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February 2019 Newsletter



We are all tired of ice and wind. Your cattle, especially calves, are stressed and extra susceptible to pneumonia, scours and other diseases. We have been seeing a lot of weird problems with bloat and down cows that may be all weather related.

Wind breaks really help cattle deal with the cold. Adult cattle produce so much heat in their bodies that even below zero temps are no trouble as long as they have feed and protection from the wind. Calves do not produce nearly as much heat, so they need jackets or dry bedding to nest in as well as a wind break.

Take care of yourself out there! We don’t want to hear about any injuries from frostbite or falling on the ice.


Thanks to all who braved the cold and snow and came to the goat meeting on Valentine’s Day. We had an excellent discussion and demonstration of disbudding and dehorning techniques. Many thanks to Jill for preparing the food and to the Atkinson family dairy for bringing the demo doeling and their dehorning box.

We have copies of the information shared at the meeting if you missed it and are interested in improving your dehorning techniques.

Watch for the next goat meeting in May!


Think spring! That’s mean think about which vaccines you will be giving your calves before you turn them out to pasture. Some of you are even vaccinating fall calves right now.

Last year, we talked about culturing calf’s eyes and having autogenous vaccines made for pinkeye. While that is still an option, we now have a vaccine for the “Winter Pinkeye.” That infection is caused by Moraxella bovoculi which is different than the Moraxella bovis in the conventional vaccines. The disadvantage is that you have to give 2 separate shots.

The good thing about the Moraxella bovoculi vaccine is that you don’t have to go through the delay, cost, and hassle of the eye cultures. Sally is recommending the use of both vaccines if you have been seeing pinkeye problems. The immunity on both with a single dose only lasts about 6 months. You have to think about when you are vaccinating and getting a booster into the calves. With a booster, the immunity lasts a year.


Cold weather stress has been pushing calves over the edge from diseases like scours and pneumonia. Because of their small body size and large surface area, calves can become quickly dehydrated when they are sick, regardless of the cause. The dehydration is what then kills them.

One useful test for dehydration which works in almost any animal is the skin pinch test. Pinch the skin of the neck, turn it 90 degrees and let go. In a normal animal the skin will go flat in 2 seconds or less. If the skin stays standing up or stuck together, the animal is dehydrated. The longer it stays, the worse the dehydration.

The other test is to look at the calf’s eyes. They should not look sunk in at all. If they are 1/8 inch sunk, the calf is dehydrated about 5%. They can be sunk ½ inch in a calf that is really bad and dehydrated 12%.

A calf that is able to stand can be treated with oral electrolytes. A 100 lb calf that is 8% dehydrated would need about a gallon of extra fluids to treat the dehydration. This gallon is in ADDITION to milk feeding, whether by bottle or by the calf nursing. Don’t take sick calves off milk.

Calves that are down or not sucking need IV fluids. Better to guess on the side of needing fluids than not. These sick calves can die in a hurry.


Even with optimal treatment, sometimes animals do not recover or they suffer from diseases or injuries that cannot be treated. In these cases, euthanasia is the best option. Euthanasia of large animals can be a challenge because of the size of the animals, expense of the method of euthanasia and use/disposal of the body.

We are prepared to help you make the best decision for your animal and provide the best possible euthanasia service. Euthanasia is never an easy decision, but relieving suffering is the best for the animal involved.


Have you dewormed your horse recently? Did you really need to? What dewormer did you use? How do you know what to do? The best way to know whether or not to deworm your horse and what product to use is to bring in a fecal sample to the clinic for testing.

The fecal test will identify which worms, if any, your horse has. We can also see other infections such as coccidia, giardia and campylobacter. Once we have that information, we can help you make the best plan for treating your horse.

Horses do need to be dewormed with a product that kills the bots once a year in the winter once the bot flies are dead. The bots live in the horse’s stomach and do not show up on a fecal test.


We are looking at applications and resumes for a new vet to hire. Most of the ones we have seen are from students who will be graduating in May. We want to find someone who will provide high quality service to our clients for both small animals and large animals. We have been doing working interviews, so be ready to see students in the clinic and coming out to the farm with us. Thank you for your patience.


Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.