Facial Eczema dry count information

Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services 0 330

Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services Limited

FE Spore Counting Monitoring Service

Hi everyone,


The facial eczema season has come to an end.

We apologise for the lack of FE counts done in May – the weather just did not play ball and it was not dry enough to get counts down.

The local lab put out their last counts on 10th May and they were low, and these, along with the rain, and cooler nights we are confident the risk is over.


It was another testing season with clinical FE seen in pockets around the area, when counts were still reading low in some areas. This just reiterates that you can’t fully rely on our counts – they are their to give indication and guidance. To know what is happening on your place you really need to be get your own counts performed.


You may also see ongoing issues from here on especially over calving/lambing, as there will be animals with liver damage that haven’t shown clinical signs and they may not be able to cope with the metabolic changes and demands come spring time.


I would like thank Sian for carrying out the spore counts and Tracy for compiling and emailing out the data each week. A special thank you to the Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Trust for their continued sponsorship of this service, making in the information free and accessible to all our clients.



Kristina Dykes BVSc

Production Animal Veterinarian

Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services

06 3 222 333

Just a reminder:


Ø  These spore counts are intended to indicate spore count trends in the district generally

Ø  The counts are taken from a specific sampling area at each site, and they have been chosen to be as representative as possible of normal grazing i.e. they are not hot spots

Ø  The actual count and risk of facial eczema varies from paddock to paddock as well as from farm to farm, depending on location, weather, pasture species grazing history, shelter etc.

Ø  For information on specific localities spore counts would need to be carried out on those sites

Ø  These counts were obtained using a spore trap. Approximate spore levels are indicated on the graphs

Ø  These spore counts are dry counts which provide information on the potential for animals to be exposed to facial eczema i.e. it assesses the risk. The trigger level is 12,000. When spore counts reach this level, farmers are advised to take action if they haven’t already

Ø  Alternative counts that we can do at the clinic are wet counts (gives you an idea of the number of spores an animal is likely to ingest) and faecal spore counts (gives you an idea of what an animal has actually eaten). If you would like either of these done please ring us at the clinic for advice on how to collect samples

Ø  If you have any queries regarding the information contained please direct them to Kristina Dykes at (06) 3222 333



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