April 2015

BOVIKALC in Dairy Cattle

BOVIKALC is an easy to use oral calcium bolus. It is given at the time of calving and can be given again in 12 -24 hours if that cow is older or prone to milk fever. It is NOT a treatment of milk fever but works to prevent subclinical and clinical milk fever. It contains two forms of calcium, a quick release and a slow release. This gives it 12 hours of effect, opposed to only 6 hours of effect with subcutaneous Calcium-Borogluconate.

It has been shown that while clinical milk fever rates are 4-9%, subclinical milk fever can be as high as 39%. Subclinical milk fever can have negative health effects such as an increase in retained placentas and metritis, and it can have a negative impact on fertility, making it a costly disease to have.

Older cattle, high producers and cattle with lameness issues are among those sub-populations more prone to clinical and subclinical milk fever. A study was done using the BOVIKALC boluses that showed that in lame cattle it reduced the incidence of other adverse health events during the first 30 DIM and also that high producers given the boluses produced 2.9 kg more milk than those not supplemented. (Oetzel and Miller. J. Dairy Sci. TBC:1-16)

BOVIKALC is fat coated, making it mess free to give and easy to swallow. Also, the fat coating makes it gentle on the gastrointestinal system. Oral liquid calcium is harsher on the intestinal lining and can cause ulcers, especially while feed consumption is lower post-calving. The oral bolus can be administered using the newer/larger Rumensin gun or with the BOVIKALC bolus gun which can be purchased at the clinic.

If you have any questions about this product, feel free to call the clinic at 905-982-1243 and speak to one of our veterinarians.

Small Ruminants and Lice

Coming out of the winter, some of our clients are noticing wool loss or hair loss affecting their sheep or goats. There are several potential causes for this including infestations of external parasites such as lice, mange, fleas, or keds, as well as other reasons such as nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.

We are going to talk about lice specifically, given that we have seen several cases of it this past winter. Lice are fairly species specific (meaning lice on your sheep won't survive on you or your dog for example). However lice affecting goats can affect sheep and vice versa. Infections are acquired by close contact with affected animals and are generally introduced into the flock or herd by infested new animals. Young, old and sick animals are more susceptible to infection. Lice usually start to increase in numbers in the fall and reach their highest burdens in the coldest months.

There are two types of lice that affect small ruminants, sucking lice and biting lice. Sucking lice pierce the animal's skin and feed on their blood, while biting lice chew on the animal's skin, wool or hair. The irritation caused from the lice feeding is what causes affected animals to scratch. Animals with lice infestations can be recognized by their dull coats, loss of hair or wool, and excessive scratching. Weight loss and reduced milk production are also commonly noted. In severe cases, anemia or even death can occur.

We find that drenches can work for sucking lice, while dusting powders, and insecticide sprays and pour- ons tend to work better to treat biting lice. It is easiest to treat sheep after shearing. The wool along the back needs to be parted to get adequate contact for pour-ons to work for sheep. Most of the medications used to treat lice (and some of the other ectoparasites affecting small ruminants) do not kill eggs, so retreatment in 10-14 days is required. When using these medications remember to be mindful of milk and meat withdrawals, and if you need help determining appropriate ones please let us know.

Animal Chiropractic

What is animal chiropractic?

In chiropractic, we look at each joint in the body as a motion unit and evaluate how well it is functioning. We feel for joints that do not move as well as they should and then perform a specific adjustment to return mobility to the motion unit. The adjustment is based on where the lack of mobility is felt and the shape and location of the joint on which we are trying to have an effect. This adjustment releases any adhesions formed, relaxes tense muscles in the area and stimulates the nervous system to fire more functionally to that area thus providing the framework for sustained mobility of the joint. Some animals will feel some stiffness or soreness the day after an adjustment if they are not used to it, but the more they get adjusted, the better they feel the next day. Animals who are used to it can even be adjusted the day of a competition. It is recommended in normal cases to have 3-4 adjustments 1-2 weeks apart and then see from there how well the animal is maintaining the adjustments.

Who would benefit from an adjustment?
All animals could benefit from an adjustment! Specific cases that would especially benefit include:
- athletic animals
- older/arthritic animals
- animals that have just given birth
- young animals that had a difficult birth
- post-surgery cases
- animals on stall rest or recovering from an injury
- animals "acting up" when being ridden or who are "girthy" animals with sore backs

Dr. Busato is now certified to perform animal chiropractic with the Council of Animal Chiropractors. If you have any further questions or to book an appointment, please call her at the office at (905) 982-1243.