Unimix® is a product of research by the Mackinnon Project at the University of Melbourne's Veterinary Faculty. It helps prevent the occurrence of 'hypocalcaemia' (low blood calcium, or milk fever) in cows and sheep. It also prevents relapses in affected animals that have been treated with 'milk-fever' injections ('Calcigol' or '4-in-1').
Unimix® is supplied as powder in 5 kg bags. When mixed with water it makes an oral drench suspension. The product contains a balanced amount of calcium and magnesium salts, namely dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and magnesium oxide.
It is important that, when drenching affected animals, care is taken to avoid the suspension entering the animal's lungs.
DOSAGE: Mix 200 g (approx. 200 mL) in 500 mL water.
CATTLE - give 500 mL as a drench 1 day before calving, then every 12 hours for 1 or 2 days after calving.
SHEEP - give 50 mL as a drench when late pregnant ewes are yarded for shearing or crutching, especially ewes 4 years and older. These older ewes are more prone to developing hypocalcaemia.
Treatment may have to be repeated after 24 hours if relapses occur.
The Mackinnon Project is a wholesale distributor of Cowslips® in Australia.
Cowslips® are rubber orthopaedic shoes for the treatment of lameness in cattle. They are available through private veterinarians.
The Cowslip® is fitted to the healthy claw. This lifts the diseased claw off the ground, promoting more rapid healing and preventing production loss. Cowslips are most often used in dairy cattle, but are also effective in treating lameness in beef cows and bulls.
Lameness in cattle
Lameness in dairy cattle causes considerable economic loss and is a significant animal welfare problem. Most lameness in cattle is due to lesions in the feet, usually involving only one claw. Elevating the affected claw means that it no longer bears any weight - this quickly relieves the pain and production loss associated with lameness.
Often more than 10% of dairy cattle can be affected by claw lesions and lameness. A range of factors contribute to this condition, including the construction of farm tracks (sharp gravel or mud) and the structure of the hoof.
When used in the early stages of lameness, Cowslips® allow cows to quickly re-join the herd and resume milking. This eliminates the need for expensive antibiotic treatments and the accompanying milk with-holding periods.
Cowslips® are supplied with a 2-stage glue and are quick and easy to apply, taking an average of 9 minutes. They are far more effective than alternative products, such as wooden blocks. Cowslips® are available in three sizes - Original (suit smaller cattle, such as Jersey's), Cowslips Plus® (for larger Holsteins) and Cowslips XL® (for large beef breeds).