Click here for Part 1: Footrot, Part 2: Pinkeye and Part 3: Fly control of the Cattle health during the dog days of summer articles.

“For both pinkeye and footrot cases, you’re going to want to have cattle in a place where you can check them 2 to 3 days later so if you need to treat them again, you can,” says John Maas, former veterinarian with the University of California at Davis Cooperative Extension, and chairman of the Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board.

Cattle health during the dog days of summer: Treating responsiblyIn order to administer treatments the safest way possible for both the rancher and the cattle, good handling procedures to calm animals’ dispositions are recommended. When it comes to method of treatment, Maas strongly urges producers not to use air-powered vaccination guns since injection site and administration is highly susceptible to error. Instead, he suggests producers take cattle to a working facility and administer vaccines in a chute, or if the animal is small enough, rope and doctor it in the pasture.

If producers feel antibiotic therapies mixed with mineral supplements is a treatment option they’d like to use, Maas says to look for products already labeled for treatment.

“If they use something without a label, it must be prescribed by a veterinarian,” he says. “The FDA is scrutinizing the cattle industry very heavily for the way we use antibiotics in cattle.”

While a lot of these summertime health problems can be taken care of by the producer, Maas stresses the importance of knowing when it’s time to involve a veterinarian.

“If you have 3 to 5 percent of your animals come down with pinkeye or footrot, it’s past time you see your veterinarian.”


Customize your vaccine

For pinkeye outbreaks caused by the Moraxella bovis bacteria, a number of treatment and prevention vaccines are available on the market. If the outbreak is caused by Moraxella bovoculi, autogenous vaccine options are available to cattle producers to put a halt to the outbreak more effectively.

After a veterinarian collects samples within the herd, they will be sent off to specialized labs.

“The lab will isolate the bacteria, find out what type of antibiotics it is susceptible to, and then send the information off to a vaccine company,” says Maas.

The vaccine company is then able to build a customized treatment for the herd, targeting the isolated bacteria with antibiotics they are weakest to.

See the full article and more in the digital edition of the June-July issue of Drovers/CattleNetwork.