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September Newsletter



This year’s annual Cat Castration Clinic will be held from 7-noon on Saturday October 14, the Saturday after the Harvest Fest parade.  Last year, we castrated over 300 cats!  Let’s see if we can do that many again.

On October 14th, we will anesthetize and castrate for free any male cat brought to the clinic.  We will not be doing female cats nor male dogs.  Vaccinations, flea treatments and deworming will be available at regular prices.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to have your male cats castrated.  They will be much better pets.  You will also be helping to cut down on the feral cat population which is responsible for spreading diseases like feline leukemia and ear mites and for killing song birds.

Please call if you have any questions.  We will be set up in the garage again this year, so come around back after you park.  We will have a waiting area set up for you complete with coffee and snacks.  We will have a donation box if you feel like supporting the free clinic.

Cats are taken care of on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please bring your cat in a carrier or box and plan on waiting till your cat is done to take it home right away.  Everyone is welcome, so tell all your friends and neighbors to come, too!



We had a great turnout of goat milk producers at our meeting at the clinic on September 13th.  We hope to continue these meetings and sharing among producers to help solve problems.  We can all learn from each other about making quality milk with goats.

We especially appreciate the support of Montchevre Dairy in promoting the meeting.  Dave Bahl, field rep from Montchevre, brought cheese for everyone and shared his experience and helpful knowledge.


We have worked with many of you to write Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs) for antibiotic use in feed for your animals.  Remember that these VFDs are only good for 6 months.  After that, or after all the feed that the VFD covers has been purchased, the VFD needs to be renewed.  The renewal fee is only $20 compared to $25 for a new prescription. 

You will not be able to purchase feed if your VFD has expired.  We get renewal reminders for the VFDs written electronically through Global Vet Link, but the hand written ones are harder to keep track of.

The amount of feed covered by a VFD can include all of the animals that you will be feeding the same antibiotic during the 6 month period.  You do not need a new VFD for each group of feeder calves you purchase, for instance.  As long as you are feeding the same antibiotic with the same directions for each group, you only need one VFD.   Please let us know if you have any questions about your VFDs.


We will soon be busy with fall chute work as you get busy with weaning calves and deciding which calves to sell and which to keep for replacements.  We have some new recommendations for vaccinations for fall calves and some new options for implants.  We want to help you figure out what is best and most cost effective for you.  Beef calf vaccinations:

Birth:  Inforce 3 intranasal
45 days:  Inforce 3 intranasal
3 months (to grass):

  • Ultrabac7
  • Bovishield Gold 5
  • One Shot (if seeing summer pneumonia in calves)

Prewean: Ultrabac7

  • Bovishield Gold 5/One Shot

Weaning: Inforce 3

Your individual calf protocol may be different depending on when your cows calve and what diseases are present on your farm.  The biggest change is the addition of Inforce 3 at weaning.  Studies have shown a decrease in pneumonia and increase in weight gain after weaning in calves given Inforce 3.  It boosts their immune system and Interferon levels to help get them through the stress of weaning.



Many thanks to Jill Kruse-Drinkwater and Cindy Simpson for the fabulous Halloween decorations outside the clinic.  See if you can guess which vet is which getting chased up a tree.


Do you deworm your cows and calves in the fall?  In the spring?  Both?  Never?  What should you be doing?  In general, we recommend deworming when cattle come of grass in the fall.  Being out on pasture is when and where cattle are most likely to pick up parasites.  However, the best way to answer deworming questions is with a fecal test.

We can do a fecal test on individual animals that are thin or have diarrhea or on a mixed sample from a group to see how the group is doing.  The fecal test looks for internal parasites such as giardia and campylobacter as well as eggs from worms such as stomach worms, Nematodirus and whipworms and cysts from coccidia.  We do a fecal egg count to determine if the amount of parasites in a sample is worth treating or not.  The different types of parasites require different types of treatments, so you can’t just “treat for worms” in general. 


Some of you are done with your beef cow breeding season and getting ready for fall preg checks.  However, if you are a client who likes to have cows calve in the fall, or if you have both a fall and spring group, now is the time to get your bulls checked to breed the fall group.

Bulls should be checked before every turnout, not just once a year.  A lot can happen that will decrease fertility in a 12 month span.  It is especially important to check young bulls that have not been used for breeding before.  Some of them will not be fertile yet or may have physical problems that decrease fertility.

We do a full physical exam when we do a bull breeding soundness exam (BBSE).  We do not just check for “swimmers” under the microscope.  A bull must be able to walk, see, eat and stand up on his hind legs in order to get cows pregnant.  We also check for microscopic abnormal sperm structure that may make a bull sterile even though he has good “swimmers.”

We measure scrotal circumference as part of the BBSE.  The size and health of the testicles are the major determinant of scrotal output and how many cows one bull can breed successfully.  A bull that is determined to be a “satisfactory breeder” in a BBSE should be able to breed 25-30 cows within the next 60 days.  However, the test does not measure libido.  About 1 out of 5 bulls will fail the BBSE and not be good breeders.

In order to perform the BBSE, we need you to have a chute that will hold your bulls, a power supply close to the chute and a table to set the microscope up on.  Please call if you have any questions about testing your bulls.



July Newsletter



Most of you will already have enjoyed our annual Client Appreciation Party by the time you get this newsletter in the mail.  We hope to see all of you at the clinic on Friday July 28 from 3-8 pm.

 We will have free food and beverages and fun and door prizes and lots of things for kids to do.  We are planning on having food and activities in a tent on the south lawn, so everything will be easy to find.  In case of rain, we will move into the clinic garage.

Of course, you are welcome to tour the clinic and see the new tile in the kennel and the exam room improvements.  Kids will be able to bring their stuffed pets and practice bandaging them.  We will have a duck pond and bounce house and a cow to milk.  You may even win a prize! 


June Newsletter



You and your family are invited to our annual Client Appreciation Party at the clinic on Friday July 28 from 3-8 pm. We hope that having the party on Friday this year will make it easier for people to come.

We will have free food and beverages and fun and door prizes and lots of things for kids to do. We are planning on having food and activities in a tent on the south lawn, so everything will be easy to find. In case of rain, we will move into the clinic garage.

Of course, you are welcome to tour the clinic and see the new tile in the kennel and the exam room improvements. Kids will be able to bring their stuffed pets and practice bandaging them. We will have a duck pond and bounce house and a cow to milk. You may even win a prize!

We will have some special visitors from the Humane Society and lots of kittens to see. You can also tour the new dog park taking shape north of the clinic.

Everyone is welcome! Please bring the family, have supper with us and join in the fun.


It doesn’t seem like it should be time for the fair already, but here it is. Sally will be helping check in animals on Thursday August 17. Please call if you have any questions about the paperwork that you need. Sally will be taking care of on farm pig inspections, so just call and make an appointment for her to come out and look at your pigs.

Good luck to all fair participants!


Starting July 1st, a new pilot program will start to test bulk tank milk for tetracycline type antibiotics. Currently, all bulk tank milk is tested for beta-lactam type drugs such as penicillin, ampicillin and cephalosporins. The number of bilk tanks testing positive for beta-lactams has dropped to only 0.011 percent last year. That is only 1 out of 10,000 samples! Milk testing positive is never used for human consumption.

Antibiotics in the tetracycline family include oxytetracycline, tetracycline and chlortetracycline. Under the pilot program, if a bulk tan is found to have violative residues of tetracyclines, a trace back to the farm of origin will occur. The offending farm will be responsible for the value of the dumped milk and may temporarily lose their milk license.

Please review which tetracyclines you have on your dairy and make sure that you have accurate dosing and withdrawal information. You may have bottles of LA200, LA300, or Oxytet100. These all have different doses, uses and withdrawal times. Another use for tetracycline is treating hairy heel warts. This use is extra-label and so requires a vet prescription.

Sally would be happy to answer any questions you might have about how to avoid having tetracycline residues in your milk. You can have an individual cow tested before putting her in the tank if you have any question about the drug withdrawal. If you have any doubt about the presence of a drug, hold the milk and test the cow.


We have been treating a number of animals suffering from heat stress. Animals can start seizuring and lose consciousness and die if their body temperature gets too high for too long. Some animals never completely recover from the brain damage caused by the high fever. Half of affected animals will die.

Animals like dogs and pigs cannot sweat and must rely on panting to cool off. Horses and cattle can sweat, but they also increase their respiratory rate for evaporative cooling. If animals cannot get out of the sun or don’t have enough to drink, they can get overheated in a hurry.

If you have an animal with a temp of 105 or higher, if possible, move the animal to a cool place in the shade and soak the animal’s body with cold water. Make sure the animal has plenty of water. Provide air movement with a fan or breeze. Animals that are not drinking may need IV fluids. A calf that Sally was treating died despite the IV fluids.

You can prevent heat stress in your animals by providing shade with a high roof, air moving and plenty of water. Feeding a high quality forage 2 hours after peak temps will help cattle and horses generate less internal heat. Minimize stress and handling and work animals early in the morning or later in the evening after things have cooled off. The same preventions work for people!


Thanks to everyone who helped out with the Dairy Breakfast this year at the Todd Fischer farm in Bagley. It was great having the breakfast back on the farm instead of at the fairgrounds where it has been for the last 16 years or so. The event was well organized and the weather cooperated to allow parking at the farm. Sally helped serve seconds during the early shift. More farms have offered to host the breakfast in the future, so we can look forward to future Dairy Breakfasts served on the farm.


The city has been making great progress on the new dog park north of the clinic. The fence is up, the pathway is done and the water fountain on the north end is ready to go. Now they just need to get the area reseeded so the grass can grow back. You are welcome to have a look at the park when you come to the Client Appreciation Party, but unfortunately, no dogs will be able to play in it until probably next year when the grass is established. We don’t want to end up with a mud hole.


We have been seeing a few more horses with strangles this spring and answering a lot of questions about the disease. Strangles in horses is similar to strep throat in people-mostly occurs in the young, can be self-limiting to very serious. We recommend the intranasal vaccine against strangles for horses under 5 years old who will be going to a trainer or attending events with other horses. Any horse that is traveling and exposed to many other horses is also at risk and should be vaccinated.

Horses that are infected may ran a fever, have swollen/abscessed lymph nodes, snotty nose and cough. Some horses get dehydrated or go off-feed because their throats are too swollen to swallow. These horses need rapid, intensive care. Please call if you have any questions about strangles.


Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.