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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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Salmonella and Clostridial bacteria can be the cause of serious gastrointestinal diseases of cows and calves. While both types of bacteria can target the intestinal tract, cause death by the systemic effects of toxins and show up clinically as bloody diarrhea, they are very different in many other respects.

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Late lactation is an important, yet often overlooked part of the lactation cycle. It’s easy to let cows coast to the finish line, getting fat and lazy along the way.

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Although lameness has multifactoral causes, an intense lameness prevention program will minimize losses and save cows. Lameness prevention protocol includes:

•Observe cows daily for lameness.

•Detect lameness early through locomotion scoring.

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Death is one of the major reasons cows leave dairy herds. The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) 2002 survey reported a death rate in the national herd of 4.8 percent. This rate has increased since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in the United States in 2003, and it subsequently became illegal to sell down and disabled cattle in 2004.

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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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