New Year: New Facial Eczema season. Are you prepared?

New Year: New Facial Eczema season. Are you prepared?
By Julia Baynes, Veterinarian, Anexa Vet Services

From January onwards, warm and moist weather conditions enable a toxic fungus, Pithomyces chartarum, to multiply to dangerous levels on pasture. Spores from this fungus are eaten by grazing livestock; namely cattle, sheep, goats, deer, llamas and alpacas, causing liver damage. These animals can end up with painful peeling areas of skin (like sunburn), because the damaged liver leaves toxins under the skin that react to UV light. Ouch!

However, the majority of animals affected by facial eczema suffer in silence. For every animal that has obvious facial eczema symptoms, it is estimated that another 10 animals in the same mob have liver damage, but no obvious visible signs.

There is no cure for the liver damage done by facial eczema. It has significant negative effects on the animal’s welfare, and impacts on their growth, milk production, and fertility. Over time, affected animals can end up in liver failure.

You can protect your animals from this damaging disease by supplementing them with zinc before the toxic fungus levels increase. Zinc prevents the toxic fungus from damaging the liver.

The most reliable form of zinc supplementation is via a long-acting bolus – this is given orally via an applicator and sits in the animal’s stomach, releasing a controlled amount of zinc each day. This treatment can give an individual animal up to 6 weeks’ protection, and can be ‘topped’ up with another bolus at the end of this period for extended protection.

Our large animal technicians and veterinarians are trained to administer these boluses safely and efficiently, to ensure your animals receive the best protection for the facial eczema season.

To find out more about zinc bolusing for your animals, or for information on zinc supplementation options, please contact your local Anexa clinic on 0800 284 3838 or visit .

Date Added: Friday, 13th December 2019