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January 2020 Newsletter




Mark your calendars to attend the next Goat Group meeting on Thursday February 13th from noon to 2 pm at the clinic.  The weather has been nicer this January than last year, but February seems to work better with early kidding.   We will be serving lunch starting at noon, but please come whenever you can.

Sally will be presenting information about Bucks, Bucks, Bucks!  What to do with buck kids and how to manage adult bucks.  We will talk about different sale barns and marketing options, guidelines for raising healthy buck kids and breeding management.  Please bring any questions you have and things you have learned.  This goat group has been a great place for people to share problems and solutions.

Everyone is welcome.  Please invite your friends and neighbors who have goats.  People who have pet goats and only meat goats can also benefit from the information and sharing.



You may have heard on the news about the stable in Mauston where 14 horses died from blister beetles in western hay purchased at a hay auction in Nebraska.  The hay contained blisters beetles that had been crushed during the baling process, leaving behind a toxin called canthridin.  This chemical is a defense mechanism for the beetles, but causes irritation, redness and blisters if eaten or if it comes in contact with skin.

Horses are the animals that are most susceptible to the toxin.  When they eat it or the dead beetles, the toxin causes severe, irreversible kidney damage and blisters and ruptured ulcers in the intestines.  Only 6 grams of beetles/toxin (weight of a nickel) is enough to kill a horse.  The toxin stays active forever in baled hay.  There is no treatment.  Horses show signs of colic, off-feed and lethargy.

Why do we not hear about blister beetles more often in Wisconsin?  We do have 2 types of blister beetles that live in Wisconsin.  They are more of a problem in western alfalfa because the hay is irrigated and quickly baled with a crimper after cutting.  The beetles are attracted to the flowers on the alfalfa and other plants such as goldenrod, not the plants.  Fields in bloom can be infested with swarms of beetles that get baled up in the hay.  When the hay is crimped, the insects are crushed and release the toxin.

 How can you prevent blister beetle problems in your horse’s hay?

  1.  Avoid alfalfa.  If you have to feed it, use early first cutting OR after late August when beetles are gone.
  2. Let your hay dry on the ground and be raked at least one time.  The beetles will leave the hay when it is raked.
  3. Do not feed alfalfa with blooms.  Avoid baling edges or areas of fields with blooming weeds.
  4. Do not feed irrigated hay that has been quickly baled after cutting.
  5. Do not feed crimped hay.





A fat cow at dry off will be an even fatter cow at calving, unless you have a high fiber/straw diet for the dry cows.  A fat cow at calving will eat less after calving and use that fat to meet her energy demands.  This fat use puts extra stress on the liver and causes fatty liver and ketosis.

Another challenge for these cows is the demand for protein.  Dry cows need protein to make colostrum, help the calf finish growing and build up the digestive system.  After calving, cows mobilize over 2 lbs of protein from their bodies just to make milk.  We need to make sure that we are not shorting the dry cow and fresh cow ration on protein with reduced dry matter intake.

 More studies have been done supporting the strategy of drying cows off at a 2.75-3 BCS (NOT a 3.25-3.5 BCS like we used to do), calving them at 2.75-3 and keeping them from losing weight after calving.  Whether cows are too thin OR too fat at calving, if they lose weight they will have very poor conception rates and higher incidence of mastitis, metritis and milk fever.

How can we achieve these medium body condition scores in our late lactation cows and maintain weight after calving?

  1.  Limit number of services and/or days at breeding.  If a cow is not pregnant by 150 DIM, she most likely needs to be a DNB.
  2. Adjust energy in feed to late lactation cows.  It is easier to get a cow to lose weight while she is still milking.
  3. Save your best feed and facilities for fresh cows to get them up and going and eating right away.
  4. Make sure that the amount of protein in the ration is based on the dry matter intake and not just a standard percent.





            If your dog or cat needs its teeth cleaned, bring it in during February and get a 10% discount along with a free goodie bag of items to help keep your furry friend’s teeth healthy.  Dental health is important for a long, healthy life for your pet as well as fresh breath, preventing heart problems and infections.

            We now can take dental x-rays of your pet’s teeth to check the health of the tooth roots and bone surrounding the teeth.  These x-rays are just like the ones that you have done when you go to the dentist.  Our goal is to save teeth and keep your pet’s teeth healthy.  Sometimes, we have to remove diseased, painful teeth, but the x-rays help us know which ones can be saved.

            The most important thing you can do to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is to bring it in for an exam during dental month to see if the teeth need any cleaning or other dental work!





We hope you have had a chance to visit our online store. We are still adding items, but right now, you can order pet food, flea and tick preventatives, prescription refills and equine products.  The prices are competitive, you can set up automatic shipments and shipping is free.  We have been pleased so far.


You can reach the online store through




Once you are in the website, you can search for products, check out the latest deals and special prices, and create your own account.  Your information will not be used anywhere else. If you are ordering a product that needs a prescription, we will take care of that.  If your animal needs something like bloodwork or testing before the prescription can be filled, we will contact you.

The website has a live chat and help line if you have a question about ordering or returning a product.  You will be able to see and order lots of things that we don’t carry in the building.  If you need vaccines or other supplies for cattle, please call the clinic and talk to Jill to set up a drop ship.





Prices for most Zoetis products will increase by 2-4% starting February 1st.  You can save on Zoetis products by becoming a Leader’s Edge buyer.  In order to qualify, you have to purchase a minimum amount of Zoetis products, including feed additives.  Then you get special lower prices on all the Zoetis products you buy.  Please call and talk to Jill if you wonder if you qualify or would like to sign up.  We have quite a few clients who have qualified.

Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.