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Working Ranch - March 2018

selenium and Vitamin A are critical as holistic parts of the cow’s diet. A good treatment plan, Dr. Fuselier explains, requires diagnostics and a good management level on the ranch. He also says that members of the beef industry tend to be reactive to such disease issues rather than proactive. With that said, abortions typically occur sporadically. When the rancher sees an abortion storm, the point is to react quickly, with appropriate diagnostic measures to test cows and determine the cause of an abortion storm. Very few diseases are diagnosed, so when a rancher sees cows aborting in the early phases they move on due to time and labor. Without taking time to cull cows that carry Lepto or other reproductive diseases it is impossible to eradicate and therefore it will exist from year to year. Dr. Fuselier says every cow herd has a percentage of pregnancy loss or wastage, which means some cows are diagnosed pregnant but don’t have a calf. A rate of two to fi ve-percent of cows not calving is considered to be normal but if that number bumps up to eight or ten percent then something may be wrong. Lepto shows up suddenly and in a short period of time a rancher will see cows abort late in its pregnancy. Proper vaccinations should be administered to all cows on a regular, annual basis. A rate of two to fi ve-percent of cows not calving is considered to be normal but if that number bumps up to eight or ten percent then something may be wrong. Ranchers should also keep in mind that if they pride themselves on being a closed herd that the neighbors’ fence does not keep out disease – only the neighbors’ animals themselves. Dr. Fuselier recommends an isolation area for new animals and those coming off of a stock trailer. A 30-day isolation of all calves, cows or herd bulls is important before being mixed in with the home group and is the best chance to decrease exposing the herd to whatever that animal might be carrying. At the end of the day the best management tool for reproductive diseases in cattle is to manage them with vaccinations and proper biosecurity. Dr. Fuselier says the fi rst steps are keeping new or questionable animals from infecting others through isolation and quarantine, exposing them later to the herd. Next, maintaining cow health with proper nutrition and routine vaccinations are fi nal keys to limiting and stopping reproductive challenges. “A little bit of foot work and money spent on good management will all be worth it when those little calf legs fi rst hit the ground,” he says. JODY PFANNENSTIEL A good healthy herd like this one is always at risk of a disease showing up and messing things up. It’s up to you and your veterinarian to protect them. 40 I WORKING RANCH I MARCH 2018


Working Ranch - March 2018
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