Take steps to prevent residues
Drug residues are caused by mistakes made at the farm level. You can take steps to make sure you don’t cause one. Reduce the chances of residue violation at your dairy by working with your manager and the herd’s veterinarian and following the approved treatment protocols. As someone who works with the cows every day, you’re in the best position to make sure a residue doesn’t happen.
No one sets out to cause a residue violation, so where do they come from? In most cases, residues occur because an animal medicine is being used in an extra-label manner without oversight from the veterinarian. That means that a product is not being used as approved. This could include using it to treat a different disease; for example, using penicillin to treat metritis, though it is not approved to treat metritis. The leading cause of drug residue violations is penicillin, and most of those violations are because of extra-label use.
Another example of extra-label use would be administering a medicine in a different route, such as intramuscular instead of intravenous (IV). Another leading cause of residues is flunixin, which is commonly known as Banamine® (fluniximin meglumine). It is labeled for IV administration, and any other administration could cause a residue. Giving more or less of a medicine than is listed on the label also is considered extra-label use.
Before you administer medicine, check the treatment protocols and follow them closely. They will tell you which medicine to use, how much to give and how to administer it. If you have questions, don’t guess! Talk with your manager or herd veterinarian before administering any treatments. And once you administer a medicine, be sure to record it.
Taking care of cows is a big job. Take the proper steps to protect your dairy and restore the animal to full health.