Monday, February 17, 2014

If it worked for my neighbor's calf it should work for mine!
I just wince or flinch when I hear this. Borrowing treatments without a professional diagnosis is just asking for trouble.
The last recent case of this was a dairy experiencing and outbreak of something that was killing calves. The  calves seemed to begin with pneumonia-like symptoms. The antibiotic the farm was accustomed to using did not seem to make a difference. Even treated calves continued to go downhill and die. 
For a couple of weeks the farm experimented with antibiotics that appeared to be working for a neighboring farm. Disappointed results let them to finally request professional assistance.
Our diagnosis? Not feeding enough given the environmental conditions. With week after week of nighttime temperatures in the single digits (and often below zero) energy demands on calves for maintenance have been very, very high. This farm continued to feed two quarts of 20-20 milk replacer twice daily (mixed so that 10 ounces of powder makes two quarts).
Just not enough feed. No antibiotic in the world can help a starving calf. 

Borrowing treatments without a professional diagnosis is just asking for trouble.

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