Saturday, April 25, 2009

healthy animals = healthy people

Now here's something I've told many of the dairy and beef clients here for years...

"Veterinarians and livestock farmers: a winning partnership"

That's the theme of this year's World Veterinary Day, which is today and celebrated the last Saturday of April each year.

Some more information from the British Veterinary Association is shown here

The pictured scene? Not the Jersey shore! - it's farmers in The Gambia herding some of their cattle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

vaccines and beer!

I just read this article in Beef Magazine(written by Clint Peck, Director, Beef Quality Assurance, Montana State University)and he highlights many of the concerns i've spoken to producers about regarding vaccine use and handling, as well as providing a particularly apt analogy. Treat your vaccines like beer!

1. storage and handling is essential - improperly handled vaccine might look good in the bottle, but be worthless in protecting your cows.

2. vaccines are fragile - they must be kept chilled in a proper cooler, but never frozen. if doing large groups, mix/rehydrate vaccines as you go, but not all at once - as the article states, is every beer opened at the beginning and set on the fence or tailgate to be used a few hours later warm and flat? With any vaccine that is re-mixed, there are modified-live components in them that need to be in the cow - not out in the sun, and not warming up over several hours.

3. likewise with a partially open vial of vaccine/can of beer - don't save it till the next day. chuck it in the bin - the few dollars lost not saving it is trivial compared to the animals left unprotected because they were vaccinated with a vaccine worthless because of mis-handling.

4. important point about syringes and needles - they do cite washing syringes, which is more typical in larger feedlot operations. here, the best advice is using disposables and changing needles. they too are cheap compared with spreading disease cow to cow and/or vaccine inactivation due to presence of soap/disinfectant on the needles and syringe.

to quote the article, "if you don't do it to your beer, don't do it to your vaccine".

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

test, don't guess

many mastitis cases, especially chronic ones, would benefit from being diagnosed - you may find something that is a surprise and that will result in a different treatment or different management to eliminate future cases.

some cases that 'look' like a coliform can be staph aureus; definitely a case where the cow should be managed differently to prevent further infection to the herd. other times what looks like a typical coliform isn't e.coli - a recent case seen in an on-again/off-again mastitis cow showed a klebsiella when i cultured her here. that is a very tough organism to cure and her quarter was dried up.

preliminary results can be seen as soon as 18-24 hours for some cases, so if you have an increase in mastitis cases, or increasing SCC, save samples aseptically and freeze or call and arrange to get them here so they can be plated right away and you can find out what is the cause instead of guessing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

norz-hill sale

on a gorgeous spring day, the norz-hill dairy sold their milking holsteins, having a very strong sale, averaging close to $1,700, with cows selling to 11 states and canada.

news coverage included video from channel 4 new york and new jersey network, plus this photo gallery from the courier-news

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic