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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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During last year’s heat wave in California, dairyman Greg Anema of Ontario, California discovered the two coolest places on his dairy – the breezeway in his parlor and a kiddie pool under a shade tree close to the milk barn. He also found out how his cows try to cool off.

“I’ve got young children and while they were playing in the hose I jumped in,” Anema says. “It was a way to just try to cool off.”

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Antibiotic residues in milk and dairy beef are an important food safety issue. Dairy owners, managers and employees play a major role in food safety and in shaping consumers’ perceptions about food. Antibiotics in milk and beef may cause severe allergic reactions in persons with antibiotic sensitivity. In the dairy processing plant, antibiotics in milk can interfere with cheese and yogurt production.

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Editor’s note: The following benchmarks have been compiled using data reported by dairies enrolled in Alta Genetic’s AltaAdvantage program, a progeny testing program. More than 182,500 cows in 175 herds participate in the program nationwide.

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Editor’s note: The following section includes commentary from questions posed to Dr. Richard Holliday, a holistic veterinarian. To ask your own question, e-mail the question to . Answers to submissions will be printed in Progressive Dairyman’s October organics section.

“Hey, Doc, waddaya got for mastitis?” is a question posed by dairymen everywhere. I wish I had a good answer. Treatments range from frequent stripping out of the udder to the newest antibiotic or immune stimulant. Fortunately, many treatments are successful. But some treatments only suppress the symptoms, and when the effect of the treatment wears off the symptoms return with a vengeance. Unfortunately, any success with treatment often interferes with the need or desire to address the actual cause of the problems. Holistic veterinary medicine may have some insights into this problem – insights often overlooked by today’s dairymen.

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Salmonellosis is a disease of all animals caused by the genus Salmonellae and usually characterized by one or more of three major syndromes:

1) Septicemia (a blood infection)

2) Acute enteritis (infection and inflammation of the intestinal tract)

3) Chronic enteritis (a long-term infection and inflammation of the intestinal tract)

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The transition period, extending from approximately three weeks prior to calving to about 40 days after calving, includes the time frame during which the overwhelming majority of dairy cow diseases occur.

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