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Improve your dairy's health records

October 18, 2013
POSTED BY: Gary Neubauer | DVM | Senior Manager | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Each day, you and your employees work hard to keep your cows healthy and productive, to provide them with the best care when they are sick and to avoid mistakes that could lead to violative drug residues. Over time and without critical review, those best intentions could result in practices that might not be the best or might even be illegal.

That’s what three veterinary student interns, supported by Zoetis, observed when they assessed health management on 105 dairies. The interns observed the diagnosis, treatment and record-keeping practices for mastitis, metritis, pneumonia and lameness of 80,000 cows. After reviewing their findings, we were able to identify some opportunities to improve health records that will help improve Dairy Wellness.  

  1. More than 75% of dairies had improper or incomplete labels on medications.

Opportunity: Work with your veterinarian to get prescriptions and proper labels. If you are receiving a prescription for extra-label drug use, your veterinarian must provide a prescription with contact information, dosage amount, withdrawal time and additional information.

  1. Nearly 20% of dairies used unapproved methods to treat mastitis.

Opportunity: Work with your veterinarian to write mastitis treatment protocols. Your veterinarian should be your No. 1 resource when setting up these protocols. Your veterinarian also can help train your employees on mastitis management techniques and compliance.

  1. Not one dairy had complete treatment records according to the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.

Opportunity: Make complete health records a priority. Complete and accurate records are not meant to create extra work for you. Along with written protocol treatments, health records can make health management easier and help avoid residues.  



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