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March Newsletter



Everyone is busy and some things happen at the last minute. We try to keep our inventory tight and up to date. Sometimes this combination means that we will not have the quantities of vaccines or medications on hand that you need when you stop in the clinic.

Please call ahead if you need large quantities (more than 100 doses) of a vaccine or something special. Jill can order what you need and have it delivered to your house or to the clinic, sometimes even by the next day if the order is placed early enough.

We want you to be able to have what you need when you need it, so please check to make sure we have enough in stock before you take time to drive to the clinic. Jill will be happy to help you on the phone with questions about prices on various products and different quantities.


We have been seeing a lot of calves with pneumonia lately. Calf barns are hard to ventilate when the temperatures go up and down so drastically and the humidity is high. The frustrating ones are those that die before they even show signs to let you know that they need to be treated.

The calves that we have posted and sent in have been a combination of viral and bacterial agents. These combinations are especially deadly. A calf may be able to fight off a little corona virus or a little salmonella but the two together are a problem. Throw in a little mycoplasma and you have a quick death.

The most important pneumonia prevention is ventilation. What about the beef calves out on the pasture?? Plenty of ventilation! Yep, they get pneumonia, too, but usually not until they are older and mixed with other cattle at weaning. Beef calves are also more susceptible if they get wet and chilled out in the pasture. Calves in hutches do better than those in barns because of better ventilation and less exposure to pathogens traveling through the air from calf to calf.

Calves need cold, fresh air instead of warm, muggy, ammonia smelling air. Use calf coats and bedding to retain body heat and keep calves comfortable in a cold barn. Keep calves grouped by age to decrease exposure of young, susceptible calves to diseases that older calves and adult animals are shedding.

If you do lose a calf, have it posted so that we aren’t guessing about the cause of death. Then we can adjust the vaccinations that you need to give and know what the best antibiotics are to use in your herd.


Merial has recently informed us that their injectable cattle dewormer Long Range is in short supply. We are only able to get the 500 ml bottle size. We do not know how long this supply problem will last.


Zoetis has a new group of health traits that they have identified in calves through the Clarifide Plus DNA testing. The new Calf Wellness Index (CW$) is a selection index using traits of calf livability, respiratory disease and scours to estimate the potential profit of the wellness traits for an individual animal. This new index is similar to the Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$) which also considers cow wellness traits.

Zoetis is still collecting data from farms for the calf health events, so the reliability of the numbers will continue to improve. Right now, the reliability of the three traits is about 40%. The response to selection is similar to DPR (daughter preg rate) and lameness.

The cost of the Clarifide Plus DNA testing is down a dollar to $43 per calf. Due to the cost, it is not for everyone, but it does provide a way to rapidly and accurately to select animals for better health, longevity, productivity and profitability.


Many of you are heavy into spring calving season now and working hard at keeping newborn calves alive. Now is also the time to be checking the bulls you have to make sure they are potential breeders before you turn them out with the cows and replacement heifers.

A breeding soundness exam or BSE involves examination of the bull for any physical problems such as bad feet or other injury, palpation of the internal and external genital organs, measurement of scrotal circumference, collection of semen (usually by electroejaculation). All these procedures can be accomplished on the farm with a chute to restrain the bull and power for the equipment.

Concentration and motility of the sperm is checked under the microscope at the farm. A semen sample is also taken back to the clinic and examined for morphology under the dual head microscope. Just because we can see “swimmers” at the farm does not mean that enough of the sperm are normal for the bull to be fertile.

Depending on the number of bulls done at one visit, the cost of a BSE ranges from $30 to $45 per bull. The results of the BSE are recorded after the test. We have forms for individual bulls or groups depending on whether you are selling animals or keeping them for your own use.

Bulls are classified as a potential breeder or needing a retest or as a non-breeder. Sometimes bulls can recover from an injury and test OK on a retest. Yearling bulls may not test OK the first time, but be OK later. The BSE is designed to find the non-breeders before you turn a bull out and find all the cows open this fall.  Rarely, a bull will test OK and not be a breeder. A BSE does not test libido or mating ability. We have been finding about 20% of the bulls tested to be non-breeders or needing a retest.

Please call if you have questions or want to schedule a time to check your bulls.


We have been seeing lots of cases of pinkeye through this winter. The eyes we have cultured are infected with the “Winter Pinkeye” bacteria, Moraxella bovoculi.

We have the vaccine that contains 4 strains of the Moraxella bovoculi. It does not contain the “normal” pinkeye, Moraxella bovis, so you still have to vaccinate for that bug separately. The cost is just over a dollar a dose for each vaccine, which is a bargain compared to treating them.

Please talk to Sally if you have pinkeye questions or would like to culture some of your cattle’s eyes.


Lyme disease is carried by ticks and can affect all different species of animals, including people. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and affects primarily dogs. We recommend an annual blood test for all dogs that checks for both of these problems. Sometimes people ask if their dog really needs to be tested. The answer is YES! We currently are treating 2 dogs with heartworm infections and recently had a dog die due to Lyme disease complications.

Please protect your dog year round from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes with an effective preventative product. We have a choice of products that work. Please also give your dog a monthly heartworm preventative year round. These diseases are expensive and difficult to treat but easy to prevent. Please also test your dog every year to make sure that your preventative measures are working.



Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.