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Cattle and Herd Health

Facts, helpful tips and information for all things cattle, directly from the team at South East Country Vets. Please click on the headings to download the PDF.

BEF (3 day sickness)

Bovine Ephemeral Fever (BEF) is a viral disease of cattle and buffalo. Typically, affected animals are only unwell for a few days hence it’s more common name, three-day sickness. After significant falls of rain, we often see an increase in cases of BEF in the area. This is due to a sudden rise in numbers of biting insects such as buffalo fly, midges & mosquitoes that carry the virus. Find out everything you need to know!

Bull Breeding Soundness Examinations

A VBBSE gives an indication of potential breeding value which can assist both breeders and buyers. It allows you to identify bulls which have passed the required examination and most importantly, those that are unsatisfactory. Regardless of perceived genetic merit, if a bull is not sound both functionally and reproductively, it will not contribute to your herd’s productivity.

Lantana Poisoning

All variants of lantana are thought to be toxic with the red-flowered forms most toxic to stock. Most cases of lantana poisoning occur when animals are introduced to an area where toxic forms of lantana grows or during droughts when other feed sources are scarce.

Milk Fever

Milk fever is a condition caused by low blood calcium levels (hypocalcaemia) in cows. During the final months of pregnancy and early lactation, there is a considerable drain on a cow’s blood calcium levels to supply the developing calf and to build up milk for lactation. If this drain occurs too quickly, the amount of calcium in the blood may fall below optimal levels resulting in milk fever.


Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV), also commonly known as Bovine Pestivirus is recognised as one of the most economically significant diseases in the Australian beef and dairy industries. BVDV is a virus that causes a variety of clinical syndromes, with reproductive disease being the most significant. The virus has existed in Australia for over 40 years and research has found that 90% of all cattle herds have evidence of Pestivirus infection.

Pinkeye/ Blight

Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis, commonly known as pinkeye or blight, is an infectious disease of cattle that occurs throughout Australia. It is a painful, debilitating condition that can severely affect animal productivity. Most cattle producers are familiar with pinkeye but may not know the best way to prevent spread or treat cases within their herd.


In any beef or dairy cattle enterprise, the continual identification of unproductive stock is essential to ensure ongoing herd productivity. One way to make
sure you are keeping only reproductively sound animals in your herd is to implement annual pregnancy testing.

Tick Fever

Tick fever, commonly called ‘red water’, is a disease of cattle caused by blood parasites that are spread by cattle ticks. Tick fever kills cattle and can be very costly to your business when an outbreak occurs. Find out everything you need to know!

What does a top 20% beef business look like?

what makes a profitable beef business. We are passionate about making beef production sustainable in this district. To do this, we all need to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Most importantly, we need to understand what makes the most profitable beef producers in Queensland successful, so that we can focus on applying these principles in our own enterprises.


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