Apparently this famous saying was from Benjamin Franklin, advising fire threatened Philadelphia, in 1736, that preventing fires was much better than fighting them. My intended message is, preventing sickness is much preferred over treating sick animals.
For those spring calves, weaning is just around the corner... they should have first round of vaccines (virus, +/- bacterial and clostridial) on board at least 4 weeks prior to weaning. Logistically, it is much easier vaccinating as you wean.... the stress of weaning make them more susceptible to sickness, and their immune system is unlikely to respond as well, in an already stressed animal.
Calves should be boostered again in 4-6 weeks.
Purchased calves with no known vaccine status, should also be vaccinated or boostered. Purchased calves should either be processed at arrival, or wait 3-4 weeks to vaccinate. DO NOT vaccinate calves 10-14 days after arrival or after weaning! This is the most likely time for them to be getting sick.
Only mix up enough vaccine, for a couple hours of processing. If you are running 700 head through the chute, only mix 50-100 ds at a time. Less chances for the vaccine to get too warm or too cold.
Change needles regularly! If a needle gets bent or you can feel a bur, switch it out. If you are fighting a herd disease like, BLV or Anaplasmosis, a new needle should be used on each animal. If using pistol syringe or bottle mount, at least at every refill. Never put dirty needle into vaccine bottle.
Discard left over vaccines, that are Modified Live. If they require reconstitution, they do don't have a shelf life, very short window of activation.
Killed vaccine can be saved for a later date. Make sure only clean needles have been in the bottle. Wipe top of bottle with alcohol.
Treating sick animals:
Judicious use of antibiotics, NSAIDs, and steroids. If you use a medication off label... meaning you give double the dose, inject IM instead of IV, give at an increased frequency, give more than 10mls at an injection site.... the withdrawal times can be affected. Make sure these animals are not pushing the limits of withdrawals, or you will be dealing with residue issues. Also, call for recommendations if your treatment isn't working. We are happy to work through your options with you, and come up with labeled treatment protocols for you livestock.
For antibiotics as well, never put a dirty needle into the bottle of medicine. Dirty means any needle that has already been used to inject an animal. If you use luer slip syringes, once a bottle has been punctured, you can put the syringe tip into the bottle of medicine, to draw out, without the needle attached. Ideally we would switch needles with each injection, but this would be a way to prevent contamination, without getting a new needle for each. This is why luer slip syringes is our preference, over luer lock, on disposable syringes.
This product was launched last year. There appears to be good results. It is a Maternal Bovine Appeasing Substance. Threat perception ultimately leads to elevation in inflammation, immunosuppression, increased risk for BRD, decreased DMI, energy inefficiency and increased mortality and morbidity. This product desensitizes the animals to the stressors. It is recommended for use at weaning, branding, castration, vaccination, commingling/ arrival and terminal sorting. Find more info at www.ferapease.com
Valcor has just reached the market late summer. It is a combination dewormer product that includes doramectin and levamisole. Broad spectrum coverage for superior control of internal and external parasites. Injectable product labeled for beef cattle, over 2 months of age. Not labeled in dairy over 20 months, breading bulls or dairy/ veal calves.