Pinkeye

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True Grit Farms
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby True Grit Farms » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:31 pm

I've personally seen a dart gun work great and save the day in downtown Perry. A dart gun is an invaluable tool when you need one.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby TCRanch » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:52 pm

Dempster wrote:Dart guns should be fired at a range of about 10 yards from the target animal. If you can't get that close to your cows, or you can't hit the neck of a cow at 10 yards without a scope, you should not buy a dart gun.

LA 200/300 is generally not administered with dart guns, thick products like LA, Nuflor, Excenel, and Excede do not flow though darts well. Additionally, Excede is only labeled to be given behind the ear and you are going to face some long withdrawal times if it is given in the neck. You should not be giving more than 10 cc with a single dart, and I would avoid using a dart gun if you cant get the labeled dose into the animal with 1 or 2 total darts.

There are both disposable and reusable darts. Dart recovery in some circumstances can be a significant challenge as many darts have a melting wax barb that allows the dart to stay in while medication is injected, but may require an hour or more to melt prior to falling out. Many of these darts are never recovered resulting in pastures contaminated with sharp needles. There are some dart systems with smaller or no barbs, but there can be challenges assuring these darts stay in the neck when the medication is administered.

Many darts use side ejection port needles so that the medication does not blow the dart out by being injected through the end of a needle. Many darts are designed to give a sub-q injection, but most of these in reality deposit the medication in the muscle.

Additionally, you need to account for the fact that 10-20% of darts either discharge their medication prior to reaching the target, or never discharge after striking the animal. Most producers do not realize or admit to that kind of a failure rate, but that is about what it will run.

Lastly, dart guns are generally going to cost you significantly more per treatment. If you have two 1400# cows starting to get pinkeye in a pasture, you can treat each with a dose of LA 200 for less than $5 a head. However, if you dart the 2 cows with draxxin, which is probably the most popular medication put through darts, you will be looking at spending aboud $70/ hd on draxxin and each cow will require 2 disposable darts that cost $5 a piece, for a total cost of $80/hd. With just 2 cows, you have spent an extra $150 to dart instead of catching and treating them. And you are less confident in the end that they received the medication you administered and you aren't able to do any other treatment to them since they were never caught in a chute. And you may have a couple darts laying around the pasture somewhere. But you didn't have to set up a pen and catch them.

Wow, thank you for a very thorough, detailed description. Just the thought of not finding a dart in the pasture is a big NO for me because I've had bad luck with hardware. Plus, I generally prefer to examine the cow before treating it.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby bball » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:40 pm

Well, got them all up to the pen today. Poured for flys and treated 8 eyeballs with pen g/dex via subconjunctival injection. Still at a loss why we're fighting pinkeye so bad. Vaccinations, clipped pastures, quality mineral, plenty of shade for lounging. Can't figure out what I'm missing.

Thanks to everyone you posted about the dart guns. Great info with many pros and cons.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby bball » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:41 pm

JMJ Farms wrote:Hey bball. Been awhile. Large dosages are the only downside. I have a Cap Chur rifle model dart gun. Gun runs on CO2. Dart uses a .22 blank. Biggest dart I have is 20cc. So if I had to dart a cow for foot rot in the field I would have to use a different med with a lower dosage or hit them multiple times. I THINK Excede is labeled for foot rot. I use 10cc darts or less 99% of the time. And I know all too well about sickness or calving problems happening at the farthest point from the lot!


Thanks Michael. Appreciate the info. :tiphat:
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby Bright Raven » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:42 pm

bball wrote:Well, got them all up to the pen today. Poured for flys and treated 8 eyeballs with pen g/dex via subconjunctival injection. Still at a loss why we're fighting pinkeye so bad. Vaccinations, clipped pastures, quality mineral, plenty of shade for lounging. Can't figure out what I'm missing.

Thanks to everyone you posted about the dart guns. Great info with many pros and cons.


What is the vaccine you used? I assume it is one of the commercial products that is very, very limited in scope.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby bball » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:11 pm

Bright Raven wrote:
bball wrote:Well, got them all up to the pen today. Poured for flys and treated 8 eyeballs with pen g/dex via subconjunctival injection. Still at a loss why we're fighting pinkeye so bad. Vaccinations, clipped pastures, quality mineral, plenty of shade for lounging. Can't figure out what I'm missing.

Thanks to everyone you posted about the dart guns. Great info with many pros and cons.


What is the vaccine you used? I assume it is one of the commercial products that is very, very limited in scope.


20/20 Vision 7. I fear your assumptioin is very accurate. :bang:
Going to have to get with your doc or TCRanch links for something more effective. Do you vaccinate early spring Ron and how frequently?
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby Bright Raven » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:28 pm

bball wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:
bball wrote:Well, got them all up to the pen today. Poured for flys and treated 8 eyeballs with pen g/dex via subconjunctival injection. Still at a loss why we're fighting pinkeye so bad. Vaccinations, clipped pastures, quality mineral, plenty of shade for lounging. Can't figure out what I'm missing.

Thanks to everyone you posted about the dart guns. Great info with many pros and cons.


What is the vaccine you used? I assume it is one of the commercial products that is very, very limited in scope.


20/20 Vision 7. I fear your assumptioin is very accurate. :bang:
Going to have to get with your doc or TCRanch links for something more effective. Do you vaccinate early spring Ron and how frequently?


Usually the fall. Only once per year. It is too expensive to use twice a year.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby JMJ Farms » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:43 pm

Bright Raven wrote:Usually the fall. Only once per year. It is too expensive to use twice a year.


TCRanch wrote:BTW the last time I got enough to treat 100 head & it was $195.


If I’m understanding TC right then that’s only $1.95/hd. Or are we talking two different vaccines here?
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby Bright Raven » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:56 pm

JMJ Farms wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:Usually the fall. Only once per year. It is too expensive to use twice a year.


TCRanch wrote:BTW the last time I got enough to treat 100 head & it was $195.


If I’m understanding TC right then that’s only $1.95/hd. Or are we talking two different vaccines here?


Yes. The vaccine I am using is available only from Dr Darin Stanfield.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby farmerjan » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:01 pm

I invested in a dart gun for our use because we have cattle at 2 places that there are no catch pens and we have to bring the cattle across the road and through another field to get them to where we can get them in. Borrowed one a couple of times and decided it was a good investment. Son got it for a birthday/christmas present. Having to go through all that, it's not going to happen except when we get them up to preg check and wean and move the cows. Ours is the one that you pump up, no CO 2 or 22's or anything. Yes you have to get pretty close. We use Draxxin in the dart and yes it is expensive. We saved the eye on a herd bull last year and 2 calves completely cleared up. One cow has a small spot and her eye was so bad I figured it was a total loss. I have not seen/heard that darts are reusable. We do not use it alot, the cows do get a little standoffish for a few days, but have never had to dart them more than once.

We will bring any in that we can and treat directly. Have done the pen/dex in the eyelid, and we use LA300. Also, we use "Tomorrow" mastitis tubes to squirt a little in the eye which helps to coat it. It is not painful as it is used in the udder so not irritating to the tissue. It seems to soothe the eye a bit...maybe I am imagining that. We also use a patch...old jean material. It keeps the eye from bright exposure, and a day or two of no flies bothering them. They will rub the patch off in a couple of days. We have had to bring them in for a 2nd treatment. Then they get Draxxin instead of the LA300. If they are in a hard to get in place and we do manage to get them in, then they get Draxxin.
We have talked to the vet about formulating a vaccine, and they are not sold on it working. We have used standard vaccines and had as much or more trouble than not. So we don't vaccinate for pinkeye. One thing I do believe in is if they have to be treated, give an A & D vitamin shot also. It isn't expensive and I think it works to help bolster their system. I am also very concious of cows that get it, or their calves that get it. I find that some seem to have a natural immunity, and I keep track of it. I also notice that bought cows seem to get it or their calves get it, more than the ones that we raise; so I think there is some natural immunity in cattle that are raised and exposed and it is passed down to their calves.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby Dempster » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:09 pm

A couple thoughts on pinkeye vaccine. Most all pinkeye vaccines will require two doses to achieve satisfactory immunity, regardless of if it is a commercial or autogenous product, and this is one instance when two doses really is important. It is by far the standard to just give a single dose to calves at branding time and go with that for the rest of the summer. You will get some protection doing that, but you will not see nearly the protection that is possible with two doses. Additionally, it is probably unfair to blame a pinkeye outbreak on vaccine failure if only one dose was given.

Second, autogenous vaccines do not follow the same regulatory standards as commercial products. They can not be sold over the counter in quite the same way most vaccines are. Autogenous products are designed to be herd specific vaccines made for a particular herd group. There is a little paperwork that is supposed to be done by the vaccine producer when extending use of these products beyond the herd of origin into what are termed "non-adjacent herds." This is all just to say that a vet may require a previous relationship with a client prior to selling them a custom pinkeye vaccine. Some clinics may not, but there should probably be some type of relationship in place. It could potentially be a bigger issue if the product is being sold across state lines.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby TCRanch » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:59 am

JMJ Farms wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:Usually the fall. Only once per year. It is too expensive to use twice a year.


TCRanch wrote:BTW the last time I got enough to treat 100 head & it was $195.


If I’m understanding TC right then that’s only $1.95/hd. Or are we talking two different vaccines here?

Correct, only $1.95 per head for the autogenous. I vaccinate the entire herd, including calves, generally the first part of May each year.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby TCRanch » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:08 am

Dempster wrote:A couple thoughts on pinkeye vaccine. Most all pinkeye vaccines will require two doses to achieve satisfactory immunity, regardless of if it is a commercial or autogenous product, and this is one instance when two doses really is important. It is by far the standard to just give a single dose to calves at branding time and go with that for the rest of the summer. You will get some protection doing that, but you will not see nearly the protection that is possible with two doses. Additionally, it is probably unfair to blame a pinkeye outbreak on vaccine failure if only one dose was given.

Second, autogenous vaccines do not follow the same regulatory standards as commercial products. They can not be sold over the counter in quite the same way most vaccines are. Autogenous products are designed to be herd specific vaccines made for a particular herd group. There is a little paperwork that is supposed to be done by the vaccine producer when extending use of these products beyond the herd of origin into what are termed "non-adjacent herds." This is all just to say that a vet may require a previous relationship with a client prior to selling them a custom pinkeye vaccine. Some clinics may not, but there should probably be some type of relationship in place. It could potentially be a bigger issue if the product is being sold across state lines.

Got that covered! VFD, middle of the night phone calls/emergencies, BANGS/pelvic measurements . . .
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby Bright Raven » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:19 am

Dempster wrote:
Second, autogenous vaccines do not follow the same regulatory standards as commercial products. They can not be sold over the counter in quite the same way most vaccines are. Autogenous products are designed to be herd specific vaccines made for a particular herd group. There is a little paperwork that is supposed to be done by the vaccine producer when extending use of these products beyond the herd of origin into what are termed "non-adjacent herds." This is all just to say that a vet may require a previous relationship with a client prior to selling them a custom pinkeye vaccine. Some clinics may not, but there should probably be some type of relationship in place. It could potentially be a bigger issue if the product is being sold across state lines.


Dr. Darin Stanfield displays his Autogenous Pinkeye vaccine in the same "display case" with the commercial vaccines. There is no special requirements that I am aware of for purchase and most of the time, I purchase it when a clerk is behind the counter who doesn't know who I am. Perhaps they are not following the requirements. Furthermore, his Autogenous vaccine is not "herd specific". The vaccine is the culmination of 10 years of collecting eye swabs from every case of pinkeye that Darin has treated - per personal conversation with Darin.

He collects a swab of the eye infected with pinkeye and sends it to the lab for culture and inclusion in his "on going" Autogenous Pinkeye vaccine. He recommends it to all cattle producers that use his services.

He is going to be here Wednesday to perform a BSE on a bull, I will ask him if there are any special considerations for selling the autogenous vaccine and update this thread.
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Re: Pinkeye

Postby NEFarmwife » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:00 am

JMJ Farms wrote:Everyone who has cows should own a dart gun. Saves a lot of stress for man and beast alike.

As I was reading this thread, I thought to myself..."thank God for our dart gun". We just treated a calf yesterday for pinkeye, didn't even have to get out of our Ranger. Did go walk out and grab the dart once it fell out.
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