metritis

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Nesikep
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Re: metritis

Postby Nesikep » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:03 am

if selenium and copper are OK, I think those would be the most critical for what you're seeing, Selenium because a lack of it causes RP, and copper because it's involved in the immune system. I can't off the top of my head remember if any Phosphorus in required, but the cow I was speaking of was low in Se, Cu, and P (drastically), Now it happened to be that I weaned the calf and started her on a mineral supplement pretty much the same day, so I can't say which was the cause, but she bred back about 4 days later.
Is your climate warm and damp? that's always something that helps bacteria thrive... I don't know what the feasibility of it is for you, but maybe try giving all the cows a uterine bolus or two after calving if it doesn't have too long a withdrawal time for the milk. It might be a relatively cheap preventative medicine, though a little bit of work.

I also just looked up some old soil samples of our land, and we're actually quite high in copper, however we're high in Iron as well, which being a copper antagonist, is the reason we show a copper deficiency.

Yes, my thread was the one where the cow's coat was brindle, and that was the cow I've been talking about... it's not the first year she's had it, but the first year I've noticed it (I looked back through my old pictures), she's also not the only cow with it, but she does have it the most pronounced... Also, her mother died suddenly in the summertime (OK she was 15), but that could have been a copper deficiency for us as well as it can cause sudden heart failure...

Anyhow, back to your problem... do your cows get grain?
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:17 am

Anyhow, back to your problem... do your cows get grain?


No. I'm looking at sourcing some to mix with PKE for the summer, it's about $NZ500 a ton minimum so not sure how I can justify it but I've never considered PKE a particularly good or balanced feed, just it's affordable and there's no acidosis risk from over-indulging.
http://www.onlinesupplements.net.nz/pro ... r-pke.html
My cows were getting up to 5 kg/day of this through the spring. Pretty much on and probably over the maximum recommended intake (I know it says 6 kg in the article but that would be for 550 - 600 kg cows, also it shouldn't constitute more than 1/3 of the diet)

I've never heard of anyone blood testing dairy cows for phosphorous, have no idea where my cows would be. The problem of course with testing for copper is that it only shows what is circulating in the blood at the time - liver levels can be low while the blood is still good.
The climate right now is warm and wet. My Taranaki vet had an article in their recent newsletter about salmonella outbreaks and the causes, and that scares me - part of the reason why I've finally got a water sample to the vets for testing - because nearly all the probable causes are on this farm. I think I'll get those results back early next week and go from there - though how exactly to eliminate risk from high bacteria levels I'm not sure. One of my biggest worries is that the cows simply won't drink enough to carry on producing milk as we get into summer and water quality deteriorates - the previous lessee on this farm warned me that could happen and the cows already seem to prefer to drink only from the troughs close to the shed.
It's maddening that the council water supply is sourced on this farm, but my cows can't have it.
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Re: metritis

Postby Nesikep » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:06 am

I realized that the coper levels in the blood doesn't truly reflect the liver's copper level, but when I did the blood test, I figured if she had low copper in the blood, she was definitely deficient.

That PKE supplement... They say it has a low ca:p ratio, but I'd like to know what that means.. 3:1? I would think that if your Ca:P ratio in the supplement is somewhere in the 4:1 - 2:1 range should be just fine regardless of how much of it they eat. if you know you have lots of copper but see brindled coats, you may want to look into copper antagonists, Iron, sulphur, and Molybdenum in particular. One thing I'm not sure of is which minerals interfere with the absorbtion of copper, and which interferes with its use. I know our soil is high in iron and copper, yet we have deficient animals, so perhaps iron interferes with the absorbtion while molybdenum interferes with the use of copper by binding to enzymes in it's place, requiring an animal to have higher blood levels of Cu in order to not be deficient.

Any way you look at it, perhaps you don't have a deficiency, but the immune systems of your animals seems to get taxed in the hot weather and it needs to be in top shape.. After calving is the toughest time... I can't look back to page 1 right now, you said Selenium was good, but did these cows have any retained placentas? Are uterine infections the only types of infections you're seeing?
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:23 pm

Two cows observed with retained cleanings this year - I checked my notebook, thought I'd seen more than that and I do record everything but what happens is she has to retain 24 hours after calving to 'count' so I know I tied up a few at the first milking but they would have been gone by the second. I wasn't worried about retained cleanings at calving, so the rate wasn't higher than usual.

Big mastitis problems this year as I mentioned earlier in the thread. A lot of foot issues - not enough to trigger alarm bells though, just annoying and very expected given the condition of the tracks and the wet weather we've had through spring, also the set up of the dairy is poor (as in, the concrete should be thoroughly hosed every day to remove any small stones but I reckon it costs a full hour of my time every time I do it because of the siting of the drains and shape/size/slope of the yard and inadequate water flow, so it gets done every second or third day).

I'll be using a lot of zinc through the summer which is a copper antagonist - do it every year, there really isn't a way round it aside from using chelated copper along with the zinc. Feeding high levels of PKE can actually cause issues the other way - the copper in it preventing the zinc from doing its job of protecting the cow from FE (liver damage due to fungal toxins).
I have a few cows in the herd who had FE last year, really knocks them around and one I'd say is ruined and won't ever be a productive cow now.
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Re: metritis

Postby Nesikep » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:59 pm

Hmm.. we're a bit out of my league here, but I do remember you saying that your vet doesn't consider something a problem until about 10% of the cows have it, and you consider it a problem at 5%, it was exactly the same with me, I had 1 cow out of 22 with breeding problems and my basically said there was no cause for concern and that it was unlikely he would be able to do much for me... if I cull just 1 good cow for a reason that she isn't to blame, that's a bad thing on a small herd... Looking back over the last 20 years it makes me wonder how many of the late/open cows we've gotten rid of open or late due to a deficiency, but since I only have 1 open out of 22, the vet doesn't get concerned
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Re: metritis

Postby GMN » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:13 pm

it seems to run in spirts-at least your cow i up and walking around, I had a first calf heifer we had to pull the calf, and now she is down, probably sciatica paralysis, I keep hoping he will get up, the vet said if its just partial paralysis, and the never hasn't been damaged-she my get up, if the nerve is damaged as in a injury she won't-SUCKS-lost the calf too
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:43 pm

sorry to hear that GMN - calving paralysis is what we call it maybe?
My heifer that had the leg jammed in her pelvis did have it when I found her, but I lifted her with the tractor a couple of times and she was up that evening. It varies, usually they're up fairly quickly but one I know of was down for over a week and lost her milk through not being milked. She did get up in the end.
I've got a photo somewhere of a milder case, you can tell me if we're talking about the same thing.

Nesikep - hit the nail on the head right there, I've got a couple of funny stories. One vet in particular, I sent scour samples to the clinic with the instruction to test for anything that could cause two whole sheds of calves to all scour and he phoned me up "how many calves have died?" Uh - none. But I did convince him to run the tests and next phone call was a bit different... "it's rotavirus, we better act quickly!"
Saw another heifer this morning, one that cycled a few days ago, with mucus on her tail. That makes five, if it is what it looked like.
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:52 pm

Image

106. She'd pushed out a massive calf. That was her last year, she didn't get back in calf.

148 (below) had it as well, after a large calf the previous year, 2007.
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Re: metritis

Postby Nesikep » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:45 pm

I know when you start to have problems, you tend to see the problem everywhere, so don't get ahead of yourself too far... Like calves with a dirty tail, when you're having scours you get panicked. A ot of times a dirty tail just means mom isn't doing her job sometimes

When we first got our herd of cattle we were getting what we found was Atypical Pneumonia, which they get in the summertime, its also known as Panter, and there's no cure for it, we lost 3 of our best cows to it. A few cows got over it on their own, and they'd never catch it twice.. thankfully we haven't had a reoccurence of it in 15 years
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Re: metritis

Postby GMN » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:17 am

regolith wrote:sorry to hear that GMN - calving paralysis is what we call it maybe?
My heifer that had the leg jammed in her pelvis did have it when I found her, but I lifted her with the tractor a couple of times and she was up that evening. It varies, usually they're up fairly quickly but one I know of was down for over a week and lost her milk through not being milked. She did get up in the end.
I've got a photo somewhere of a milder case, you can tell me if we're talking about the same thing.

Nesikep - hit the nail on the head right there, I've got a couple of funny stories. One vet in particular, I sent scour samples to the clinic with the instruction to test for anything that could cause two whole sheds of calves to all scour and he phoned me up "how many calves have died?" Uh - none. But I did convince him to run the tests and next phone call was a bit different... "it's rotavirus, we better act quickly!"
Saw another heifer this morning, one that cycled a few days ago, with mucus on her tail. That makes five, if it is what it looked like.


Yep-thats what i meant my words got mis-spelled, I;ve had it before, the younger animals have better chances of getting up it seems., we hip lift this one everyday, but no effort for her to get up herself
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:42 pm

Soil test results came back, no water test yet.

I raised the animal health issues with an experienced farmer I keep e-mailing for advice, and he thinks plain under-nutrition.
You'd want to start tearing your hair out when you treat a cow for mastitis then it pops back up again two weeks or two months later - with this herd previously I had a sharp eye on any cow that had had two cases in four years... now I've got cows that had never had a case or high SCC basically ruined.

Very low phosphorous. He did say that might be causing health issues, and that it (apparently through lack of pasture growth) could cause the very high K test which affects uptake of other minerals also. In Taranaki I was farming on dangerously high K levels (because of effluent applications and high grazing use of the centre of the farm), you couldn't get away with missing a day's magnesium supplementation there because cows would go down with milk fever.
Cows have enough to eat now, not sure how long that'll last. I'd hoped to milk this lot through to the end of January and next herd test, which also gives time to see what's cycling still... but good move would be to get another half dozen off the farm as soon as the holidays are over.
No drought for a while... heavy rain out there now so lack of moisture shouldn't be limiting growth for another two - three weeks at least.
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Re: metritis

Postby wbvs58 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:37 pm

Reg, mine chase the supplement most at this time of year, presumably chasing phosphorous, being low in the rapidly growing summer grasses.
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Re: metritis

Postby Nesikep » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:51 pm

If you feed your cows grain they shouldn't be too low on phosphorus as grain is high in it, grasses and legumes are low in it, keep us posted
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:41 pm

wbvs58 wrote:Reg, mine chase the supplement most at this time of year, presumably chasing phosphorous, being low in the rapidly growing summer grasses.
Ken


I'm looking for my spade right now :)
They need PKE on a day like this, had 35 ml rain since yesterday and I'm not making them walk up to the turnips through the mud today, gave them extra grazing area last night but it looks like they'll have eaten it all and sat down wishing for more by night-time.
The rain started flooding into the PKE shed via the tractor ruts before I used the last of it in October... going to dig a bit of a drain to divert, then need to wait for the floor to dry out, then pick up the phone and order more. I'm planning on asking for it to be blended with 25% wheat this time.
Just from what was in the e-mail (my advisor types one finger, so packs a lot of information into very very few words) I'm thinking if the P levels were raised enough to increase growth rates the other minerals will start to balance out, as they'll be cycling into the grass. K, S, Ca, Mg are all very high.
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Re: metritis

Postby regolith » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:50 pm

so much for cooking lunch - the electricity's gone out. Think I'll have to go and eat the rest of that chocolate instead.
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