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Newsletter of Penn Dutch Cow Care September 2008

Hi Folks,

As we head towards autumn, please remember that the likelihood of bloating due to legume pasture increases. Give feed to animals prior to sending out to pasture. Wait for frost to be off plants as well. If bloating occurs, give vegetable oil or mineral oil to lubricate the gut: one pint given carefully in mouth then walk around for 15 minutes then one pint again. Never have a cow tied in that is bloating – always have them walking around or be walked to have things move through. The anti-bloat compound, poloxalene is now legal for organics in an emergency administration, but not as an ingredient in a lick block. Poloxalene is found in the product called Thera-bloat® which can be bought over the counter product at better farm stores.

Speaking of products, I don’t usually mention the products that I carry for organic farms, but the other day I was surprised by a farmer when he had no idea about certain treatments I commonly use. These medicines are used within a valid veterinary client patient relationship (VCPR) which means that a veterinarian has knowledge of the animals in the herd, has been on the farm recently and is available for follow-up or has a clinic that is available for follow-up. Here’s the list:

Phyto-Mast is a botanical multi-purpose antiseptic available in aseptic, easy to use tubes with alcohol pads. It is intended to be used an antiseptic irrigation. If used for milk quality concerns, it can be expressed 4 hours after administration between milkings to clear out the udder. Phyto-Mast may be considered for cows that have milk quality concerns at dry off. This product is not intended for Staph aureus or coliform infections. The ingredients of Phyto-Mast are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), however, avoid contact with the eyes.

Plasma is a product I’ve developed to enhance health. It is a highly purified plasma derived from organic cows that have recovered from mastitis or pneumonia and have been further stimulated. Sterility is guaranteed through microbiology laboratory quality control. Source animals are test negative for BVD, BLV and Johnes. Plasma is indicated for times when other cows or calves may be experiencing similar situations as did the donor cows. This product is different from other products in that there are no red cells in it, hence it I use it for it IV administration (with epinephrine ready). It can be used under the skin and in the muscle as well.

Phyto-Biotic is a liquid tincture of plants that have well known antibacterial properties to enhance health. Phyto-Biotic is normally used an oral treatment but I do give it IV as a loading dose when called out for a case. (I add it to a carrier such as dextrose or physiologic saline.) Oral dose of  Phyto-Biotic is 5cc/ calf and 20cc/ cow given 3 times daily. When administered with other IV fluids, a 90cc dose is given one time. Why do I sometimes give tinctures IV?  About 10 years ago, I was reading literature which documented methods of giving herbal infusions intravenously to human patients in China. Therefore, I thought that I could try the same for my cow patients and my clinical impressions have been favorable. Phyto-Biotic is good simply given orally as well, and most farmers use it that way.

Get Well capsules are also formulated to enhance health. They are a dry, powdered version of the Phyto-Biotic. Some farmers prefer to give capsules instead of liquids. These can be given as a follow-up to a loading dose of Phyto-Biotic.

Heat Seek is a combination of botanicals for reproductive health. It is a botanical blend of herbs that seems to enhance the visually observable signs of heat (estrus). This is for use in animals which are in normal body condition (not skinny / negative energy balance), have a CL on the ovary, and have not shown visible heats for a long time. A land grant institution is starting a clinical research experiment with Heat Seek this month. They will be seeing what the potential difference is between 25 animals treated with Heat Seek versus 25 animals that are un-treated by looking at ovarian changes with ultrasound and blood hormonal changes in the laboratory.

Phyto-Gest is a liquid tincture of plants known to stimulate appetite and the gut. Indications would be mild bloat, constipation, impacted rumen, potential displaced abomasum. This can be given at the rate of 15-20cc/ cow (or horse) or occasionally at 5-10cc IV with a diluent such as dextrose or physiologic saline. Given after IV calcium, this has been shown to help very well.

Jump-Start is to enhance digestion, much like Phyto-Gest. This is basically a dry, powdered version of the Phyto-Gest. It has a slightly altered composition with Capsicum annuum and sodium bicarbonate included. All ingredients are GRAS.

With the above ready in the medicine cabinet, you will be prepared for most of the situations that can happen to organic dairy cows and calves.

NODPA's 1st Southeast Regional Field Day and Arden and Caroline Landis' Retirement Celebration - Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Arden and Caroline will welcome all dairy producers to the farm with refreshments at 9:30 am on Thursday morning, September 18th and at 10:00 am Arden will lead a tour of the farm. At noon, there will be a locally produced organic meal consisting of cheese and pretzels, string cheese, yogurt straws for starters, followed by barbequed organic chicken, parsley & brown butter potatoes, baked beans, macaroni salad, fresh lettuce salad and healthy dressing, apple crisp and gelato with fresh organic milk, coffee, tea, and juices. After the meal there will be welcome from NODPA President or Vice-President and an update from NODPA Executive Director Ed Maltby.

The day will culminate with a round table discussion led by a panel of experienced organic dairy producers including Roman Stoltzfoos, Rodney Martin, Dave Johnson, Forrest Stricker, and Rob Moore, who will discuss many topics including the following:

*          Pay prices -How can we make a living and strategies for a future approach to deciding pay price that is based on defined criteria.
*          Best cost cutting ideas: What can we change this year that will positively affect the bottom line?
*          Will diversification be essential for future economic viability?
*          When the milk check isn't enough to pay the bills anymore, what can we do to take advantage of other skills and resources?
*          Health issues - feeding enough minerals on reduced grain diets, getting serious about Johne's and other issues

There will be no charge to dairy producers who pre-register by Monday, September 15th with a $10 charge at the door for those dairy producers that do not pre-register. Non-dairy producers will be charged $15. Those wishing to attend can call NODPA's toll-free number to pre-register: 1-888-308-9706 and if there are any questions, please call Ed Maltby, 413-772-0444, or email at ednodpa@comcast.com


For Bovinity Health, information on functional alternatives to antibiotics see:

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