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November 2018 Newsletter



Tuberculosis has recently been diagnosed in a cow at slaughter from a dairy herd near Lodi, Wisconsin. This animal was culled for other reasons and was not showing signs of respiratory disease, but the lungs had nodules seen by the inspectors at the slaughter plant. The nodules were tested and found to be bovine tuberculosis.

The herd is now under quarantine and is testing all animals and people on the farm and a heifer grower farm. Herds in a 5 mile radius are also being tested. So far, a few additional animals have been found to be test positive in the herd. They have been culled and tested. No animals outside the herd have tested positive.

The TB infection was traced back to an employee who has been found to have bovine tuberculosis—the same strain as the infected cows. This employee worked in the calf barn at the dairy 3 years ago. It looks like the employee infected the calves as babies and it took this long for the nodules to develop. None of the animals at the dairy are showing signs like coughing or snotty nose or difficulty breathing.

Wisconsin is considered to be tuberculosis free. These recent cases of TB have not changed that status for moving cattle or writing health papers, except for the herds in the quarantine area. If no spread of the disease is found, Wisconsin’s TB status will remain free.

TB used to be quite common in cattle in the US and was spread to people from infected cattle through bodily fluids, including milk. We have done a great job testing for and culling cattle with TB and have basically eradicated TB in US cattle. Recent cases in California and this Wisconsin case were due to people with TB giving the disease to cattle! This case is a great example of slaughter plant inspectors doing their job to find diseases and protect public health.


Many of you attended the recent BQA certification training in Platteville on Oct 30. This training is being offered because some large packers and processors have announced that effective January 1, 2019, they will only purchase from farms that are BQA or FARM Certified. Beginning in Jan 2020, additional processors will also require BQA or FARM certification from their suppliers (you). Most dairies are already FARM certified.

The January 1, 2019 BQA Requirement impacts those selling finished beef breeds of cattle and will be in effect for all markets and all private treaty transactions. Farmers need to work with their marketing partners or buyers if selling direct, to ensure correct documentation of BQA or FARM certification. This certification includes having a signed VCPR form from your veterinarian. Individual treatment records must be kept of antibiotic use.

Beef producers created the voluntary Beef Quality Assurance Program in 1987 to assist each other in raising, feeding and harvesting high quality beef. By participating in BQA and adopting BQA production practices, you are helping to answer the call from the packers’ consumers, for safe beef raised in a humane manner.

Additional in person BQA certification training sessions hosted by UW-Extension will be held in Darlington on Nov 27 and Bloomington on Dec 19. You can also go to http://www.bqa.org/ to do your certification on line. Visit fyi.uwex.edu for more information and schedule of sessions.

Please call and talk to Sally if you have questions or if you need a VCRP form signed.


Sally has been writing lots of Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) for sick calves lately. Remember that VFDs are good for 6 months so you will be ready once you let us know how many calves you anticipate in the next 6 months and what you plan on using.

Look through this list to know what you need:

  • Which medications do you use in your operation?
  • Have you met with your vet to review your management protocols, medications and vaccinations?
  • Do you have a plan to store copies of VFDs and keep track of expiration dates?
  • Which feed mill do you use?
  • How many calves will you be feeding in the next 6 months?
  • Has Sally seen your calves within the last year?

Remember that the VFD requirement does NOT cover medications in water or boluses or injections. These antibiotics will be available with a prescription from us. We have tetracycline to use in the water. We were finally able to get the liquid sulfadimethoxine for water use. We also have the sulfa boluses which work well in combination with LA-300.


Recent studies comparing fresh colostrum to frozen or heat treated colostrum have found that either freezing or heat treating negatively effects the cells in colostrum. We all know about the importance of antibodies in colostrum for calves, but we are just learning about other components like white cells.

Calves fed fresh colostrum had less diarrhea on day seven and more red blood cells at 3 weeks. Calves fed untreated colostrum also responded better to viral challenges and had immune cells with the ability to recognize particular pathogens.

The best calf management is to harvest colostrum quickly and cleanly and feed a gallon to the calf within the first hour (6 hours at the most). Then continue feeding colostrum from the next milkings to calves for the first four days of life. Treated or colostrum replacers are better than nothing, and do contain antibodies, but feed fresh colostrum whenever possible.


The prices on cattle this fall have been up and down at best. Some of you have gotten caught owning cattle that are not worth much more than you bought them for this spring. One way to improve the feed efficiency and growth of your feedlot cattle is to implant them.

We have been impressed with the performance of the Synovex implants over the last year. The Synovex Choice implant lasts 110 days and can be used in either steers or heifers. You can implant heifers for replacements at 4 months without causing reproductive problems. The implants come in reels of 10 and fit in either a metal or plastic gun.

We have also been impressed with the Synovex Feedlot One finishing implant. This implant is designed for 7-800 lb. calves going on full feed. It can be used in either steers or heifers, but should not be given to heifers being kept for replacements. This implant lasts 200 days, so you don’t have to fight with animals over 1000 pounds giving a second finishing implant. The implants cost about $8, but will bring you an additional 94 lbs. at slaughter with significantly better ADG.

Please call if you have implant questions. We can figure out what will work best in your situation.


We know that prices of just about everything you sell have been low this year. Hay is high and the harvest season was a real struggle with flooding, mud and crop losses. We appreciate you paying on your account and keeping it current. Please call if you have questions or concerns about your account balance. Jill will be happy to answer your questions.

Merry Christmas to you & your family!

Best wishes for the new year!

We appreciate your business.


From all of us at Lancaster Vet Clinic,

Sally, Cari, Jill, Alisha, Cindy, Kari, Kristin, Megan, Vicki, Debbie, Missy.


Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.