If livestock producers get it wrong when trying to identify what ails their animals, it can be costly.
Merial, an animal health firm selling livestock disease products, has produced an information newsletter at Merial@mail.vresp.com that producers may want to review.
The publication, just released this month, provides information from Merial veterinarian Tom Van Dyke who warns that producers are not addressing the proper problem if they wrongly identify what ails their animals. "When producers treat or try to manage blindly, they won't necessarily achieve the kind of results they could with an approach based on knowledge," he says.
What he advises is use of a written tracking system of variables related to animals displaying signs of bovine respiratory disease, a problem which can cost as much as $900 million a year for the nation's producers, notes Van Dyke.
Those variables include labored breathing, gaunt appearance, nasal discharges, rough hair coat, dry muzzle and depression, he says. Variables to track age, weigh, number of days of clinical signs, antibiotics and lab test results should be considered, he adds.
He suggests that producers continuously monitor pathogens on their properties through testing and creating a base of historical information in the process.
Based on the results of such a list, producers may be able to determine the pathogens on their properties and develop a treatment protocol.
BVD can be avoided, he says, by the following cautions:
- Implement an immunization program to help keep herds healthy and productive and protect against bacterial pneumonia.
- Vaccinate prior to times of stress, such as weaning or transport
- Provide adequate housing and ventilation to help prevent the spread of disease
- Supply proper hydration and nutrition
- Fed an adequate amount of colostrum to calves within 12 hours of birth.
Merial's information comes with promotion of the company's products.