Fluids for IV Use

In the age of residue avoidance, it is extremely important to monitor everything that goes into your calves and cows. Reading the labels on products should become standard procedure, even if you have been using the product for years and feel it is perfectly safe. A great example to look at is fluids. Some fluids are not labeled for intravenous (IV) use and must be extralabeled by a veterinarian. ”

To help solve this issue, ANIMART recently started private labeling fluids including Calcium Gluconate, Dextrose 50%, Hypertonic Saline Solution (Rx.) and Lactated Ringer’s (Rx.). All of these fluids are labeled as appropriate for IV use. Labeling our own fluids not only makes it easier for you to order, it also helps keep the product in-stock so it is always on-hand.

For more information, please call 855.226.9260 or visit animart.com/fluids

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Potassium Deficiency

What’s the issue?

  • Potassium is a confusing mineral in regard to dairy cow requirements: during the dry period, dietary potassium needs to be restricted in order to reduce hypocalcemia risk post-calving, but during early lactation cows need to consume fairly large amounts of this mineral.
  • During early lactation, especially during periods of heat stress, potassium needs to be supplemented in the ration in excess of current NRC (National Research Council) recommendations (currently set at 1.0% of ration dry matter).

What’s the impact?

  • Cows that are potassium deficient during early lactation can experience an increased incidence of rumen acidosis, displaced abomasum, and in severe cases, become recumbent and experience muscle damage.
  • Milk production can be reduced if cows are not provided enough potassium in their rations, especially during periods of heat stress.

Your Solution:

  • Feed a fresh cow ration containing at least 1.7% of ration dry matter as potassium and consider increasing lactating cow ration potassium levels even further during periods of heat stress.
  • Treat cows with reduced feed intake (due to disease) with potassium-rich supplements.
  • An effective way to determine if ration potassium levels are correct is by use of the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) concept.  This is mainly used to influence calcium status pre-calving but also is helpful in preventing health issues post-calving.

Talk to your nutritionist regarding recommended levels of potassium in your rations and whether any adjustments are indicated.  Talk to your local or ANIMART veterinarian about products that can help correct potassium deficiency in cows with reduced feed intake.

*Reference:  Block, E. Make Sure Cows Get Enough Early Lactation Potassium, Progressive Dairyman, April 11, 2013.

Dr. Larry Judge
ANIMART Professional Services Veterinarian
larryj@animart.com
Cell: 517.930.4095

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Cold Weather Strategy

(Reviewed: January 20, 2017)

We live in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country for a reason – we can handle the cold, wind and snow Mother Nature throws at us every winter, but what about our cows? They have not chosen to brave our brutal winters, yet they must endure the elements.

A common concern during harsh winter months is the condition and care of milking cows.  Specifically, the condition of teat ends in relation to preventing new mastitis infections, keeping SCC low and stopping recurrent mastitis infections.

One may be surprised at the list of benefits to be had by keeping the teat ends healthy.  It is hard enough to keep up with teat end health during the other three seasons, so it is vitally important to have a game plan to survive the winter season. Why survive when the cows can thrive?

The harsh temperatures and winds winter brings can threaten the condition of teat end health the most.  Teats are less susceptible to temperature than they are to wind. Just like us, cows prefer a cold winter day with no wind verses a cool winter day with wind. When wind chills drop between 00F – 250F, frostbite is feasible and when wind chills drop below -250F, extra precautionary measures need to be taken as frostbite is probable.

There are several solutions to help prepare and surpass cold wind chills:

  1. Windbreaks
    1. Construct temporary windbreaks in areas near the return alley and open walk ways.
    2. Supply additional windbreaks for cows if they are turned outside for any amount of time.
  2. Teat Dips
    1. Store teat dips in a heated/insulated building to prevent freezing.  If product had previously frozen, make sure to mix before use.
    2. Consider using a winter teat dip.  Winter teat dips containing higher emollients will add extra conditioning to keep the teat ends from drying out or cracking.
  3. Dipping Procedure
    1. Do not stop dipping! Dipping of teats has been proven to help decrease the risk of transferring contagious pathogens and reduces the occurrence of new infections. Just because it’s cold out, does not mean all bacteria are dead.
    2. Make sure teats are dry before leaving the parlor.  This can be achieved by blotting the end of the teat to remove excess dip or simply by waiting until teat ends are dry before turning out the cows.
  4. Protocol Creation and Implementation
    1. Set up an on-farm protocol detailing what to do during times of low temperatures and high winds.
    2. Ex:  When temperature is x degrees, we will do
    3. When wind is x speed, we will do

Whichever solution is used to get the desired end result is great.  Each individual needs to find what works best for their farm as the effect of winter can vary based on barn layout, stage of lactation and the amount/type of environmental exposure endured.

If you have any questions about how to implement a cold weather strategy to keep your cows healthy this winter contact ANIMART’s Milk Quality Specialist, Leslie Gravatt.

Leslie Gravatt
Milk Quality Specialist
leslieg@animart.com
920.342.3067

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Avoiding the Complications of Foot Rot

What is foot rot?

  • Foot rot, hoof rot or “foul-in-the-foot” are commonly used terms for an infection that affects the skin between the claws in adult cattle
  • Injury of the interdigital skin allows entry of the bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum, which causes infection, swelling, necrosis and often, a foul odor or discharge in the space between the claws

 How does it affect the herd?

  • Increased number of lame animals
  • Can cause significant losses in milk production, feed intake and mobility due to pain and fever
  • Most commonly affects adult animals, but calves may be affected if they are housed in an unsanitary environment
  • The infection and swelling can cause intense pain and marked lameness in cattle.  Usually only one foot is involved; the hind limbs are more commonly affected than the forelimbs.
  • Cattle that stand in wet, unsanitary conditions with unsteady footing are at the greatest risk.  Constant exposure to moisture, manure and urine softens the interdigital skin, making it more prone to injury
  • The condition can affect beef and dairy cattle equally and mainly depends on management of the housing system

What is the cost?

  • Treatment cost for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and possibly evaluation by a veterinarian
  • Production losses from individual animals can be significant due to decreased milk production, withdrawal times and weight loss

 How can you evaluate foot rot?

  • Check the skin between the claws, it will appear discolored, broken and may have a foul odor.  Cattle often show signs of pain when pressure is applied to this area of the foot
  • Be on the lookout for lameness,  Mildly affected animals  may have swelling between the claws  that extends up into the fetlock
  • Severely affected animals may be non-weight bearing, off-feed and have a fever
  • Evaluate living conditions for the animals including cleanliness, moisture level and footing

 What herd management techniques help prevent foot rot?

  • Keep high traffic areas scraped free of manure and properly drained
  • Consider use of footbaths containing copper sulfate (plus copper reducers) or formaldehyde
  • A bandage containing either topical antibiotics or copper sulfate may be used under the direction of the herd’s veterinarian
  • Schedule regular trims with a hoof trimming professional
  • Move treated animals to a clean, dry area
  • Treatment with an antibiotic approved for use in lactating dairy cattle is recommended as soon as signs are observed.  Improvement should be noted within 2 to 4 days.
  • All prescription medications must be used under the direction of the herd’s attending veterinarian.
  • Anti-inflammatory treatment may be warranted to reduce pain and fever.

Extra label treatment options are available if initial therapy is not effective.  Please consult with the herd veterinarian if alternate treatment is necessary.

Dr. Katie Speller
ANIMART Professional Services Veterinarian
katies@animart.com
Cell: 920.382.9783

 

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Intranasal Vaccination: Protect your Calves

Intranasal (IN) vaccination of calves for respiratory disease has several advantages.

IN vaccines stimulate a stronger local immune response because the modified live microorganisms are delivered directly to the mucosa lining the inner surface of the nose. This mimics a natural infection and will cause the body to release antibodies directly onto the mucosa. These mucosal antibodies will remain in the nose and bind to any pathogens that try to enter the body, thus successfully preventing infection.

IN vaccines also stimulate the production of interferon, which is a protein important for a general, non-specific immune response. Interferon production occurs rapidly, sometimes as soon as 24 hours after vaccination, while antibody production generally takes longer to develop. Thus, cattle are protected in two different ways just a short time after vaccination.

Since IN vaccines provide such rapid protection, they are especially beneficial for young calves during a time of stress. Weaning is one of the most stressful times in a calf’s life due to nutritional changes, moving to a new environment, and learning how to interact socially. Intranasal vaccination is a more efficient means of obtaining protection from common respiratory pathogens, thereby sparing valuable metabolic resources for growth.

There are currently multiple intranasal vaccines on the market. Inforce 3, TSV-2, and Nasalgen are all IN vaccines for use against viral causes of respiratory disease. The newly introduced Once PMH IN vaccine is labeled for use against the two most common causes of bacterial respiratory disease: Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida.

Once PHM IN is labeled for healthy animals 1 week of age or older, including pregnant animals. Inforce 3, TSV-2, and Nasalgen are safe for all ages including newborn calves and pregnant cows. IN vaccines can be safely repeated when the risk of respiratory disease is high. They can also be followed by injectable respiratory vaccines for more complete viral protection.

You should always consult your veterinarian before changing any vaccination protocols.

How Can ANIMART Help?

ANIMART is committed to the success of our producers. We strive to actively promote the health and well-being of our clients’ animals by preventing disease whenever possible. ANIMART veterinarians are well equipped to build a BRD prevention program for your young calves.

Dr. Vicky Lauer
ANIMART Professional Services Veterinarian
vickyl@animart.com
Cell: 920.210.9665

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Why are Selenium Supplements Important?

Selenium is a trace mineral that is a necessary component for multiple antioxidants and normal immune function. Without selenium, antioxidants function poorly, thus leading to cellular damage throughout the body. Rapidly-growing cells, such as muscle and immune system cells, are most commonly affected. Soil, and thus feed, is the most common source of naturally-occurring selenium. However, the soil in the upper Midwest is notably selenium-deficient, thus requiring selenium supplementation.

Additional selenium can be added directly to the feed, or given parenterally with injectable products such as BoSe, MuSe, or Multimin. However, it is important not to give too much selenium, as toxicity can also result. It is imperative that you consult your nutritionist and veterinarian before changing your current selenium supplementation.

In calves, selenium deficiency causes “white muscle disease,” which is commonly seen as weak calves (sometimes with stiff muscles) that have difficulty standing due to muscle damage throughout the body. Respiratory and heart muscles can also be affected, which can lead to breathing difficulties or sudden death. At necropsy, the muscles throughout the body will be pale, thus leading to the term “white muscle disease.” Since selenium is needed for normal immunity, poor immune function can also be an indicator of less-severe selenium deficiency.

In adult cows, the most common signs of selenium deficiency are an increased rate of retained placentas, increased somatic cell count, mastitis, and poor reproduction. Measuring blood and/or liver selenium is a good way to evaluate selenium status.

Click here to view all of ANIMART’s Selenium Supplements.

Dr. Vicky Lauer
ANIMART Professional Services Veterinarian
vickyl@animart.com
Cell: 920.210.9665

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Dairy Sanitation: What’s your Options?

What’s the Issue?

  • Finding a quality dairy sanitation line for all farm applications.
  • Finding the appropriate teat dip for farm specific use

What’s the Impact?

  • When more dairy sanitation product is used than necessary, many products become less cost-effective.
  • Not all teat dips are equal.  The use of an inadequate teat dip or the wrong type of dip can allow Mastitis pathogens (contagious and environmental) to become a problem on farm.
  • Bacterial, pathogenic and somatic cell counts will increase when Mastitis pathogens are present, which could lead to lower or no milk premiums.

ANIMART Solution(s):

  • Dairysan is a broad spectrum product line that offers: teat dips, CIP Detergents, Sanitizers, Manual Detergents and Laundry Detergents.  Products are specifically designed to meet all farms’ sanitation needs.
  • The type of teat dip used on farms should be tailored to each farm specifically.  Knowledge of milking procedure, the environment, past history of contagions and the producer’s preference should be reviewed before switching teat dips.
  • Having Mastitis protocols for increasing severity, will help stream line the diagnoses and treatment process.

Leslie Gravatt
Professional Services Department
leslieg@animart.com
920.342.3067

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Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)?

What is the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)?

The FDA recently released updated guidelines that will go into effect in spring 2017. The FDA asked all drug companies to voluntarily remove the growth promotion labels from their antibiotic products. All of the companies have agreed to comply, and thus any use of antibiotics for growth promotion purposes will be illegal by 2017. Technically, using any antibiotic in the feed or water for more than 14 days is considered growth promotion. Products that currently state “for increased weight gain or feed efficiency” will no longer be able to be purchased by 2017. However, antibiotics may be used in the feed or water if they are labeled for treatment or control of disease. These antibiotics will now require a prescription if they are added to water, or a VFD if they are added to feed. The VFD has slightly less stringent rules than a prescription, but will still require a veterinarian to sign off on the antibiotics being added to the feed. Prior to these guidelines, most antibiotics added to feed or water could be easily purchased over the counter without veterinary oversight. This will no longer be the case when 2017 comes.

How Will It Impact You?

Starting in 2017, antibiotics such as Aureo S 700 crumbles in feed and neomycin in milk replacers will need a VFD. If you wish to use these medications, your veterinarian will have to determine there is a definite need for them. For example, if incoming cattle frequently become ill upon arrival, a vet could write a VFD for inclusion of a tetracycline in the feed for a brief period of time to prevent pneumonia. However, if the cattle are healthy and there has been no history of disease, a vet could not write a VFD and an antibiotic could not be purchased or added to the feed. Once a vet writes a VFD, a feed mill or drug distributor could then sell the requested antibiotic or add it to the feed. Any extra label use of an antibiotic in the feed is illegal, so all label directions would have to be followed completely. Antibiotics added to drinking water would require a prescription. Medicated feeds containing antibiotics that are currently labeled “for increased feed efficiency or weight gain” will be illegal and unable to be purchased. This does not include feeds with only coccidiostats such as monensin (Rumensin), lasalocid, amprolium (Corid) or decoquinate (Deccox) as these are not antibiotics. Ear implants also would not be affected by the new guidelines. Injectable antibiotics that are currently over the counter will not be affected at this time, although the future is uncertain if these will become prescription products as well.

What Can You Do?

If you are currently using antibiotics in the feed or water, you should let your veterinarian know what products you are using, what you are using them for, and from which company you are purchasing your products. Your veterinarian will then decide if the antibiotic is needed. A VFD requires extensive paperwork on the veterinarian’s part, so this will provide time to prepare a VFD and make sure you can still receive the necessary antibiotics.

How Can ANIMART Help?

ANIMART is committed to the success of our producers. We strive to limit antibiotic use unless necessary and actively promote the health and wellbeing of our clients’ animals by preventing disease whenever possible. ANIMART veterinarians are well equipped to deal with the necessary paperwork for prescriptions and VFDs, and we are happy to serve you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Dr. Vicky Lauer
ANIMART Professional Services Veterinarian
vickyl@animart.com
Cell: 920.210.9665

Posted in Animal Health Solutions, Calf Solutions, Dry Cow Solutions, Fresh Cow Solutions, Identification & Recordkeeping Solutions, Other Solutions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Importance of Calf Electrolytes

Why are electrolytes important?

  • Scouring calves lose 5-10% of their body weight per day in fluids
  • Calves will die from dehydration alone once they reach 12% dehydration
  • Calves become acidotic (too much acid in the blood) from losing electrolytes in manure
  • Need to replace lost fluids and bases by either oral electrolytes or IV fluids
  • Oral electrolytes are easier to give than IV fluids

What should I look for in an oral electrolyte product?

  • Water
    • All electrolytes should be mixed with water following the manufacturer’s directions
    • DO NOT mix with milk as it will be too concentrated and can make scours worse
  • Sodium
    • Need sodium in order to absorb water and other electrolytes
    • Want 90-145 mmol/L
      • *Check out ANIMART’s electrolyte comparison chart for the level of nutrients in products we carry!
  • Glucose (AKA sugar)
    • Need some sort of sugar to absorb water and other electrolytes
    • Want 90-145 mmol/L
    • Commonly used sugars: dextrose, fructose, maltodextrin, lactose, amylose, sucrose
    • Avoid sucrose as calves can’t break it down and it will make scours worse
  • Buffer (AKA alkalinizing agent)
    • Used to reverse acidosis and restore a normal blood pH
    • Want 50-80 mmol/L
    • Common buffers: acetate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), citrate
      • Acetate works the best because it is easily metabolized and doesn’t interfere with milk clotting
      • Bicarb and citrate decrease milk clotting which can make scours worse
        • If electrolyte product contains either of these, be sure to offer electrolytes 2-4 hours after offering milk
  • Potassium
    • Necessary for heart and muscle function
    • Want 10-30 mmol/L
  • Chloride
    • Necessary for heart and muscle function
    • Want 40-100 mmol/L
  • Glycine
    • Amino acid that increases glucose absorption and aids in intestinal healing
    • Add the amount of sodium and glycine together; total should be less than 145 mmol/L

Optional additives

  • Protein, fat, vitamins, minerals
    • Provide additional nutrients
  • Probiotics
    • May help restore normal levels of beneficial bacteria but need more research to prove effectiveness
  • Charcoal
    • Binds toxins released by bacteria and carries them out of the gut
  • Kaopectate
    • May help coat the gut
  • Fecal bulking agents
    • May help solidify the stools
    • Don’t feed too much as they can make the calf constipated!

Other considerations

  • Electrolyte replacers only provide 15-25% of the calf’s daily energy requirement
  • Scouring calves need their regular milk feedings in addition to electrolytes for growth and healing
  • Offer milk first, then electrolytes
  • Calves should be given a minimum of 2 quarts electrolytes twice a day in addition to milk while they are scouring
  • Electrolytes can be safely tubed at any age, but milk should only be tubed if calves are less than 7 days old
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Microfiber Towels vs Dairy Paper Towels

Many milking products have a time and place to extrapolate the best performance for a given application.  Knowing when and how to use a product properly can prove difficult for even the most experienced dairyman.

Mastitis is the number one source for antibiotic use on a dairy farm.  A mastitis infection can negatively affect Milk Quality counts (SCC), reproduction rate, the overall health of cows and a producer’s bottom line.  There are many factors that can contribute to an infection, so following an appropriate prep/post procedure using proper products is a must.  One product often overlooked during milking is the use of dairy towels.

Towels used during milking come in different shapes and sizes, and each producer’s preference can vary.  No matter which style is used, one towel is recommended per individual cow.

Microfiber Towels

Pros

  • Able to reuse towels
  • Easy on teat ends
  • Absorbent
  • Thorough cleaning of teat ends

Cons

  • Need to wash and dry towels after each use
    • Loads dependent on size of washer and dryer
    • Maintenance of units
  • Cost of initial investment
  • Will need to replace at some point, depending on milking herd size and quantity milked

Dairy Paper Towels

Pros

  • Single use
  • Initial investment is cost effective
  • No need for a washer or dryer

Cons

  • High volume of waist
  • Can be hard on teat ends
  • Some difficulty with thorough drying
  • High product turnover

Both Microfiber and Dairy Paper Towels can aide in the Milk Quality routine on farm.  No matter which product is used, the key is following a proper prep/post procedure to decrease any procedural drift.  For more questions about dairy towels or following a proper prep/post procedure, please contact one of our Milk Quality Professionals.

Dr. Armon Hetzel
Professional Services Veterinarian
armonh@animart.com
920.296.6379

Leslie Gravatt
Professional Services Dept
leslieg@animart.com
920.342.3067

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