Monday, November 12, 2018

Aluminum-based aerosol bandages for 
Disbudded Calves

I asked one of vet tech's in our practice about using aluminum-based bandages when disbudding calves. "How long have we been doing this?" She said, "Forever."

Well, "forever" is a rather long time. In practical terms, she could not remember not spraying the aluminum-based product on calves after disbudding - that's probably close to a decade. 

I asked her why we do this. She said, "They heal better." How is that for an endorsement for a practice?

Well, now an enterprising group at Colorado State University actually measured "they heal better."

In scientific terms, when calves that received the  AL spray were compared to calves that received no spray they found:

1. AL-treated calves by 3 weeks post-disbudding had smaller wounds.
2. AL-treated calves were less likely to have delayed healing.

So, now we know with scientifically-valid facts that our vet practice protocol for disbudding calves that includes AL-based spray bandage improves healing. Good for us. 

Reference: Huebner, K.L. and Others, " Evaluation of horn bud wound healing following cautery disbudding of preweaned dairy calves treated with aluminum-based aerosol bandage." Journal of Dairy Science 100:3922-3929 2017

Friday, November 9, 2018

How long does antimicrobial resistance persist in calves
exposed to antimicrobials in either  milk or systemic therapy?

Seventy-five calves recruited from 15 MN dairy farms. Part of the calves were exposed to antimicrobials either through their milk diet or systemic treatment. Other calves received no exposure. Estimates of antimicrobial resistance of fecal E. coli for all calves were made at weeks 1, 3, 5 and 16 weeks of age.

When comparing calves exposed and not exposed to antimicrobials they found highest resistance levels among 1 and 3 week old calves with somewhat lower resistance levels by week 5. 

By week 16 the levels of antimicrobial resistance was virtually zero among all calves.

The authors conclude,
"These findings suggest that exposure to antimicrobials through milk diet or systemic therapy may result in a transient increase in resistance in fecal E. coli, but once the antimicrobial pressure is removed, suseptible E. coli are able to flourish again, resulting in an overall decrease in resistance." (p10,126)

Reference: Foutz, C.A. and Others, "Exposure to antimicrobials through the milk diet or systemic therapy is associated with a transient increase in antimicrobial resistance in fecl Escherichia coli of dairy calves." Journal of Dairy Science 101:10126-10141 November 2018

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Creating Microclimates for Calves

This is the title of a one-page article in the November issue of the Farm Report from the Miner Research Institute in Chazy, New York.

The Key Points:
1. Right after birth
2. During feeding
3. Starter
4. Bedding
5. An extra layer
6. Ventilation

The URL is
or you can try clicking HERE.