Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Giving your cows aspirin for pain relief? some new research from Kansas State University shows that it because it has a half-life of 30 minutes, it must be dosed at least twice a day, if not more frequently. Another fact was that oral aspirin showed a very poor bioavailability to the cow - only 30% was available to be absorbed.
As an example, pain-relief/analgesia for dehorning. All calves should be nerve blocked(lidocaine injected around the cornual nerve)which is a simple method of lowering the stress and pain of hot-iron dehorning. Lidocaine is not long-lasting though and consideration should be given for a longer lasting analgesia - prescribed use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as flunixin(given IV)can provide a continued relief to the calf at this time, lowering stress and helping them recover more quickly. Aspirin in these situations is likely not the most appropriate medication to give an animal to provide more long-lasting pain relief. And if you're not using a cornual nerve block for dehorning your calves - you should! Just ask, and at the next farm visit, it can be demonstrated and put into use for your animals.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
what do cows see? almost everything; nearly a 360 degree view around them when their heads are lowered and grazing because of the placement of their eyes on the sides of their head and the horizontal pupils. that kind of wide view is a huge advantage to prey animals like sheep and cattle but something to keep in mind is that they don't have much depth perception and have week eye muscles, keeping them from focusing quickly. ever wonder why when driving a tractor in the field a cow might not move nearly until the tire touches her? she may not know if you are 5 feet or 30 feet away, even though it happens nearly daily. watch them to see what they do - raising the head up and down is their attempt to focus and gain information on how close something is to them. realizing how they see the world can help with handling - the poor depth perception can make even a shadow on the ground look like deep hole and thus the cows balk at crossing it(or finally decide to leap over it, as many holsteins do over the gutter). when handling cattle remember they don't like being approached in a straight line, and especially if you are directly behind them; the opposite of what you want will happen as they will turn and face you. approach from the sides and let them see you there - also by keeping moving instead of being completely still this reassures the animal that you are not a predator and that you want to see and be identified. and don't forget the blind spot right behind the cow - walking up directly behind a cow, especially a kicker, without letting her know you're there will be a good way try and not get hurt.