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Poulton cares for cattle

GOOD nursing and quality care from farmers can get downer cows back on their feet.
Treating downer cows can be a complex process, but Doctor Phil Poulton PhD of the Tarwin Vet Group has been collating information to help farmers achieve desirable
outcomes.
After 35 years at Tarwin Vet Group specialising in cattle, Phil has spent the past five years working part time for his PhD with Melbourne University and Dairy Australia.
The qualification allows him to specialise in the treatment and management of downer cows to ensure all animal welfare requirements are met in the South Gippsland area.
Generally, the term ‘downer cow’ is used for cows that are in the later stages of pregnancy or have recently calved; however, Phil said cows can go down for a number of reasons.
“Some can be treated and make a full recovery quickly, but others can be down for a prolonged period of time which can cause problems,” Phil said.
Downer cows may be susceptible to secondary damage including skinniness and bed sores.
“I encourage farmers to have a small dedicated area for cows during nursing, with soft, deep bedding and a barrier to keep the confined. Soft surfaces will help ease pressure and reduce secondary damage,” Phil said.
“If a cow is nursed well, they are eight times more likely to recover, which is a significant difference.”
Phil started the project in 2011 and finished in November last year, with his graduation held on March 18.
During 2011 and 2012, Phil took three months off work to look at down cows in South Gippsland and helped farmers administer the appropriate care.
“Around 90 farmers were involved across South Gippsland and it gave us the opportunity to come up with better ways to manage down cows. We are currently putting the findings on the Dairy Australia website,” he said.
Phil has lectured at Melbourne University many times, and was selected for the research project by Dairy Australia.
“I learned a lot. I’ve been lecturing for the vet faculty for more than 10 years, so I am an expert in the field, but over the last five years I learned a lot more,” he said.
He has also taken his expertise internationally, speaking at seminars in Scandinavia and Denmark. He will speak at a farm seminar in New Zealand this year in May and at the World Cattle Vets Conference in Ireland in July.

Congratulations: Tarwin Vet Group’s Doctor Phil Poulton PhD at his graduation on March 18. He is pictured with Melbourne University’s vet faculty associate professor Michael Pyman, formerly of the Korumburra Vet Group.

Congratulations: Tarwin Vet Group’s Doctor Phil Poulton PhD at his graduation on March 18. He is pictured with Melbourne University’s vet faculty associate professor Michael Pyman, formerly of the Korumburra Vet Group.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=18030

Posted by on Mar 30 2016. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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