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Herd Health

Find information about mastitis, transition cows, vaccination protocols, working with your veterinarian, hoof care and hoof trimming.

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Fresh cows are the most important, and most vulnerable, group of cows in the barn. Between post-calving stress and the metabolic demands of lactation, the immune system of a cow is suppressed during the transition period, leaving her susceptible to a variety of diseases – like mastitis and metritis – that can impact your herd’s milk production and overall profitability.

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Mastitis is the most common reason for antimicrobial use for cows on U.S. dairy farms – about 80% of all antimicrobial use was for treatment or prevention of mastitis, which included dry cow therapy.

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Udder sores are those nasty skin lesions seen in front of the udder or between the udder cleft. The lesions are difficult to heal, and unlucky cows can even bleed to death if the lesion punctures the udder vein in very severe cases.

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After parturition, the uterus recovery (involution), the regeneration of the endometrium (uterus “skin”), the return of the ovarian cycle and the control of pathogenic bacteria in the uterus are required before a cow is ready for a successful conception.

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Even a few parasites in a high-producing dairy cow have the potential to reduce herd performance. Parasite-free animals convert feed more efficiently, have fewer disease problems, enter the milking string sooner, produce more milk and have fewer reproductive difficulties.

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Garrett Miller has worked as the dairy manager at Oakwood Dairy LLC in Auburn, New York, since 2009. Miller has been surrounded by dairy cows all his life. He grew up on his family’s small dairy farm and pursued his interest in dairy at Cornell University, graduating from their dairy management program in 2007.

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