Brookfield's coughing calves raised the fear of viral pneumonia. As vet Oli Hodgkinson writes, this can be a serious worry for livestock farmers.

Pneumonia is estimated to cost the UK cattle industry around £60 million yearly. Affected cattle will show varying degrees of symptoms depending on the severity of the illness. Some will simply have a cough, but as the disease progresses the animals have pus running down their nose and breathing becomes more laboured. Eventually they stop eating, collapse and if left untreated will die.

The majority of outbreaks occur within one month of being housed for winter. This is because it is a very stressful time for cattle. They go from being out in a field to being under one roof with lots of other cattle, often with a mixing of age groups. As in any disease situation the younger animals have a poorer immune system than the older animals and so they are more prone to illness.

There are three common causes of viral pneumonia but none of these will infect humans.

Control of the disease is best achieved by attention to general husbandry:

  • Ventilation of buildings should be improved, allowing the muggy infected air to escape being replaced by clean fresh air.
  • There are many vaccines which can be administered which will help prevent pneumonia. These should be administered prior to a stressful period such as housing or weaning.
  • Reducing the amount of cattle under the same roof will help minimise disease.
  • Keeping the younger animals away from the adults.
  • Keeping the bedding clean and dry will reduce the amount of moisture in the air and so reduce pneumonia.

Pneumonia is treated by a variety of antibiotics as well as pain killers. If left too long then there is damage to the lungs and the animal will not recover 100% and always have stunted growth. As vets we point out to the farmer that prevention is better than cure.

Oli Hodgkinson BVSc, Cert SH&P, MRCVS works at Trefaldwyn Vets, Montgomery, Powys.

  • Pictures, provided by Trefaldwyn Vets, show a bullock with pus coming from the nose, and overstocking in a cattle shed.

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by I_never_write

    on 1 Feb 2011 15:38

    Hi Keri

    I'm afraid that you may regard this as off topic, but I see it's been mentioned to above on this page and as there isn't anywhere else that I can find to post about general Blog matters, or to contact you as manager of it, can you please explain why the post 'The Archers Editor on the 60th Anniversary' listing at the bottom of the page clearly stated that there were 887 comments and those of us commenting regularly know that to be true - yet (depending on how you approach it) there are either only 601 - as on the page immediately above the box as I wrote to query the gap, or only 101 on the first page, if you come into it awares.

    What was even odder was that when I posted this question over there just now it came up briefly as No 888, and then disappeared seconds later.... and when I immediately queried that in a comment the same thing happened ..... although the count at the bottom of the page now says 889.

    Are the missing comments going to be re-instated please, or have they been deleted?

    Thank you

    PS I've posted this on the Quarter Peel post as well, which was an error, rather than overkill. Sorry.

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by Kaiho

    on 1 Feb 2011 15:33

    Further to my comment @16
    VW's blog is displaying 100 comments per page: 1-101 on p1, and 501-601 on page 2. Not sure where everything else has disappeard to. Some blunder perhaps on trying to switch over from 500 to 100 comments per page? 'Next' doesn't appear to be working.

    With many apologies for intruding on this page etc etc... Please can we have our comments back.

    Thanks.

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by Kaiho

    on 1 Feb 2011 14:04

    @14,15
    Yes. First VW's blog claimed the site was too busy to display any comments at all, then only the first 601, and now only 101 even though it claims page 2 is still there...
    What is going on?
    All very weird!

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by Sarah Rundle

    on 1 Feb 2011 13:48

    Waltersdaughter - I can't get beyond comment 101! Click on next and go back to the beginning!

    My apologies too for intruding on this blog but something odd is happening on the other one ...............

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by Waltersdaughter

    on 1 Feb 2011 13:43

    Forgive the intrusion on this topic, but since it's at the top of the blog-roll (Oo - I like that term!), I thought I would try and get some help here, as to why comments 602 - 887 on Vanessa Whitburn's spot on the 60th Anniversary have disappeared. I have placed two comments, which went up temporarily and then vanished into thin air! Can anyone explain, please?

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by kitty buttoon

    on 31 Jan 2011 17:39

    Keri, I complained about the quality of the programme, here and elsewhere.

    I'm not 'grief stricken' about Nigel's death, but am just disappointed that the multitude of posts about the quality of the finished product have been ignored/misreprented as being from 'heartbroken' Nigel fans!

    No mistakes have been admitted by your team, and therefore no corrective action is going to happen - so why should we bother to carry on listening?

    In case I am accused of being off-topic, here is an example, related to the calves:

    The reference to 'baby calves' by Eddie Grundy is an example of one of the things which make the script so unconvincing. Why on Earth would Eddie use nursery language like this to describe the beasts?



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  • Comment number 12. Posted by rumble

    on 31 Jan 2011 17:31

    Hear hear...or even here here marthawood4d! Keri, I'd like to add that I find your comment pretty patronising, especially since the very few answers we've had to any questions about the 60th anniversary and its ramifications have side-stepped the real issues. And that's on the rare occasions when there's even been an answer.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by kitcurtis

    on 31 Jan 2011 16:20

    This might be all terribly interesting IF I WAS STILL LISTENING TO THE ARCHERS!!!!!

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by marthawood4d

    on 31 Jan 2011 15:52

    Keri

    It's good of you to explain the reason for your absence from the Blog last week.

    You refer to off-topic comments and the opportunity to comment on other blog items and on the website. I think that you will find that everyone who has posted here has posted in those places as well and it is the inability to raise any response from either you or Ms Whitburn which has led people to post on this topic.

    You say that you will return to the issues addressed in this topic when you can. Does this mean that you have no intention of returning to the issues raised countless times on the Message Board and in Ms Whitburn's blog regarding the 60th Anniversary Celebrations?

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Keri Davies

    on 31 Jan 2011 14:03

    Thank you for your comments on this post, but several are off-topic. If you have comments about other storylines, there are plenty of other relevant posts that you can append them to. Or you could contribute to the message board, where users are welcome to start threads on any topic of their choice within the house rules).

    I was on leave last week, and have come straight back into a full day script meeting, so I'm trying to catch up in my lunch break from that. I'll return to address the issues raised on this topic when I can, so I hope you'll bear with me.

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