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

Posted in Animal Health Solutions, Mastitis Solutions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clostridium Perfringenes Type A

What’s the Issue?

  • Clostridium perfringenes type A overgrowth in the abomasum and/or small intestine.
  • Mycotoxicosis (feed sources) in mature cows and inconsistent feeding practices for calves are believed to play a role.

What’s the Impact?

  • Results in clinical diseases such as HBS or abomasitis, causing severe disease and high mortality in affected animals.

Your Solution(s):

  • Treatment for these diseases may reduce mortality rates but often is ineffective.
  • Vaccination for Clostridium per fringes type A has been reported to reduce the incidence of these conditions.
  • Only one commercially available Clostridium perfringenes vaccine is currently available; a custom-made bacterin (vaccine) may be a good alternative for herds experiencing problems with these conditions.
  • Preventative measures for these conditions include the use of mycotoxin binders, probiotics and vaccination; however all of these products have little research to support their effectiveness.
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Over-Crowding of Milking Cows

Over-crowding of Milking Cows

What’s the Issue?

  • Over-crowding of milking cows is common on dairy farms, especially during times of good milk prices
  • Youngstock (replacement animal) facilities often are over-crowded because cow numbers have increased (new milking cow barn built) but growing animal facilities have remained unchanged
  • Over-crowding may be functional in nature because headlocks won’t open (damaged) or freestalls are broken or not comfortable (e.g., frozen sand, mattresses have lost padding and/or are un-bedded on their surface)

What’s the Impact?

  • Cows that are over-crowded are at an increased risk for diseases such as lameness and mastitis, resulting in reduced milk production
  • Over-crowded cows may have reduced reproductive function leading to reduced milk production and increased culling of open cows
  • Youngstock living in over-crowded conditions may have decreased growth rates and increased rates of disease (e.g., over-whelmed ventilation resulting in increased pneumonia cases)

Your Solution:

If over-crowding is causing an issue on your farm, there are two available solutions:

  • Build/redesign facilities to accommodate more animals
  • Sell animals down to what current facilities will handle

Ask your ANIMART Sales Rep or Professional Services Veterinarian if you need help figuring out just how many animals your facilities can handle. ANIMART does not do facility design, but is willing and able to advise you on how to go about this process. To contact an ANIMART Representative call 855.254.6600 or www.animart.com/contact_us.

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Colostrum: Mother’s, Replacements and Supplements

Why is Colostrum Important?

  • Calves are born with a barely functional immune system
    • Need antibodies, or immunoglobulins (IgG) to be protected from pathogens
    • Calves can only get IgG from colostrum
      • Absorb IgG through the gut straight into the bloodstream
      • Not enough IgG = failure of passive transfer (FPT)
        • Calves are much more likely to get sick and die
        • Preventing FPT by providing adequate colostrum is significantly less expensive than treating sick calves or losing replacements

Do I Need a Colostrum Replacer?

  • Maternal colostrum is the best as long as you can ensure its quality and cleanliness
    • Check using colostrometer/Brix refractometer
      • High quality: green/greater than 22%
        • Feed to newborns
    • Moderate quality: yellow/between 18 and 22%
      • Give colostrum replacer to newborns
      • Use as second or third feeding
    • Poor quality: red/below 18%
      • Give colostrum replacer to newborns
      • Discard
      • Feed to 2 day old calves
  • Should be heat-treated at 140°F for 1 hour
  • Want to give one gallon within 1 hour after birth
  • Colostrum replacer is easy to use and doesn’t require checking quality
    • Every calf fed the same product and amount at same time
    • Don’t have to worry about harmful bacteria like Johnes, Salmonella, or Mycoplasma
    • Want to feed 150-200 g IgG within 1 hour after birth

What’s the Difference Between a Colostrum Replacer and a Colostrum Supplement?

  • Replacer: contains at least 100 g IgG per package
  • Supplement: contains 50-55 g IgG per package
  • Need a total of 150-200 g IgG for protection from FPT

What’s the Importance of Colostrum-Derived and Serum-Derived Products?

  • Colostrum-derived is dried cow colostrum
    • Same IgG and nutrients as maternal colostrum
  • Serum-derived is dried cow serum (a part of the blood)
    • IgG comes from dried serum globulin proteins
    • Have to add additional fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients
    • Calves absorb less IgG from serum-derived products than from colostrum-derived products
      • Would have to feed more of a serum-derived product even if package says it has the same level of IgG as a colostrum-derived product

What’s the Importance of a Licensed Colostrum Company?

  • Licensed companies are regulated by USDA
    • Samples sent to private lab for testing quality and purity
    • Manufacturing plant is inspected
    • Required to do feeding trials
    • Can claim that colostrum replacers “aid in prevention or treatment of failure of passive transfer”
  • Non-licensed companies aren’t regulated by USDA
    • Not required to do additional testing
      • Most companies do their own testing and feed trials
    • Can claim that colostrum replacer is “formulated to replace maternal colostrum”

What’s the Importance of IgG1 and IgG2?

  • Colostrum is mostly IgG1 with small amount of IgG2
  • Serum-based has equal amounts of both
  • Calves absorb both
    • IgG1 secreted back into gut, lung, nose for surface protection
    • Little research on whether it affects calf health

Summary

  • If colostrum replacer is necessary or desired, we recommend a colostrum-based replacer for best protection from failure of passive transfer
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Metaphylactic Use of Therapeutic (Injectable) Antibiotics:

What’s the Issue?

Producers and veterinarians use certain therapeutic antibiotics metaphylactically during times of increased risk for the development of respiratory disease. Producer’s preferences sometimes favor the use of antibiotics in lieu of prevention by upgrading facilities and/or management.

What’s the Impact?

  • Using therapeutic antibiotics in this fashion may hasten the development of antibiotic resistance.
  • Over-reliance on antibiotics can delay the needed changes in facilities and/or management by a producer.
  • Overall animal well-being would be enhanced by better preventative measures (such as better management and/or facilities).

ANIMART Solution(s):

  • Have your veterinarian run diagnostic tests on infected cattle to find the disease(s) that you are dealing with.
  • Review vaccine and treatment protocols with your veterinarian to see if any changes should be made based on diagnostic results.
  • Meet with experts on facilities designs to see where potential improvements could be made.
  • Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to help manage employees on training and preventing procedural drift.
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Consumer Perception

Issue of the Week (Sept. 4-13): Consumer Perception

What’s the issue?

  • The perception of consumers’ on the treatment of food producing animals

What’s the impact?

  • Public perceptions of common practices on dairy farms (eg., dehorning, tail docking, castration, etc.) are being portrayed and perceived as ‘abusive’ for the animals.
  • The public may change their purchasing habits based on their perceptions of the animal welfare practices that are used to produce a product.
  • Producers may need to change some of their methods to satisfy public concerns regarding animal welfare and well-being.

ANIMART Solutions

  • Producers and animal agriculture organizations need to be more vocal in talking about how they care for their animals and explain why they do things the way they do.
  • Producers should be open and appear ‘less secretive’ when it comes to showing the public how they raise their animals.
  • Some farms will need to adjust/modify some practices/procedures to demonstrate their concern for animal welfare/well-being and show consumers that they too are concerned for these animals.

Need more information? Visit our Ask-a-Vet feature at ANIMART.com/dairy_ask_a_vet.

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