Why Wait To Call The Vet?

Help Support CattleToday:

A

Anonymous

I realize that a lot of us seek info on the Net, including this and other message boards about cattle problems. On the other hand, It sorta blows my mind that when something apparently unusual happens to a person's animal (and in some cases the same or similar thing happens a 2nd or 3rd time) the Vet still has not intervened! Vets don't cost that much for a site visit & inspection; however, livestock DO cost. To me, ANY unusual occurrence such as sudden or unexplained death, any illness or condition that doesn't solve itself within a day or two, any blood coming out of the animal's body, any calf that doesn't nurse within 2-3 hours maximum, a cow that doesn't pass the afterbirth on schedule, or a similar thing happening to a neighbor's animal is an URGENT need to contact a Vet for an exam (or post-mortem). Additionally, giving medications in a "shooting from the hip" premise (without first definitely diagnosing the problem specifically), is potentially asking for trouble, frustration and lost present (and possibly future) dollars in one's operation.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

OK, I'll be the spoiler and take some issue with this one. Or at least add some balance of perspective. My Dad knows cattle and he knows how to make money in cattle. A piece of advice he has given me over the years is this: "Two of the keys to making money in cattle are 1) Stay out of the feed store, and 2) Don't get too friendly with the vet."

Of course there are caveats to this. We buy cottenseed cake, tons at a time, each and every year at the feed store. Same with meds and vaccines. We also call a vet, albeit every few years.

Again, the key to making money in cattle is more about figuring out how to keep the expenses down - not increasing revenue.

I wouldn't have much of an idea how long it take one of my cows to pass her afterbirth, since I would only see her every other day at best. If she does fine and looks fine, great. If she doesn't, she goes in the trailer. Then again we are producers. But, we are profitable producers.

Craig-TX
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> I realize that a lot of us seek
> info on the Net, including this
> and other message boards about
> cattle problems. On the other
> hand, It sorta blows my mind that
> when something apparently unusual
> happens to a person's animal (and
> in some cases the same or similar
> thing happens a 2nd or 3rd time)
> the Vet still has not intervened!
> Vets don't cost that much for a
> site visit & inspection;
> however, livestock DO cost. To me,
> ANY unusual occurrence such as
> sudden or unexplained death, any
> illness or condition that doesn't
> solve itself within a day or two,
> any blood coming out of the
> animal's body, any calf that
> doesn't nurse within 2-3 hours
> maximum, a cow that doesn't pass
> the afterbirth on schedule, or a
> similar thing happening to a
> neighbor's animal is an URGENT
> need to contact a Vet for an exam
> (or post-mortem). Additionally,
> giving medications in a
> "shooting from the hip"
> premise (without first definitely
> diagnosing the problem
> specifically), is potentially
> asking for trouble, frustration
> and lost present (and possibly
> future) dollars in one's
> operation.

Wonderful point you make, that is if your lucky enough to have a vet get out or let alone return your call, the closest one being a couple hours away! Webs better than nothin!



[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I agree Charlotte. Logistics getting a Vet out is one thing; a Vet not returning your call (or not caring or not worried about your problem), is another thing. It's expensive to get a Vet to drive 2 hours (or for you to load and take to Vet that far). Yes, Web is better than nothing.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Thanks Craig! Varied opinions enable people to learn better. Agree that the key to making ANY type of business profitable is keeping expenses in check, cutting where you can without affecting end product of business.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I totally have to agree that any corner you can cut -- without compromising the health of the animals -- is money saved. Now don't get me wrong, I'm the first person to call the vet if something serious comes up, but I'm also confident in my own abilities to handle minor problems -- up to a point, but I'm no vet and I know it.

But take my Dad for example -- no decent facilities for restraining the cattle, so the vet brings out a portable chute and does everything at once, ear tagging, worming, castrating, vaccinating, etc. And the vet charges him per head for every procedure done and an added charge for bringing the chute.

Hubby and I were down recently and discovered that there is an excellent headgate down there, in great shape & solid as the day it was put in, but the alleyways weren't put in nearly as well and fell down years ago. So Hubby is going down tomorrow to reconstruct the alleyways so that the whole thing is usable again (Hubby's somewhat of a perfectionist and has 30+ years in construction, so if anything, this will be TOO well built!) Anyway, after this work is done, Dad will be able to safely do some of the things himself -- like tagging and worming, and won't have to pay that extra charge for use of the chute. It may cost us a little now, but will save Dad a lot more in the long run.

Ann B

> Thanks Craig! Varied opinions
> enable people to learn better.
> Agree that the key to making ANY
> type of business profitable is
> keeping expenses in check, cutting
> where you can without affecting
> end product of business.



[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

For spring and fall workup I have the vet come out. The cost of him doing the vaccinations etc. are only slightlyhigher then I would have to pay for the vavvine myself. He also preg checks in the fall, and does a repro check on the heifers. But here's the real reason. I have to work the cattle by myself. It sure is great having a "free" hired hand to help. I move the cows, he does all the stuff at the chute. Charges 10 bucks for a farm call, plus the charge for everything else. It's a bargain!

dun

> I totally have to agree that any
> corner you can cut -- without
> compromising the health of the
> animals -- is money saved. Now
> don't get me wrong, I'm the first
> person to call the vet if
> something serious comes up, but
> I'm also confident in my own
> abilities to handle minor problems
> -- up to a point, but I'm no vet
> and I know it.

> But take my Dad for example -- no
> decent facilities for restraining
> the cattle, so the vet brings out
> a portable chute and does
> everything at once, ear tagging,
> worming, castrating, vaccinating,
> etc. And the vet charges him per
> head for every procedure done and
> an added charge for bringing the
> chute.

> Hubby and I were down recently and
> discovered that there is an
> excellent headgate down there, in
> great shape & solid as the day
> it was put in, but the alleyways
> weren't put in nearly as well and
> fell down years ago. So Hubby is
> going down tomorrow to reconstruct
> the alleyways so that the whole
> thing is usable again (Hubby's
> somewhat of a perfectionist and
> has 30+ years in construction, so
> if anything, this will be TOO well
> built!) Anyway, after this work is
> done, Dad will be able to safely
> do some of the things himself --
> like tagging and worming, and
> won't have to pay that extra
> charge for use of the chute. It
> may cost us a little now, but will
> save Dad a lot more in the long
> run.

> Ann B
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Just to add to your comment - It is also nice to have heifers vaccinated for bangs, which only a licensed vet can do.

Question: Do you have the vet out for the boosters that are often required 2 or 3-weeks after the first shot? Or, have you found a vaccination program that doesn’t need the boosters? We live in SW-Mo near Mt. Vernon so any vaccination program you are using might apply to our herd and I would very much appreciate it if you have advice on how to lower costs and avoid these 3-week boosters.

We just went thru the 1st round of spring vaccinations. To get 6-month old calves ready for weaning, we gave them Triangle-4+BVD2 to cover respiratory stuff. This needs a booster in 3-weeks. We gave them Alpha-7 for Blackleg+Pinkeye. The Alpha-7 recommends a booster in 3-weeks of Ocu-guard to get pinkeye protect closer to 100% so we plan to do that too. The moma-cows just get the once-a-year booster of Respromune-9 (respiratory + Lepto), Piliguard Pinkeye-1, and Volar (for foot-root protection – expensive, but has worked for us). But for heifers that we plan to keep, we will catch them again in 3-weeks and give the recommend boosters for Respromune-9 and Volar. As you can tell, this is all killed-virus vaccines. I've been told that $$ and time can be saved by switching to live-virus and working cows when they are open. Is this what you do?

I would like to throw out a warning for anyone using the vet for vaccinations: Always check Vet’s current pricing before calling them out! For three years I was having the vet out for spring vaccinations. The first two years, the charge for ~25 cow/calves was around $300 for shots, preg-check, and worming. I thought this was reasonable. The 3rd year the same vet handed me a bill for $525! We had done all the same stuff and had worked fewer cows that year! Pricing had changed and I neglected to ask first. Totally my fault. To get costs down a little, I started doing vaccinations myself and this is when I learned that 3-week boosters were sometimes recommended. Vet had never mentioned this.

Thanks, Jerry

> For spring and fall workup I have
> the vet come out. The cost of him
> doing the vaccinations etc. are
> only slightlyhigher then I would
> have to pay for the vavvine
> myself. He also preg checks in the
> fall, and does a repro check on
> the heifers. But here's the real
> reason. I have to work the cattle
> by myself. It sure is great having
> a "free" hired hand to
> help. I move the cows, he does all
> the stuff at the chute. Charges 10
> bucks for a farm call, plus the
> charge for everything else. It's a
> bargain!

> dun
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Everybody gets MLV in the spring, cows, calves heifers, and GOMER. Plus worming and repro checks on heifers. It averages about 6.50 a head, obviously it is a little less then the avg. for GOMER, a little higher for heifers. Fall Is killed for bred cows and heifers, MLV for everyone else, plus worming and grubs. Preg check all the bred stuff, just to make sure. Calves all get MLV and are weaned that day. About 4 weeks later, that's what the drug company recommends for the stuff we use, he comes back out and gives the calves ther booster. No charge except the price of the vaccine. By that time we have them used to walking down the alleyway and out the chute to get their grain so we just close off the chute, run a bunch in, vaccinate them in the chute. Run them out and the next bunch in. The whole fall workup runs about 12 bucks a head for the calves, about 6.50 for the cows and heifers. Gomer only gets wormed cause he's going in the finish pen.

We have used a couple of different pre-vac programs. We use any of the standard programs that Jopin has the pre-vac sales for. That way anything we don;t send through our marketing group we can send through Joplin. All of the programs I'm aware of require a booster at anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks after the initial shot. Heifers we are retaining for replacemnts don't normally get the booster. They're with the same bunch of animals they've been with their entire life, nothing new is/will be aded until after the spring workup anyway. We've never had a problem with this way of doing things. We don;t do pinkeye or hoofrot, never had it don;t see any reason to start vaccinating for stuff that isn't required. Some friends of ours had never had pink eye but they got convinced that they needed to vaccinate for it anyway. Every year since they've started they've had a lot of problem with pinkeye. HMMMMMMMM But they don't have any form of fly control so for them maybe it's a good deal.

dun

> Just to add to your comment - It
> is also nice to have heifers
> vaccinated for bangs, which only a
> licensed vet can do.

> Question: Do you have the vet out
> for the boosters that are often
> required 2 or 3-weeks after the
> first shot? Or, have you found a
> vaccination program that doesn’t
> need the boosters? We live in
> SW-Mo near Mt. Vernon so any
> vaccination program you are using
> might apply to our herd and I
> would very much appreciate it if
> you have advice on how to lower
> costs and avoid these 3-week
> boosters.

> We just went thru the 1st round of
> spring vaccinations. To get
> 6-month old calves ready for
> weaning, we gave them
> Triangle-4+BVD2 to cover
> respiratory stuff. This needs a
> booster in 3-weeks. We gave them
> Alpha-7 for Blackleg+Pinkeye. The
> Alpha-7 recommends a booster in
> 3-weeks of Ocu-guard to get
> pinkeye protect closer to 100% so
> we plan to do that too. The
> moma-cows just get the once-a-year
> booster of Respromune-9
> (respiratory + Lepto), Piliguard
> Pinkeye-1, and Volar (for
> foot-root protection – expensive,
> but has worked for us). But for
> heifers that we plan to keep, we
> will catch them again in 3-weeks
> and give the recommend boosters
> for Respromune-9 and Volar. As you
> can tell, this is all killed-virus
> vaccines. I've been told that $$
> and time can be saved by switching
> to live-virus and working cows
> when they are open. Is this what
> you do?

> I would like to throw out a
> warning for anyone using the vet
> for vaccinations: Always check
> Vet’s current pricing before
> calling them out! For three years
> I was having the vet out for
> spring vaccinations. The first two
> years, the charge for ~25
> cow/calves was around $300 for
> shots, preg-check, and worming. I
> thought this was reasonable. The
> 3rd year the same vet handed me a
> bill for $525! We had done all the
> same stuff and had worked fewer
> cows that year! Pricing had
> changed and I neglected to ask
> first. Totally my fault. To get
> costs down a little, I started
> doing vaccinations myself and this
> is when I learned that 3-week
> boosters were sometimes
> recommended. Vet had never
> mentioned this.

> Thanks, Jerry
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Thank you for taking time to provide information about your vaccination routine. It is good to get verification that the boosters really are required. A vet that will do boosters just for cost of vaccine sound great. Hope he doesn’t start talking to vets in our area! We have some good vets, but prices seem high.

Despite keeping cows out of ponds and mud as much as possible, we have had hoofrot problems for years. Must have the germ in the ground, which is why we use the hoofrot vaccine. We started using Volar about 1.5-years ago and have had zero hoofrot cases since, but this may be a coincidence. More time will tell. We use a black-angus bull on Hereford cows to get BB-calves. The white-face cows & calves do great for us, but its seems like they get pink-eye a lot. In the past, our calves would come down with pink-eye about 1-weeks before they were ready for the truck. We’ve always used backrubs with insecticide, but I’ve read your’s and other’s posts about fly control and appreciate the good ideas.

Thanks again. Jerry
 
OP
A

Anonymous

When you consider the investment that a vet has in equipment, facilities and schooling, dead beat clients that don;t pay, the hours they have to keep, most vets are really a bargain. We actually have two vets that work as clerks in the local feedstore, they couldn't make it as vets because of the competition. Of course they're lousey clerks too, and pretty miserable human beings so that may have had some bearing on the situation. The vet we use primarily, is busier then a one legged man in a butt kicking contest and hasn't taken on any new clients other then an occasional emergency for several years. But if I can get a hold of him, he shows up, sometimes late at night when he finishes his schedulaed appointments. But since he is on the road and cell phones only work marginally around here, getting a hold of him can be a real stinker.

dun

> Thank you for taking time to
> provide information about your
> vaccination routine. It is good to
> get verification that the boosters
> really are required. A vet that
> will do boosters just for cost of
> vaccine sound great. Hope he
> doesn’t start talking to vets in
> our area! We have some good vets,
> but prices seem high.

> Despite keeping cows out of ponds
> and mud as much as possible, we
> have had hoofrot problems for
> years. Must have the germ in the
> ground, which is why we use the
> hoofrot vaccine. We started using
> Volar about 1.5-years ago and have
> had zero hoofrot cases since, but
> this may be a coincidence. More
> time will tell. We use a
> black-angus bull on Hereford cows
> to get BB-calves. The white-face
> cows & calves do great for us,
> but its seems like they get
> pink-eye a lot. In the past, our
> calves would come down with
> pink-eye about 1-weeks before they
> were ready for the truck. We’ve
> always used backrubs with
> insecticide, but I’ve read your’s
> and other’s posts about fly
> control and appreciate the good
> ideas.

> Thanks again. Jerry
 

Latest posts

Top