Saturday, February 28, 2009

by the nose

using an intranasal vaccine can help provide effective immunity at the spot where it is estimated 95% of infections enter the body - a new vaccine called Onset allows vaccination for IBR/PI3/BRSV/BVD without an injection and sidesteps the problem of 'maternal antibody interference'(protection passed to the calf from the dam’s milk that can prevent an immune response to vaccination) because of the vaccination site of the nasal mucosa.

i like the idea of this approach and the newer research showing that even calves right at birth have a fully competent immune system ready without worrying about the colostral antibodies will be very useful in helping calves get off to an even better start.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

milk ads

not a 'got milk' ad but one of a nice series of ads from the Swiss Milk Producers

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

treat her nice and pack her with ice

sometimes after a difficult calving it can be a great help to the cow to take a rectal sleeve of ice (or snow if it's around)and lube that up and insert gently into the vagina; it seems really big, but she probably just had a 100lb calf come out the other way with difficulty. one thing they need though to do this properly is an epidural - it numbs that area and can also be a help in preventing the straining that comes along with a lacerated birth canal. once the bag of ice is in, i lean a bale of hay against the vulva to help keep it in and usually tie a bale string around the sleeve to make sure it doesn't go to far inward. the ice can help with some of the inflammation that is present and may go aways towards alleviating some of the complications of a difficult birth, including nerve paralysis.

Friday, February 13, 2009

goat fencing

advice heard from a goat farmer on how to make the perfect goat fence: to check that fence is okay for goats, fill pasture with water, if fence holds water, it will hold goats

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

warts and all

it's a long time till show season, but a good time to start planning how to avoid the usual warts and ringworm that crop up 1 week before the show. in particular, avoiding warts, which are caused by a virus, can be done with help from wart vaccine. the vaccine is not really good at reducing existing lesions, but it can help with prevention and by giving it now, you build up that immunity to keep warts away in july-august. the vaccine can cause some lumps and bumps in some animals, so give it low and on the left side, usually behind the shoulder. and as with any vaccine, see that you have a current vial of epinephrine ready to go if there is a reaction.

ringworm is another story - long-lasting lesion and also persists in the environment. one dairyman had an interesting suggestion on how he kept it away at show time. in february or march, he put any show heifers in with a ringworm animal, if there was one; they likely would get ringworm, but be done with it by april or certainly may. do use caution cleaning up ringworm lesions as they can spread to humans - i've had it 3-4 times - the immunity seems to last 3-4 years and then it crops up again. treatment is usually topical and should be encouraged to keep the environmental exposure down - it will stay in wood pens much longer than those with concrete/steel construction.

good luck! with these and the shows!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

calving calls

the first entry on this page is being made right after cleaning up from a difficult calving - oversize calf, small heifer, head turned back around and not much room to work. sometimes the best calls on calving are when to stop pulling and get a different approach or call for help. i do the same thing on very difficult cases that merit referral to New Bolton Center. if no progress is being made after 30-40 minutes of labor, call for assistance so that the uterus and cervix don't start closing down.

and don't forget the lube! I used to use J-Lube for most cases because it worked so well - but it is well documented now that if some of that gets into the abdomen(as with a c-section or a uterine puncture)it will very likely cause a severe case of peritonitis that often is fatal.

stick with the usual AI lubes, keep a gallon on hand and in a pinch, use Crisco - it is actually a very good lube for calvings, especially breech births that are more difficult. this small extra effort helps get the calf out and may prevent or lessen the damage to the birth canal, keeping post-calving infections to a minimum.