165 Alabama Road, Blenheim

Phone: 578 6965  Fax: 578 6960

Email: clinic@vetsoa.co.nz

Mon - Fri  8.00am till 5.30pm

Sat            9.00am till 1.00pm

Sun           9.00am till 1.00pm


EMERGENCY 24 hrs 7 days

SPORE COUNTS - Facial Eczema


While counts still are low in some areas we had a massive 120000 count around Havelock today. This confirms how unpredictable the disease is and that counts are likely to be rising in general. The national survey indicates the rest of Tasman is high risk now.Historically April is the worst month. Continue zinc dosing-go to full dose Canvastown/Havelock and consider young stock bolus options. More monitoring next week.


Latest counts shown below:

Rai 10000

Linkwater 10000

Canvastown 50000


So a high challenge in Canvastown and low moderate challenge in Rai and Linkwater. Remember prolonged exposure to low counts can cause problems so continue with zinc in lower risk areas. Full dose zinc in Canvastown.



Counts haven’t moved much this week despite last weeks rain. The odd cow is showing signs of photosensitisation and this may be due to brassica toxicity or isolated FE from grazing high risk areas such as shaded areas/high litter areas etc. Either way there doesn’t seem to be a general high risk at the moment but as ever this can change and the monitoring is a guideline only so the advice remains to half dose zinc.

Rai -5000




This weeks samples were from Canvastown and Rai Valley. Both showed low/moderate spore counts at 10 and 150000 spores/g respectively. 20000 is considered the ‘action threshold’. We did not see this early rise last year in February so it may be we are in for higher counts to come-we will do some samples next week. Advice is continue half dose zinc and if counts continue to rise go to full dose and consider bolus of young stock and sheep-talk to us about this.


No spores seen again this week from the sampling sites tested. The advice remains to keep zinc going in at a low dose as we are now entering the period of greater risk and may see some spores at the next sampling. We are seeing some brassica toxicity at the moment which is another cause of photosensitisation, associated with turnip feeding causing symptoms which can be similar to FE.


Our first pasture spore counts at Rai Valley Linkwater and Canvastown were zero at each location. We will repeat counts in 2 weeks.

Please be aware that this service is only a guide to risk in the district and more accurate information may be gained by pasture or blood samples from your own farm.  Advice at the moment is to put 7-10g zinc monohydrate/cow/day depending on breed in to water via dosatron or Pieter dispensers. This is a low level of protection and should get the cows used to drinking some zinc.

If you have any questions, please give us a call on 03 5786965.


Faecal spore counts have remained low again at all three sites this week in Rai, Canvastown and Linkwater. However we have had some reports of small pockets of disease. Some sheep have been affected in Rai and cattle in Canvastown and Koromiko.

If you remember counts did approach ‘moderate’ levels in Mid March (see FE Update 9 March) so we may be seeing the downstream effects of this. It shows the importance of using zinc as counts rise as advised. The disease is unpredictable and often occurs in pockets.

Current advice is to continue to use zinc until the end of April as we are still in a risk period.

Click the link below for the latest data.

Spore Counts as of 28/1/16

Spore Counts as of 9/3/16