Working with your veterinarian
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Include your veterinarian in health management

October 01, 2013
POSTED BY: Gary Neubauer | DVM | Senior Manager | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Cases involving violative drug residues in meat and milk continue to decline. But of those residues still occurring, a lack of veterinary oversight in health management is likely a contributing cause. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 70% of cases involving violative drug residues have no veterinarian involved in the treatment decision or the treatment protocol design.

Veterinarians bring a wealth of knowledge about animal health and using medications correctly.

When your veterinarian visits your dairy, involve him or her in more than just the herd check. Ask questions about other aspects of your dairy or new technologies. Establishing a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) with your veterinarian helps protect all aspects of Dairy Wellness.

According to the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA), a valid VCPR has four points:

  1. The veterinarian assumes the responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of the animal, and the client (the owner or other caretaker) agrees to follow the veterinarian’s instructions.
  2. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to diagnose medical conditions and prescribe treatment.
  3. The veterinarian is acquainted through an examination of the animal(s) or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the client.
  4. The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up in case of adverse reactions or treatment failure.

When a valid VCPR is established, you can truly work with your veterinarian as a part of your health management team. Regular meetings with your veterinarian, treatment protocol reviews, employee training and more can all happen with a valid VCPR. This helps protect Dairy Wellness by managing cow health and avoiding drug residues, which assure safe milk and meat from your operation.

To learn more about how a valid VCPR can benefit your dairy, check out this new video.

For more information about working with your veterinarian to reduce violative drug residues on your dairy, visit or visit with your veterinarian or local Zoetis representative. The Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual from the National Milk Producers Federation also serves as a valuable educational tool and resource as you develop your on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues.


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