BVA calls for early intervention in animal health issues

A survey has revealed that musculoskeletal conditions, infertility and mastitis are the most common reasons for vets to be called out to farms, and The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging farmers to work with them to prevent the health concerns.

The association has asked farmers to seek early treatment for the conditions since the BVA Voice of the veterinary profession survey panel also showed that over 85% of production animal vets have clients who present animals later than they should.

BVA president-elect and vet John Blackwell said: “Given the number of animals with musculoskeletal problems I see in my own practice, I’m not surprised to hear how common they are. I’d strongly encourage farmers to work on prevention rather than cure by engaging with their vets early, and developing thorough dynamic herd health planning.

“Early intervention is key, with all of the most common health conditions identified by the survey, so it would be great to see more monitoring, measuring and adapting to improve welfare.”

As well as late consultation, another reported problem was owners attempting to treat or medicate animals themselves, often using online information. The BVA said that, in the survey, 90% of production animal vets believed clients’ behaviour was influenced by what they found online and 40% said the information was more unhelpful than helpful.

Blackwell added: “It worries me to hear that people are relying on guesswork or unverified internet sources for health advice for their animals. While there is some useful information available online the best source of information for animal health concerns will always be your vet.”

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