Fluctuating temperatures and wet weather have brought some devastating respiratory outbreaks to our area. While bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria, stress is an important part of the disease process as well. Stress suppresses the immune system and creates an opportunity for pathogens to cause disease. There are many causes of stress including shipping, commingling groups, weaning, weather fluctuations and feed changes.
Fall calving is wrapping up and we are already looking towards preparing for the next breeding season. Many cow-calf operators use important management tools, including pre-breeding vaccination and post-breeding pregnancy checks, to maximize the health and productivity of the herd. However, bulls are equally important to a successful breeding season. While bulls don’t always come through the chute when the cow herd is being worked, vaccination and deworming has a great effect
A photo is worth a thousand words. Yet, I sometimes struggle to take great photos of my children. On the other hand, they're usually pretty excited about milk. They love milk and I love that it's an easy and affordable way to provide them with the nutrition they need. Since they sometimes tag along with me on visits to my dairy clients, they also see the behind-the-scenes work that goes into their favorite drink. They take some pride in knowing where their milk comes from. Wh
Dramatic emergencies certainly make for the best veterinary tales — it seems to be the only thing Dr. Pol ever does — yet chasing emergencies is not what fills most of my days as a livestock veterinarian. While being available to clients in times of crisis is certainly an important part of my practice, my job is truly about helping farmers manage their herds to maximize health and minimize emergencies. Whether I am with a new farmer or one that I work with on a weekly basis,
With the Virginia dairy industry in a decline for several years now, the conversation during herd check regularly turns to how the farm can continue care for their herd and produce high-quality milk with a steadily declining milk check. We routinely discuss ways to increase revenue or streamline expenses to allow the farm to stay in business. Dairy farming is a labor of love. The physical and mental demands are extreme and constant. All those involved in the industry feel hea
From late summer to fall, one of the most common causes for down cows or sudden death in central Virginia cattle is Anaplasmosis. This disease is prevalent in the eastern half of the State and far less common in the Shenandoah Valley region. It is a blood-born disease spread by insects, including ticks and horseflies, but also by dirty needles. When calves are exposed to the disease, they develop reasonably strong immunity and tend not to develop clinical disease. However, th