Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves – Part 1

Haley Zynda, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wayne County, Ohio State University Extension

You’ve likely heard of Beef Quality Assurance, but what about Veal Quality Assurance? Essentially, it is the same type of certification for the well-being and proper handling of veal calves. However, a new addition to the certification training is antibiotic stewardship – a concept translatable to almost every livestock operation out there. The goal of the program is for farm personnel to correctly identify calves for treatment using a treatment protocol written by the herd veterinarian, thus improving responsible use of antibiotics. Drs. Jessica Pempek and Greg Habing put together a three-part training, of which I’ll summarize each with their own article.

Part 1 of the Antibiotic Stewardship in Calves is titled “Antibiotic Use and Resistance.” Before we jump into details, do you know the specifics on different types of medication? What do antibiotics treat? If you answered viral, fungal, protozoal, or parasitic infections, unfortunately you’d be incorrect. An antibiotic is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or kills bacteria. Antibiotics are not . . .

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USDA offers free RFID tags

Ohio cattlemen can request the free, white 840 tags.

In further support of their effort to transition to 840 radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for official identification for cattle and bison throughout the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making 840 RFID tags available free to cattlemen and veterinarians. In Ohio, both the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Department of Agriculture have been approved to distribute these free tags while they last.

The RFID tags are only intended for use in replacement stock. There are both white “840” button tags and orange “840” calfhood vaccination (OCV) button tags available. All RFID tags are low frequency tags. Veterinarians may receive both white and orange tags, while cattle producers may only receive the white 840 tags.

A Premises Identification Number (PIN) is required to order the free RFID tags. To obtain a PIN, Continue reading

Cold Stress and Beef Cows

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Factors that create stress during the winter months are cold, wind, snow, rain and mud. The primary effect on animals is due to temperature. All these factors alter the maintenance energy requirement of livestock. Maintenance requirement can be defined, as the nutrients required for keeping an animal in a state of balance so that body substance is neither gained or lost. An interesting thing to note is that while energy requirements increase, protein requirements remain the same.

Some published sources contain nutrient requirements for beef cattle that include guidelines for adjusting rations during winter weather. Even without published sources, competent livestock producers realize the need for more feed during cold weather. Make sure that Continue reading

The Top Ten New Years’ Resolutions for Cow/Calf Producers

Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

We have all heard this phrase, often attributed to Albert Einstein, and it certainly applies when it comes to the health and care of cattle. If you want to improve health and prevent as many problems as possible, think of adopting one or more of the following resolutions.

In 2022, I resolve to . . Continue reading

Judicious Use of Antibiotics-What’s Next for a Beef Producer?

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing to implement strategies to promote the *judicious or appropriate use of antibiotics considered important in human medicine when they are used in food-producing animals. FDA’s goal is to curb the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and in turn reduce the risk of human infections that are difficult to treat due to ineffective antibiotics. On June 11th of 2021, FDA finalized a Guidance for Industry (GFI) #263, which outlines the process for animal drug manufacturers to change all remaining antibiotic formulations used in animal health care from over-the-counter (OTC) to prescription status. Manufacturers will have two years from the date of issue to make this label change to their products. Basically, this means products commonly used by beef producers such as injectable penicillin and oxytetracycline (for example, LA-300) will no longer be available without a prescription as of June 2023.

The new GFI #263 is an extension of an earlier guidance published in 2013 designated GFI #213. As of January 2017, GFI #213 effectively moved all OTC antibiotics used in feed to Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) status and those used in drinking water to prescription (Rx) status as well as eliminated production uses such as growth promotion. Of the 292 drugs affected by this government directive #213, 93 products used in drinking water were converted to prescription status; 115 products used in feed were converted from OTC to veterinary feed directive status; and 84 were removed from the market. Production indications were withdrawn from 31 product labels. With full implementation of GFI #213, approximately 96% of medically important antimicrobials used in animals are now under Continue reading

Posted in Health

Falling Leaves Poison with Ease

Haley Zynda, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension, Wayne County

Even some leaves yet to fall are potentially toxic!

Even though we’re only a couple weeks away from the true start of winter (hard to believe, I know), some trees are still clutching onto their leaves as if the dying foliage will be enough to fortify their soon-to-be bare branches against the frigid temperatures. It’s important to take note of the trees that have leaves yet to fall, especially if you house livestock outside in pastures or sacrifice lots. I’m sure most have heard of the dangers of black/wild cherry limbs and leaves for cattle, but there are several other trees and shrubs that can cause negative impacts on cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.

Wild Cherry. Poisonous to all classes of livestock, wilted cherry leaves and branches can cause prussic acid poisoning, the same poisoning as seen in frosted sorghum-sudangrass. It’s best to remove downed limbs and leaves from pastures to prevent incidental intake, or keep animals off the lot until the leaves have completely dried and become brittle.

Red Maple. Poisonous to Continue reading

Forage Focus: Holiday Leftovers for Your Livestock?

In this episode of Forage Focus, Christine Gelley reviews how, or if, to use holiday leftovers for livestock. From food scraps to greenery, there are right ways and wrong ways to recycle parts of your holiday celebrations for the benefit of the animals in your care. Learn more about items that could be safety shared with pastured livestock and companion animals as treats and habitat enrichment.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

FAQs about Cyanide or “Prussic Acid” Poisoning in Ruminants

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

When sorghum species including Johnsongrass, sorghum, sudan grass and hybrid sorghum-sudan is frosted, the plant cells are damaged and the plant enzymes can reach dhurrin and release cyanide gas.

Usually within the month of October when the first frosts are expected in KY, the questions begin regarding the risk of prussic acid poisoning from Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) after frost and when is it “safe to graze again”. Prussic acid, cyanide, or hydrocyanic acid are all terms relating to the same toxic substance. Hydrogen cyanide was first isolated from a blue dye (Prussian blue) and because of its acidic nature, it became known by the common name “prussic acid”. No matter which name is used, cyanide is one of the most rapid and deadly toxins that affects cattle.

Where does the cyanide come from in a plant? Certain plants contain compounds called “cyanogenic glycosides” which are not toxic by themselves but only when the plant is damaged. These cyanogenic glycosides and the enzymes necessary to convert them to free cyanide gas are separated in different locations within the plant cells. Sorghum species including Johnsongrass, sorghum, sudan grass and hybrid sorghum-sudan contain the cyanogenic glycoside “dhurrin”. When plant cells are damaged, the plant enzymes can reach dhurrin and cleave it, releasing cyanide gas (abbreviated as HCN). Dhurrin concentrations are highest in the leaves, particularly Continue reading

Maximizing Carcass Value Through Weaning Management and Stress Reduction

– Dr. Francis Fluharty, Professor and Head, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia

Presently more than 80% of U.S. cattle harvested are grading Prime and Choice.

Many all-natural programs, commercial feedlots, and cattle producers who retain ownership through the feedlot understand that weaning programs that boost the immunity of the calf by minimizing the stress of weaning are important, as weaning can have impacts on animal health, growth rate, feed efficiency, and marbling (Duffand Galyean, 2007). Cattle Fax reported at this summer’s NCBA convention in Nashville that in a recent survey nearly 30% of cow-calf producer respondents retained ownership through thefeedlot. For those producers, and anyone trying to manage calves for a premium, understanding the relationship that weaning stress and morbidity have on USDA QualityGrades is critical.

We need to understand that the days of 3% USDA Prime carcasses, and loads of 50% USDA Choice carcasses are gone. According to the . . .

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Preparing for Weaning and Beyond

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Preconditioning programs for feeder cattle have long been recognized by the beef industry as a way for cow-calf operators to add credibility and, therefore, value to their annual calf crops. These programs prepare the calf for the known stressors ahead associated with weaning, transportation, and commingling that make calves more likely to get sick with bronchopneumonia, also known as Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). Most preconditioning programs recommend starting vaccinations 2-3 weeks prior to weaning because it allows sufficient time to develop protection before natural exposure to the BRD “bugs”. At minimum, preconditioning programs require two rounds of viral vaccine (at least one must be modified-live vaccine or “MLV”) and Clostridial (blackleg) vaccinations, a Mannheimia haemolytica toxoid (“Pasteurella” shot), deworming, castration of bull calves and healed, heifers guaranteed not pregnant, and a minimum of 45-60 days weaned. Some programs require producers to use products manufactured by only one pharmaceutical company. In addition, weaned calves are expected to know how to eat from a feed bunk and drink from a fountain or tank but should not be over-conditioned or “fleshy”. Buyers prefer weaned calves that have been properly fed and with documented vaccinations and parasite control compared to similar quality non-vaccinated and non-weaned calves, which can translate to price premiums that vary in size depending on the Continue reading