cows in field

Recent Odairy Discussion, December, 2014

By Liz Bawden, Organic Dairy Farmer, NODPA President

Added December 1, 2014. A producer was concerned about a 5 month old heifer that could no longer stand. She appears bright-eyed, alert, and her appetite was good. She had been treated for a high fever 2 weeks prior, and had received electrolytes, antibiotics, Vitamin C, and MuSe at that time. A vet suggested that they put the calf back on milk to boost the nutrition, and wondered if the MuSe injection may have hit a nerve in the back of the animal’s leg.

During a discussion about mastitis, several producers made the connection that in herds with very low somatic cell counts, e-coli mastitis is more likely to pop up. Probably due to the immune system being “on vacation”, it can catch a farmer off guard. Look to the bedding material as the culprit, and look for leaking cows. One farmer’s suggested treatment was 5cc Immunoboost, topical Udder Comfort and frequent stripping. It is essential that treatment be prompt and early; one vet suggested that it needs to be within 12 hours of onset. If treatment is delayed, the prognosis becomes poorer. Flunixin was also suggested as an appropriate addition, since it has specific anti-endotoxin action. And vaccinating with J-5 does help to reduce symptoms and severity. One vet described his standard treatment for coliform mastitis as 250cc Bovi-Sera or Multi-Serum, 250 to 500cc Vitamin C, 60 to 90 cc Phyto-Biotic and 250cc sodium iodine -- all these are given IV. This is given as a one-time treatment with the farmer stripping frequently and using an udder salve.

Liz farms with her husband and son in Hammond, NY. You can reach Liz by phone or email: 315-324-6926,