeway Senior Manager honoured for services to veterinary science

Ridgeway Senior Manager honoured for services to veterinary science We’re delighted to share with you the news with you that one of our Senior Managers, Peter Holdsworth, was honoured in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List. Peter was awarded ‘Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)’ for his distinguished service to veterinary science, particularly to animal parasitology, pharmaceutical development and to professional scientific organizations. Peter holds a Doctor of Philosophy in parasitology from Queensland University in Australia and is a fellow…