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Veterinary Medicine

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Abortions in Dairy Cattle - I: Common Causes of Abortions

Abortion in dairy cattle is commonly defined as a loss of the fetus between the age of 42 days and approximately 260 days. Pregnancies lost before 42 days are usually referred to as early embryonic deaths, whereas a calf that is born dead between 260 days and full term is defined a stillbirth. A low rate of abortions is usually observed on farms and 3 to 5 abortions per 100 pregnancies per year is often considered "normal." However, the loss of any pregnancy can represent a significant loss of (potential) income to the producer and appropriate action should therefore be taken to prevent abortions and to investigate the cause of abortions that may occur. Each abortion is estimated to cost the producer $500 to $900 

May 1, 2009 404-288
Abortions in Dairy Cattle - II: Diagnosing and Preventing Abortion Problems

Abortions can represent a significant loss of (potential) income - an estimated $500 to $900 per case - and present a frustrating challenge to dairy producers and veterinarians. The procedures presented here should help producers and their veterinarians increase the likelihood of diagnosing the cause of any abortions that may occur. In some situations, the prompt diagnosis of an abortion may help reduce the severity of an impending outbreak.

May 1, 2009 404-289
Anaplasmosis in Beef Cattle

Anaplasmosis is an infectious disease of cattle caused by several species of the blood parasite Anaplasma. A. marginale is the most common pathogen of cattle.

May 1, 2009 400-465
Beef Cow/Calf Herd Health Program and Calendar

It is widely agreed that prevention rather than treatment is the most economical approach to keeping disease losses low. Treatment of a disease after its onset is not always

May 1, 2009 400-007
Calving Emergencies in Beef Cattle: Identification and Prevention

Calving difficulty, technically called dystocia, is a major cause of death loss in cow-calf herds. CHAPA (Cow-calf Health and Productivity Audit) studies indicate that dystocia is responsible for 33 percent of all calf losses and 15.4 percent of beef cattle breeding losses.

May 1, 2009 400-018
Club Lamb Fungus May 1, 2009 410-018
Control of Internal Parasites in Sheep May 1, 2009 410-027
Control, Treatment, and Elimination of Foot Rot from Sheep May 1, 2009 410-028
Current Strategies in Parasite Control in Virginia Beef Cattle

Many advances have been made in the field of livestock parasite control over the past few years. Because parasites decrease production, usually through decreased weight gain, advances in the control of parasites can have a direct economic impact on beef cattle operations.

May 1, 2009 400-802
Dairy Heifer Health, Disease Control, and Vaccinations

The future of the dairy herd is dependent on the production of superior heifers to replace culled lactating animals. Therefore, it is imperative that the health status of the replacement animal is optimized to present a healthy first calf heifer to the lactating herd. Studies have consistently demonstrated the detrimental effects of pneumonia in calves on age at first calving and on milk production once these animals enter lactation. Calves with respiratory infections were twice as likely to leave the herd and age at first calving was delayed by 6 months when compared with calves that did not experience respiratory disease or pneumonia. In another study, calves treated for scours were three times more likely to calve at 30 months of age or greater.

May 1, 2009 404-284
Early Heifer Development and Colostrum Management

Raising dairy replacement heifers is expensive. In fact, if the dairy is divided into different enterprises (eg. labor, feed cost for lactating cows, facilities, etc.), rearing replacements is the second largest cost, behind feed cost for lactating cows. The percentage will vary from farm to farm, but approximately 9% to 20% of the expenses incurred will involve rearing and developing heifers. Therefore, heifers should represent a sound investment, as their impact on future herd profitability is enormous.

May 1, 2009 404-282
Environmental Streptococcal and Coliform Mastitis

Well managed dairy herds with low somatic cell counts (SCC below 200-300,000) often may experience problems with onsets of clinical mastitis. Approximately 40-45% of the mastitis cases in low SCC herds are caused by environmental pathogens which can be difficult to detect because of their short duration. Cows in low SCC herds are most susceptible to environmental streptococci and coliform infections after drying off and just prior to calving but which appear in early lactation.

May 1, 2009 404-234
Estrus Synchronization for Heifers

Developing replacement heifers is the most expensive enterprise in the cow-calf operation. You can increase returns to heifer development if the heifers calve at 24 months of age and calve early in the calving season.

May 1, 2009 400-302
Feeder and Stocker Health and Management Practices

Disease represents a major problem in most feeder and stocker settings. In some instances, outbreaks of disease can result in as much as a 30% death loss. In addition, treatment costs, feed efficiency losses, and the expenditures and labor necessary for treatment, as well as the necessity of culling animals which fail to respond to treatment, make disease loss substantial in many situations.

May 1, 2009 400-006
Foot Rot in Beef Cattle

Foot rot is a common disease of cattle that can cause severe lameness and decreased weight gain. Other common names for the disease are sore foot and foul foot.

May 1, 2009 400-310
GnRH Based Estrus Synchronization Systems for Beef Cows

New systems of synchronizing estrus (heat) in cows for artificial insemination (AI) have been developed using commercially available Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH). These systems allow producers to artificially inseminate cows with little or no heat detection. For the first time, producers have a reliable system that results in acceptable pregnancy rates to timed AI.

May 1, 2009 400-013
Goat-Herd Health Calendar

The goal of any goat-herd health program should be to increase efficiency and productivity. Herd health programs should include general husbandry, nutrition, and parasite and vaccination programs. Your emphasis should be on disease prevention rather than treatment. There are three major approaches for disease control:

  1. Keep resistance high.
  2. Avoid exposure.
  3. Recognize and address diseases early.
May 1, 2009 412-501
Good Production Practices: Proper Storage, Labeling, and Accounting for Medications

 Purpose: To teach youth how to read a medication label so they are better able to understand how to store and administer medications for different livestock species.

Dec 7, 2015 APSC-99P
Good Production Practices: Reading a Medication Label

Purpose: To teach youth how to read a medication label and calculate dosages so they are better able to understand how to store and administer medications to different livestock species 

Dec 23, 2015 APSC-100P
Good Production Practices: Reading and Understanding a Medication Label

To teach youth how to read a medication label so they are better able to understand how to store and administer medications to different livestock species.

Apr 28, 2016 APSC-101P
Good Production Practices: Understanding the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship

To teach youth how to read a medication label so they are better able to understand how to store and administer medications to different livestock species.

Apr 28, 2016 APSC-104P
Good Production Practices: Using the Flight Zone to Handle Livestock

Purpose: To help children better understand livestock flight zones so they are able to move and handle livestock more efficiently and safely.*

Apr 28, 2016 APSC-105P
Good Production Practices: When to Call the Veterinarian

Purpose: To help children better understand livestock flight zones so they are able to move and handle livestock more efficiently and safely.*

Apr 28, 2016 APSC-106P
Good Production Practices: Where Did That Medication Come From? PDF

Purpose: Teach youth to understand the differences in over-the-counter, prescription, extra-label, and illegal use of animal pharmaceuticals.*

Apr 28, 2016 APSC-107P
Good Production Practices: You Want Me to Eat From That?

Purpose: To teach youth the importance of clean feeding equipment and proper labeling of feeds.*

Apr 28, 2016 APSC-108P
Health Care for Horses

Thoughtful and planned care will allow your horse to live a longer and healthier life. Good equine husbandry is based upon the principle of preventive care: problem prevention rather than problem treatment.

May 1, 2009 406-308
Heifer Inventory and the Economics of Replacement Rearing

Profitability in the dairy business is NOT the herd with the larger milk check, or the greater volume in the bulk tank, but the producer who retains a larger sum of revenues at the end of the month (income minus expenses equals profits). One of the larger expenses incurred on the dairy is replacement heifer rearing. Replacement rearing is second only to feed cost for the lactating cows. In surveys of dairy expenditures, this item accounts for 9 to 20% of the total expenses on the farm. In the authors' experience, producers are seldom aware of what heifers cost to raise, and most producers think that these expenses are negligible. Heifers are a high cost item when expenses are divided among the various enterprises on the farm.

May 1, 2009 404-287
Milk Production Evaluation In First Lactation Heifers

A critical evaluation of production in first lactation heifers once they reach the milking herd is important to determine the effects of the heifer rearing program. This can easily be done by monitoring start-up milk (milk production 0 to 40 days in milk), start-up milk butterfat and protein, and peak milk, peak milk butterfat and protein (41 to 100 days in milk) because these are directly related to heifer development.

May 1, 2009 404-285
Monitoring Dairy Heifer Growth

Monitoring dairy heifer growth and development will insure that calves are on target to reach a weight of 1350 pounds at calving, with a height of 54 inches at the shoulders, and a body condition score of 3.25 to a 3.5 (5 Point scale) at 24 months of age (Figure 1). Heifers should start lactation with a post-calving weight between 1225 and 1250 pounds; therefore, they will need to add 50 pounds of body weight per month from birth to first calving for an average daily gain of 1.8 pounds per day. Average daily gains of 1.3 pounds per day are too low because they add only 40 pounds per month, resulting in a post-calving weight of 950 pounds. By strategically feeding during specific growth phases, producers can set goals for different months of age, cut expenses, and increase profits for the dairy.

May 1, 2009 404-286
Mycoplasma in Beef Cattle

Mycoplasma is a tiny bacterium that has a long history of causing disease in the cattle industry. Beginning in the early 2000s, it has emerged as an important entity in Virginia.

May 1, 2009 400-304
Mycoplasma in Dairy Cattle

Mycoplasma is a tiny bacterium that can cause mastitis, metritis, pneumonia, drooped ears, and lameness in dairy cattle. While this bacterium has existed for more than 100 years, the current disease was first recognized in the 1960s and 1970s, and has only recently become a problem in Virginia. There has been a steady rise in the frequency and severity of disease associated with Mycoplasma in the last ten years. Mycoplasma is a highly contagious disease that can have devastating economic effects on a dairy farm due to decreased milk production, additional veterinary costs, culling of cows, calf loss, and treatment cost. All dairy animals can be infected, including calves, heifers, dry cows and lactating cows.

May 1, 2009 404-038
Nutrition For The Early Developing Heifer

Several factors can dramatically reduce replacement-rearing cost and increase potential profits for the producer: (1) maximizing immunity from colostrum to minimize mortality and sickness, (2) formulating rations for specific weight gains during strategic periods of development and avoiding over-fattening prior to puberty because it impairs mammary development, (3) formulating rations for an average daily gain of 1.8 lb. for Holstein heifers, (4) using AI sires ranking in the top 20% for (PTA$) to optimize genetic improvement, (5) monitoring age, body weight, wither height, body condition score as well as peak milk and ME milk yield of first lactation heifers to evaluate management at first calving, and (5) controlling the size of the replacement herd by calving heifers at 24 months and raising no more than needed.

May 1, 2009 404-283
Pinkeye in Beef Cattle

Pinkeye, also known as infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), is one of the most common diseases of beef cattle in Virginia. It is a highly contagious disease, causing inflammation of the cornea (the clear outer layer) and conjunctiva (the pink membrane lining the eyelids) of the eye.

May 1, 2009 400-750
Predicting Bull Fertility

Reproductive efficiency is a major determinant of cow-calf profitability. The bull’s contribution to pregnancy rates is often overlooked.

May 1, 2009 400-009
Recognition and Treatment of Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex

The recognition and treatment of Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) is vital to the economic well-being of the stocker cattle producer. This disease is also known as shipping fever, or simply pneumonia.

May 1, 2009 400-008
Strategic Use of Antibiotics in Stocker Cattle

Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC), or shipping fever, remains the most important health issue facing stocker-cattle producers. Despite many advances in our understanding of BRDC, vaccine technology, and new antibiotics in the last 40 years, the percentage of cattle that develop BRDC and the number that die from it have remained relatively unchanged.

May 1, 2009 400-307
Understanding the Basics of Mastitis
Mastitis occurs when the udder becomes inflammed because leukocytes are released into the mammary gland in response to invasion of the teat canal, usually by bacteria. These bacteria multiply and produce toxins that cause injury to milk secreting tissue and various ducts throughout the mammary gland. Elevated leukocytes, or somatic cells, cause a reduction in milk production and alter milk composition. These changes in turn adversely affect quality and quantity of dairy products.
May 1, 2009 404-233
Your Herd's Reproductive Status
Maintaining a high level of reproductive efficiency is required if dairy herd profitability is to be maximized. Reproductive performance of a dairy herd is a function of certain management policies and how well these management policies are implemented in the day-to-day management of the herd.

The first step in evaluating the reproductive performance is to identify key measurements and use them as guides in developing or altering herd management policies and practices. The calving interval should be the starting point in evaluation of prior herd performance. For maximum production, a calving interval of 12.3 to 12.8 months must be achieved. When calving intervals vary beyond this range, milk production drops significantly, with a sharp drop when calving intervals exceed 13.6 months. 

May 1, 2009 404-005
Zoonotic Diseases of Cattle

Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals. Zoonotic diseases may be acquired or spread in a variety of ways: through the air (aerosol), by direct contact, by contact with an inanimate object that harbors the disease (fomite transmission), by oral ingestion, and by insect transmission.

May 1, 2009 400-460