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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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Early detection and prompt treatment of sick cows helps minimize the detrimental effects on milk production, reproduction and overall well-being. Unfortunately, by the time a cow goes off feed, spikes a fever or shows other disease symptoms, she’s already on the path to production losses. Diagnosing health problems earlier can help reduce treatment costs, improve the chances of treatment success and get sick cows back on the road to lactation and reproductive success.

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Mastitis has a large economic impact on a dairy producer’s bottom line. Research indicates the direct and indirect costs, which include veterinary, discarded milk, extra labor, cow mortality, repeat cases and milk losses, amount to $1.7 - $2 billion per year.1 Preventive protocols are the best option to curb 50-60% of all new cases that occur during the dry period.2 Dry cow antibiotic therapy has been the most widely used method until recently. With the movement to reduce antibiotic use and regulations preventing organic dairy farms to use dry cow antibiotic therapy, teat sealants have been added to protocols or even used exclusively.

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The best action plans for hoof health and digital dermatitis prevention call for consistent footbaths, and dairy farmers have the choice between manually filling and draining the bath or using an automated system to deliver protection.

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It has been painfully obvious to everyone involved the dairy economy has been in one of the longest financial droughts most of us can remember.

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As dairy producers seek more ways to sharpen the pencil on profitability, they are examining each area of the farm budget for cost-saving opportunities. This leads some to ponder the pros and cons of contracting with a professional hoof trimmer versus training an employee to do the job.

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As temperatures in parts of the country dip below freezing, and moisture is prevalent, bovine hoof care demands some extra attention. Additionally, winter temperatures can affect common practices such as blocking, impacting the effectiveness and durability of adhesives.

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