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In your own words…. herd health challenges

Published on 28 December 2009

Four dairy veterinarians answered this question: Of herd health challenges that you face with clients, which are the most difficult to address?

Scott Poock

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“At this time what I’ve been seeing the most is metritis. With the economy the way it is, the problem is: ‘When do we treat?’ The biggest thing that we have changed in our fresh protocol is that we aren’t jumping on treating these fevers right away. We’re streamlining our fresh checks. We put the herdsman in the parlor and we evaluate: Does this cow have rumen fill? Did she milk this morning? If they don’t have rumen fill, if they don’t look like they have milked, then those are the ones we’re going to check, and those are the ones that if they have fevers we are going to start treating. So by not using as many antibiotics or treating right away we save some money, and yet we’re seeing those cows transitioning OK even with that new system.”

Scott Poock
University of Missouri
Professor/Veterinarian
Columbia, Missouri

Bruce Hoffman

“The most challenging thing for us is our association with veterinarians and dairymen. The challenge is actually demonstrating that we are valuable to the dairy. We can add value to what they are doing. So allowing veterinarians to be open to working with another veterinarian to help them is a big challenge.”

Bruce Hoffman
Animal Profiling International, Inc.
Veterinarian
Portland, Oregon

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Tom Graham“The most challenging issues working with dairies today are with people management. Making sure that people are doing what they are supposed to do when it’s supposed to be done in the correct fashion.”

Tom Graham
Veterinarian
Veterinarians Without Borders
Davis, California

Brian Gerloff

“The herd challenges we face the most in today’s climate is finding the resources to address health issues under the constraints of the current cost system and because of that, the current labor situation. Basically, people are trying to survive on less, and when a challenge emerges it’s hard to identify and find the resources that it will take to solve it. So consequently things tend to slip. It is hard to maintain the systems that we have gotten in place when cash flow was good and when we can have adequate help to maintain healthy cows, highly functioning breeding programs, mastitis control programs and health programs.”

Brian Gerloff
Seneca Bovine Services
Veterinarian
Marengo, Illinois

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