The Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR)

Dr. Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

(Image Source: American Veterinary Medical Association)

One of the classes I teach every year is the Quality Assurance training for 4-H students to prepare for fair season. While I probably would not have too many 4-H students who agree with me on this part (it is a mandatory training for them each year), I will say it is one of my favorite classes that I teach. Part of the reason I enjoy it is how I believe 4-H can positively impact lives, the other is that it allows me to use my veterinary background to engage the students. While the GPP’s (Good Production Practices) that are taught vary from year to year, I always make sure to engage the students with some practical veterinary knowledge so that they can make sure that their livestock project animal is at its healthy best while under their care. A key component to maintaining healthy animals is to have a healthy relationship with your veterinarian.  This is known as the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship or VCPR.  Here is how it is defined, established, and maintained straight off of the American Veterinary Medical Association website. Continue reading

Learn the Myths about Ticks to Keep Yourself Safe

Dr. Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

I remember one day back when I was in private practice when a client brought in their dog for their examination and vaccinations and when he set his pup up on the examination table I noticed that the dog’s entire top half of his fur was slicked back. When I asked about this the client stated that he noticed ticks on the dog, so he covered him with motor oil to drown them out. I have also had clients tell me they put cigarettes out on ticks to burn them off or use kerosene to drown them off. Hopefully, they never use both of those “treatments” at the same time!

Veterinarians have a long history of dealing with Continue reading

Drug Withdrawal Times for Sheep

Isabel Richards, Veterinary Science – South Africa and owner/operator of Gibraltar Farm
(Previously published with the Eastern Alliance for Production Katahdins (EAPK): May 25, 2021)

(Image Source: Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, North Carolina State University – Sheep Anthelmintic Withdrawal Times)

Whenever we sell animals, be it at auction, privately as feeder lambs, breeding stock or even just pets and lawnmowers it is our responsibility to make sure that the animals we are selling will not enter the food chain with illegal drug residues in their tissue. Animals that are sold at auction need to be ready to slaughter as many enter the food chain within hours or days after being sold. Private sale feeder lambs, pets and breeding stock animals can be sold before their drug withdrawal times are over as long as you tell the buyer and they are okay with taking responsibility. Be sure to include the information on the bill of sale too, for your protection. The animal you are selling might not be intended to go to slaughter any time soon, but accidents happen and circumstances change, so buyers need to be aware if the animals have drug residues in their tissue.

Animals are randomly tested for drug residues at slaughter by the food inspection service officers. Animals that test positive for Continue reading

Vaccinating Young Livestock Against Disease is Affordable, Practical

Will Hehemann, UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
(Previously published in Delta FarmPress: May 24, 2021)

(Image Source: North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension)

The price of a single calf, lamb, or kid lost to a preventable disease could pay for the vaccination program for a producer’s entire herd or flock.

Whether raising sheep or cattle, livestock producers should always plan on vaccinating their young animals, Dr. David Fernandez, Extension livestock specialist and interim dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. The price of a single calf, lamb, or kid lost to a preventable disease would pay for the vaccination program for a producer’s entire herd or flock in most cases.

“Vaccines only cost about $15 per calf and $0.50 to $1 per lamb or kid,” he said. “They protect your flock or herd against diseases that can often prove to be fatal. Even if a disease is not fatal, a producer could lose several pounds of growth for each sick animal.” Continue reading

Rectal Prolapse in Small Ruminants

Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

(Image Source: Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

Rectal Prolapse – A complex problem with many contributing factors

A rectal prolapse is when a portion of the rectum protrudes outside the anus. It is easy to recognize. The exposed tissue is usually a bright, cherry red (at first). Eventually, the exposed tissue becomes dry and cracked, causing more irritation and straining.

If left unattended, a rectal prolapse can become a life-threatening condition and a cruel way for an animal to die, as untreated animals may prolapse their entire intestinal tract and go into shock.

Sheep of any breed, age, or sex may be affected. Ewe lambs that prolapse should not be retained for breeding, as they are more likely to prolapse their vaginas at lambing. Prolapses occur less often in goats than sheep. Prolapses can occur in other livestock and humans as well.

Correction may be Continue reading

Coccidiosis in goats and sheep

Michael Metzger, Michigan State University Extension Educator
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat: August 23, 2017 and December 28, 2017)

Coccidiosis is a serious problem that commonly causes death in kids and lambs. Knowing the facts about coccidiosis can help producers develop a plan for prevention and/or treatment of the disease.

Coccidiosis is not caused by a bacteria, virus, or roundworm but by single cell protozoa. There are multiple coccidia species that are found in the environment. Some of these are non-infective, some moderately infective, and others are highly infective. Strains of coccidia are animal species specific with some very limited crossover between sheep and goats.

The following are some coccidia facts: Continue reading

Ruminal Acidosis (Grain Overload)

Dr. Richard Bowen, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University
(Previously published online with Colorado State University, VIVO Pathophysiology)

The rumen encases a complex ecosystem containing numerous species of bacteria and protozoa that collectively provide the capacity for efficient fermentation of carbohydrates. Among the major products of such fermentation are volatile fatty acids and lactic acid. Wild ruminants and those raised on pasture consume a diet rich in grasses of one sort or another that consist mostly of cellulose. Cellulose is a molecule that might be called a “slowly fermentable carbohydrate”. In contrast, grains such as wheat, barley, and corn are considered “highly fermentable carbohydrates”, meaning that they can be very rapidly fermented to generate – you guessed it – large quantities of volatile fatty acids and lactic acid. Ruminal acidosis results from consumption of a unaccustomed quantity of highly fermentable carbohydrate, almost always well described as grain overload.

Ruminal acidosis is Continue reading

Club Lamb Fungus – Ringworm

Duane Miksch, Food Animal Extension Veterinarian, University of Kentucky
(Previously published online as Vet 30, Agriculture Veterinary Publications)

(Image Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture)

Club Lamb Fungus Disease is of increasing concern in exhibited sheep. It is highly contagious in fitted sheep, and also is easily transmitted to people who groom and care for sheep.

Club Lamb Fungus Disease is an atypical moist ringworm of sheep. It has sometimes been referred to as lumpy wool, which is a misnomer, because lumpy wool is a skin disease caused by a species of filamentous bacteria that also causes strawberry footrot. Lumpy wool occurs frequently in Africa, Europe, and Australia, but not in North America.

A better understanding of Club Lamb Fungus Disease and the conditions that favor its spread willhelp you keep your sheep and yourself free of this serious fungal skin disease.

Continue reading

Contagious Keratoconjunctivitis (Pinkeye)

Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page)

(Image Source: Susan Schoenian, University of Maryland)

With sheep sale season here and fly season near, so is the potential for pinkeye. Join Susan Schoenian this week from the University of Maryland as she discusses the symptoms and preventative measures that can be taken to keep this issue at bay in your operation.

Pink eye is the lay term used to describe any number of diseases affecting the eye(s) of animals. The more proper name is infectious keratoconjunctivitis. Webster’s Dictionary defines keratoconjunctivitis as “a combined inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva.”

Pink eye is an infectious and contagious bacterial disease of sheep, goats, and other animals. Though most common in the summer and in young animals, it may occur at any time of the year and in sheep and goats of any age. It occurs in all sheep and goat-raising areas of the world, though the primary causative organisms may vary.

Pink eye is caused by Continue reading

Disorders Associated with Management Practices of Sheep

Marie S. Bulgin, DVM, MBA, DACVM, University of Idaho
(Previously published in Merck Manual: Veterinary Manual: January, 2015)

(Image Source: Colin Trengove, University of Adelaide)

Management practices, particularly feeding practices, can be the primary determinant of cases or outbreaks of infectious or metabolic disease in all flocks of sheep.

Pregnancy toxemia
Pregnancy toxemia may be seen in late-pregnant ewes bearing multiple fetuses subjected to a falling plane of nutrition, specifically energy. It is associated with simple starvation, ewes too fat in early pregnancy, ewes too fat in late pregnancy and that voluntarily reduce feed intake, poor quality feed, and ewes subjected to stress in late-pregnancy (eg, trailing or transport, or severe environmental changes). Ewes rarely survive after showing signs of pregnancy toxemia, even with excellent veterinary care, and it is difficult to stop losses even after interceding with adequate feed.

Hypocalcemia is seen in pregnant ewes or ewes in early lactation subjected to a period of temporary starvation or to feeds particularly low in calcium, especially ewes with multiple fetuses, as a result of decreased feed intake in late pregnancy. It is also seen in

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