Unless You Treat the Underlying Cause Don't Expect Results- Vet AJ Tarpoff Talks Treatment FailureWed, 26 Sep 2018 10:59:59 CDT
Bovine Respiratory Disease or BRD, is the No. 1 disease cattle producers will face when they deal with incoming stockers onto their operations. However, according to Extension Veterinarian Dr. AJ Tarpoff, there are many other ailments that cattle develop that are oftentimes misdiagnosed as a BRD related symptom and then treated as such. In such cases, Tarpoff says this results in the affected animal’s “treatment failure.”
Some of the most common things Tarpoff has seen in cattle that producers will mistake for an illness, are actually injuries- things like lameness especially. Many producers might jump to the conclusion that this is being caused by foot rot. Tarpoff brushes that notion aside insisting that foot rot typically does not occur until later on in a feeding period. For cattle that have just arrived, he says lameness in cattle is generally caused by either an abscess under the hoof or by infectious arthritis, sometimes even external cuts from jagged edges on panels or gates where maybe a weld has broken and left unattended where cattle are unloaded or moved through.
“So, how do we handle these animals, well, No. 1: maintenance on our own equipment, load outs, loading areas, the inside of chutes… making sure all of that is repaired like should be so we have no sharp edges that these cattle are going to be running across,” Tarpoff said. “The other thing is low stress handling and making sure those cattle aren’t slipping and falling and making sure we’re not applying too much pressure where they would try to run or get away from us. But, keeping those animals calm, cool and collected while we’re pushing them through our facility.”
When cattle do initially arrive, though, Tarpoff says cattle should have a good once over by the producer to identify any health issues that need to be addressed. However, the job doesn’t stop there. After the cattle have been released from the initial observation period, producers should keep an eye out for at least a few days to see if any other signs of illness or injury appears in the cattle. Once identified, understand that the healing process will take time and take the appropriate measures to expedite that process.
“Once we do have them in treatment and the infection is under control- we can kill the bacteria, but the inflammation is still there and the damage has already been done- so we need to handle these animals a little differently. Keep them where they’re on a nice bedded ground and a pretty easy-going pen where they don’t have to compete with their pen mates,” he said. “It needs to be a place where they can rest and don’t have to go far for feed and water- a vacation pen is what I like to call it.”
Listen to Tarpoff offer more advice on how to properly identify and treat illnesses in cattle on stocker operations, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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