Question for Vickie The Vet (others can reply too)

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Anonymous

Hey Vickie! I have been reading all of Cattle Today's message boards for quite a while now. There seems to be a LOT of problem questions with cattle health and illnesses, etc. Just wondering if there is any "common thread" running through these problems, beit geographical, breed, sanitation, or whatever. We're in West Texas (have been breeding and raising Texas Longhorns for about 2 years) and have never had any problem with calves or cattle illnesses, failure to nurse or eat, and other things. Our rainfall here is about 23" average and temperature ranges not severe and frequent changes of weather. Another possibility is that some may be buying cattle with underlying health problems that were not revealed or immediately observable to the buyer. Willing to venture an opinion on any of this? Thanks, Vickie! Bill
 
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Anonymous

Asking me for controversial answers, eh? Ok, here goes. The longer an area has had cattle on it, the more contaminated the ground with bacteria and viruses. Thus, you may not have had problems yet but could have them in the future as contamination develops. Also, certain viruses can blow in the wind, up to 100 miles when talking about foot and mouth, 4 miles for IBR. Proper vaccination is very important. Many people have endemic viruses and parasites that their cattle have subclinically, but when new animals are introduced, they are not immune and develop the diseases. Case in point. We sold some cattle to Texas from Ontario, Canada. We do not have liver flukes here at all. These "naive" cattle developed severe hepatitis due to severe infestation with liver flukes--the vet couldn't recognize this since he's never seen naive cattle before. One animal even developed gall bladder empyema (pus in her gall bladder) from this whole thing. With proper treatment, all cattle are recovering. Did they have the disease on arrival? No, they'd never seen the endemic problem of the Gulf coast of Texas and almost died from it.

I guess what I'm saying is that we create most of the problems that we se from bringing animals into areas with new diseases, overcrowding, using breeds which are not appropriate for an area and inadequate disinfection after an area is contaminated. Clear as mud? V
 
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Anonymous

How would you recommend decontaminating an area?

dun

> Asking me for controversial
> answers, eh? Ok, here goes. The
> longer an area has had cattle on
> it, the more contaminated the
> ground with bacteria and viruses.
> Thus, you may not have had
> problems yet but could have them
> in the future as contamination
> develops. Also, certain viruses
> can blow in the wind, up to 100
> miles when talking about foot and
> mouth, 4 miles for IBR. Proper
> vaccination is very important.
> Many people have endemic viruses
> and parasites that their cattle
> have subclinically, but when new
> animals are introduced, they are
> not immune and develop the
> diseases. Case in point. We sold
> some cattle to Texas from Ontario,
> Canada. We do not have liver
> flukes here at all. These
> "naive" cattle developed
> severe hepatitis due to severe
> infestation with liver flukes--the
> vet couldn't recognize this since
> he's never seen naive cattle
> before. One animal even developed
> gall bladder empyema (pus in her
> gall bladder) from this whole
> thing. With proper treatment, all
> cattle are recovering. Did they
> have the disease on arrival? No,
> they'd never seen the endemic
> problem of the Gulf coast of Texas
> and almost died from it.

> I guess what I'm saying is that we
> create most of the problems that
> we se from bringing animals into
> areas with new diseases,
> overcrowding, using breeds which
> are not appropriate for an area
> and inadequate disinfection after
> an area is contaminated. Clear as
> mud? V
 
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Anonymous

Not to disagree too much with V the V, it seems that a lot of these people have just generally poor managment as the primary problem. I would place V the Vs points second. By management I'm really referring to a combination of lack of knowledge, inadequate nutrition, lack of observation. Lets face it, a cow with feet sticking out opf her for two days should tell just about anybody that there is a problem that requires professional assistance. But if the person has no concept of how long calving should take it may not seem to them to be significant. A lot of folks feel (a neighboring dairyman is a case in point) that a beef cow should be ablt to take care of herself, grass and water is all they need. Just my opinion

dun

> Hey Vickie! I have been reading
> all of Cattle Today's message
> boards for quite a while now.
> There seems to be a LOT of problem
> questions with cattle health and
> illnesses, etc. Just wondering if
> there is any "common
> thread" running through these
> problems, beit geographical,
> breed, sanitation, or whatever.
> We're in West Texas (have been
> breeding and raising Texas
> Longhorns for about 2 years) and
> have never had any problem with
> calves or cattle illnesses,
> failure to nurse or eat, and other
> things. Our rainfall here is about
> 23" average and temperature
> ranges not severe and frequent
> changes of weather. Another
> possibility is that some may be
> buying cattle with underlying
> health problems that were not
> revealed or immediately observable
> to the buyer. Willing to venture
> an opinion on any of this? Thanks,
> Vickie! Bill
 
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Anonymous

Time will do a lot....if animals haven't been on the ground in an area for a few years, the ground will "self cleanse" quite a bit. Having Canadian winters help a LOT here... For viruses, you have bleach, virkon etc to use on feeders, barns, cement etc--fairly ineffective for dirt. Some places have taken off the top 6 to 12 inches of soil in an area and replaced with pea gravel or limestone screenings (you can tell I live in an area where these are freely available)to decontaminate. Others just prepare for the disease and vaccinate the heck out of their cattle. If you have a contaminated calving ground, don't use it for that the following two years and you should have much less problems. Yes, I'm advocating rotating calving grounds, preferably to an area which did not have cattle on it for 12 months plus. It's not as big a problem here since we have a couple of feet of snow on the ground at the moment, so most/all calves are being born in barns now...and they are fairly easy to clean up between seasons, or for us, between calves. Did I answer your question?
 
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Anonymous

Yup. We've done the bleach, I was worried about the soil around the milk parlor. We are changing a dairy over to beef. The putz that had it would bring in a bunch of cows, milk them once to get a DHIA record, send them out the door and get in a new batch. He always bought from the killer pens so I've been concerned about what wonderfull stuff he may have imported. At the new place we plan on rotating calving areas. We're going to calve here this year and when we get the calves vaccinated we'll move everybody to the new place. But not near the milk parlor.

thanks again dun

> Time will do a lot....if animals
> haven't been on the ground in an
> area for a few years, the ground
> will "self cleanse"
> quite a bit. Having Canadian
> winters help a LOT here... For
> viruses, you have bleach, virkon
> etc to use on feeders, barns,
> cement etc--fairly ineffective for
> dirt. Some places have taken off
> the top 6 to 12 inches of soil in
> an area and replaced with pea
> gravel or limestone screenings
> (you can tell I live in an area
> where these are freely
> available)to decontaminate. Others
> just prepare for the disease and
> vaccinate the heck out of their
> cattle. If you have a contaminated
> calving ground, don't use it for
> that the following two years and
> you should have much less
> problems. Yes, I'm advocating
> rotating calving grounds,
> preferably to an area which did
> not have cattle on it for 12
> months plus. It's not as big a
> problem here since we have a
> couple of feet of snow on the
> ground at the moment, so most/all
> calves are being born in barns
> now...and they are fairly easy to
> clean up between seasons, or for
> us, between calves. Did I answer
> your question?
 
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Anonymous

Vickie and Dun gave the board some good input! Hope we can stimulate more of the same for the "new guys/gals on the block". And, sure you understand my original post on this topic was not a disguised "Bill's" problem...lol. Agree that moving cattle in to your facility that you are not sure of what they might "bring in" (disease, etc) to your herd can be serious problem. Also, cleanliness in calving areas, stalls, pens, etc. is very important. I've seen some people's pens with calves in them that look like a combination of a dirty pig stye and the city dump..."ain't good for calves!" At our facility we have an isolation area that we put any new arrivals in for at least couple of weeks, then introduce them to the pasture if all looks well. Our loafing shed pens are cleaned regularly of manure just the same as we do for our horses. Granted, some pathogens are in the soil and also windblown...not to mention some that arrive on trailers, vehicles, etc. (case in point: the Imported Fire Ant). I might also add that any newbie cattle people also search their State University Agricultural websites as they usually have a lot of good info on a variety of topics. Regular de-worming program, sanitation, quality (not moldy or toxic weed) hay, same with bagged feed. Balanced minerals (formula for your area or State) as well as free choice salt and clean water most important too. As they say, "You Can't Starve A Profit Out of Cattle."
 
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Anonymous

I agree with everything that has been mentioned, but also... having 6 cows with no problems is not the same as having 100 cows with no problems. Management practices are exponetially important with the number of animals you keep, but also the odds increase your chances of having a problems as well. It's like the difference between my kids not being sick all year and the whole school not suffering any illness.
 
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Anonymous

HAVE A COW THAT BEEN DOING GOOD BUT 3 DAYS AGO SHE WONT EAT SHE DOES DRINK WATER SHE HAS A SMELL IN HER MOUTH .GAVE HER LA 200
 
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Anonymous

dairy cow 6yrs. old .Breed 4mo. ago. she has a runny nose with some blood in it. She has no appetite and has to be feed by opening her mouth and putting food in it.she has a bad smell in her mouth. she does drink water. she does'nt seem to have congestion. her nose was dry until we gave her la 200. any idea what wrong.
 
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Anonymous

Is it a real sickly, sweet kind of smell to her breath, urine, and milk? Somewhat like acetone? If so, it's probably ketosis -- happens when a cow breaks down body fat too fast, the liver isn't able to metabolize all the ketones that are released. Refusal to eat compounds the problem -- they need carbohydrates to be able to get rid of the excess ketones. Our vet had us treat our girl with molasses -- 1/2 cup mixed into some grain twice daily until she's over it. Ours didn't want to eat her regular rations, but would eat the grain with molasses and was back to normal within 4-5 days.

Ann B

> dairy cow 6yrs. old .Breed 4mo.
> ago. she has a runny nose with
> some blood in it. She has no
> appetite and has to be feed by
> opening her mouth and putting food
> in it.she has a bad smell in her
> mouth. she does drink water. she
> does'nt seem to have congestion.
> her nose was dry until we gave her
> la 200. any idea what wrong.

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