Know Your Nutrition and Improve Health in the Transition Cow

Finbar Mulligan, an independent expert on dairy nutrition based at University College Dublin UCD, presented the third and final, free CPD webinar on ‘A Veterinary View of Cattle Nutrition’, on Tuesday 12th November. Nearly 700 vets registered for the series, organised by Elanco Animal Health. This last webinar was entitled Nutrition and Health in the Transition Cow: using nutrition to prevent disease and monitoring nutritional status.

As cattle practice turns its focus to herd health management, veterinarians ought to have the ability to assess the nutritional status of dairy cows at key points in the lactation cycle.  This can be done in association with the herd nutritionist and farmer.  As Finbar discussed during the webinar “Ultimately there is much to be gained by considering data on diet quality together with data on metabolic status, fertility outcomes and other health issues related to nutrition”  He also presented the herd monitoring strategies used by the Dairy Herd Health Group at University College Dublin to assess nutritional status.  By using these monitoring tools the veterinarian can play an important part in assessing the current diet offered for different groups of cows.  If nutritional status is suboptimal, the focus can then shift to making judgments on the nutritional control strategies that are used to prevent nutritionally related diseases and production problems and what alternative ones might be employed.

The previous webinar, ‘Teamwork for Transition’ was held on 8th October. The speaker was the widely experienced nutrition expert Hefin Richards, the Director of Profeed Nutrition Consultancy. Hefin gave an insightful and extremely useful talk on how teamwork between vets, farmers and nutritionists provides the best outcome for their clients. The roles of each team member often overlap but by following an inclusive team strategy, based on clear and frequent communication, herd problems can be solved more efficiently. To access recordings of the first two webinars in the series or to view at your own convenience, go to

For further information contact Elanco Animal Health, Lilly House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NL, Tel 01256 353131, Fax 01256 779510 Email