Friday, November 16, 2012

'Tis the season - treat for lice

late winter hair loss due to lice
Now is the season in late autumn to treat cattle for lice, before further buildup occurs - this will prevent the clinical cases we're used to seeing in mid-late winter as cattle rub off hair. The denser winter coat and cooler favors survival of lice. The period from Halloween to Thanksgiving is an ideal time to treat.

Two types of lice occur in cattle, biting and sucking. Normal treatments are pour-on products(like Synergized De-Lice, pour-on avermectins, like Ivomec, Dectomax, or Cydectin). The pour-on avermectins also have the advantage of controlling internal parasites at the same time, also a good time of year to ensure no carry-over of worms picked up during the grazing season. If you are using Safeguard or Valbazen to deworm your herd in fall, consider also using a pour on like De-Lice or UltraBoss. One note - some of the pour-on avermectins will control just sucking lice, not biting lice. Check your labels and use as appropriate.

Treatment prevents the damaged coats, and hides of the animals. Additionally there is often damage on farms  of fencing or other items from the rubbing that is done. Once treatment is done, have a look in several week or at next herd visit to see the degree of infestation that is remaining, if any.  A secondary treatment may be necessary, but no adult live lice should be found at that time after initial treatment.

Have a good Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cystorelin GnRH label change

Merial has announced that the conditions for storing Cystorelin/GnRH have been changed and the label updated.

It now can be stored at room temperature - and doesn't have to be refrigerated. (this is something that has been mentioned unofficially in the past from company tech people, but now glad to see it approved and on the label.). What conditions?

Room temperature(77F or below)is fine - brief exposures to 86F are okay too. If it's opened, and unused after 6 months, discard the bottle.

This is an important point and a good time to reinforce something mentioned often in proper use of GnRH. It is a polypeptide - like a small protein chain and can easily be damaged by contaminating bacteria. That's food for them. Get a contaminated vial and then you end up injecting pieces of GnRH with no activity. When you inject Cystorelin, always and only use a new needle to pull from the vial. If you have a partial vial left, before taking a dose from bottle, wipe the top with an alcohol swab and give it 30 seconds. You don't want to waste the drug and especially waste the effort of getting a response from your cow on an OvSynch or other program. I've recently swabbed some tops of medicine vials on cattle farm medicine cabinets and the growth on a normal blood agar plate is eye-opening.

So this goes for all medicine on the farm. Keep in a clean spot, new needles and swab the tops in certain cases. The advantage on this label change for Cystorelin is easy shipping over the weekend without ice packs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

less stress vaccination

Last weekend at the Beef Field Day at Riverbend, one of the topics in the herd health talk was proper immunization of calves prior to weaning.

With weaning time getting close, now is the time to work those calves to give them the best advantage and protection, not only for immediate post-weaning time, but for their entire productive life.

The importance of an initial modified-live vaccine(such as BoviShield Gold 4L5), particularly with regards to BVD, can't be overstated. It provides them with superior immunity to just killed and allows formation of immune components that give them the ability to maintain protection later in life with just one BVD booster per year. The nice thing about MLV too is lower volume, easy to give, costs less and does more! That's a good(and rare)combo.

Most importantly, by giving this vaccine pre-weaning, you're giving it the best chance to work(to effect immunization, not just vaccination)by keeping the stress low. Calves go back to the dams, familiar environment, then in 3-4 weeks when actually weaned, they have added protection on board already.

Questions about when and how to time this, combinations that work best in your particular herd, just ask at next herd visit or call/email anytime. Happy and healthy weaning!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NJ Beef Field Day at Riverbend Farm

This Saturday the 8th, come to Riverbend Farm in Far Hills for a beef field day - Corne has lined up, along with the NJ Angus Association, NJ Beef Council and Rutgers Cooperative Extension a great day starting with informative programs, a light lunch at the farm, and tours afterwards. Programs will cover areas such as Beef Quality Assurance and carcass issues, heat synch/AI topics, current health programs for small and larger beef herds and calving/difficult calving-dystocia topics.

Give a call to 908-788-1338 with who is coming or email Hunterdon Ag Agent Bob Mickel at so they can have a lunch count. Or feel free to to give me a call or email(or text!)here and i'll line you up for the day.

Looks like good weather that morning, so take a drive and stop over for a fun and learning Saturday. And see some really good Angus cattle and see fellow beef breeders. They're at 25 Branch Road in Far Hills.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Madness time is back at UPenn New Bolton

(this is an updated version from past years - it is an annual event worth taking advantage of if needed)

The Annual Food Animal Rotation at New Bolton Center offers good discounts for bovine/small ruminant surgery and medical cases referred in to Penn for treatment in the next several weeks. Not only a good savings for you, but helps out students to see 'normal' cases that they will be encountering in practice. (I know this as a member of the original March Madness crew in 1989). Have a calf with a hernia? Great time to have her repaired. 

There is a continuing 'twist' this year - the first 8 LDA's of each 2 week rotation will be done for free, and for other cases they will pretty much offer a free evaluation and depending on the nature of the problem, can discuss cost of treatment and discounting.  

It starts tomorrow Monday, February 25th and goes for 4 weeks through March 24th. Take advantage of the expertise at Penn Vet, save some money and help your cattle, sheep, and goats, not to mention future livestock veterinarians. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

lambing and kidding time

a important consideration for ewes and does that are approaching delivery in the next month or two is boosting their immunity to clostridial diseases, the enterotoxemias C&D. these diseases can cause sickness and death in lambs, often the best growing ones. CD, or usually, CD/T vaccines, confer immunity to these along with tetanus protection. they are the basis of small ruminant vaccination protocols and the one that is universally recommended.

twice yearly is the typical timing for adults, but the point now is to vaccinate ahead of delivery so that colostrum quality is improved with a higher level of antibodies, providing the the lambs/kids with early protection. If they've been done before, one vaccination before delivery to boost is sufficient, but if it's their first time, two injections are needed, as with most vaccines. And in these younger animals, often their colostral quality isn't as great as an older ewe/doe, so this helps their offspring even more.

march and april will be here quickly - plan on this to help your spring kids and lambs - and ask me on the next visit to your farm, or call,  if you have questions on timing and the products best suited for your flock.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

what a cow!

from Bovine Veterinarian:
by Geni Wren, Bovine Veterinarian Magazine | January 09, 2012

Mid-Valley Veterinary Hospital's Michael Karle, DVM, sent me an email last week about one of his Orland, Calif. dairies that experienced a quadruplet heifer birth.

Karle says that Zuppan Dairy owner John Zuppan had a cow that gave birth to live heifer quadruplets. The 4-year old cow had quadruplets on Dec. 6, 2011. All four heifer calves were born alive, healthy and at term without assistance.

"This is the cow's third time calving- the first two times she had single calves," Karle says. "The cow did not have any hormones before or after getting pregnant, and was artificially inseminated with non-sexed semen from a natural heat."

Karle explains that she likely released three oocytes from her ovaries which were fertilized, one of which then split, producing two calves out of the four which are identical genetically. Hair samples were taken from the cow and all four calves and sent to the Veterinary Genetics Lab at UC Davis and were confirmed to be all related.
Karle did the math and says odds of quadruplets in cattle are 1:700,000 (Veterinary Obstetrics and Genital Diseases, Roberts 1971 p. 84). The odds of quadruplets all born alive are 1:11.2 million, and the odds of quadruplets all alive, all one sex, are 1:179.2 million.

I chalk it up to the dairy having some great veterinarians!

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