About Dairy Wellness

Make your veterinarian part of your team
Posted by Richard Wallace

As a dairy producer, the power to prevent violative milk or meat residues is in your hands. It takes preparation, planning and teamwork to create an effective residue avoidance plan, which starts with a strong partnership with your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian is the expert in choosing the correct products that prevent and treat disease, as well as how to prevent residues by complying with regulations. As your most trusted advisor, your veterinarian knows your operation, your herd and the individual animals, and can help you create treatment protocols that are tailored to your animals and operation.

The partnership you develop with your veterinarian is called a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, or VCPR. This means your veterinarian examines animals in person and maintains a relationship with your operation through regular visits and communication. This relationship is what allows a veterinarian to diagnose and treat your animals.

Establishing and maintaining a VCPR requires commitment from both you and your veterinarian. As a producer, you are responsible for:

  • Allowing the veterinarian to assess the health of your animals on a regular basis to make health and protocol recommendations. 
  • Being open to consultation and advice from your veterinarian
  • Making sure you and your employees comply with the veterinarian’s instructions for treatment
  • Keeping written records of all treatments and protocols.

For their part, veterinarians are responsible for:

  • Providing your animals with sound medical care
  • Making clinical animal health judgments
  • Developing a treatment recordkeeping system
  • Advising you about the benefits and risks of different treatment options
  • Providing oversight of treatments, compliance and outcomes
  • Helping you care for your animals in the case of an emergency

Why is establishing and maintaining a valid VCPR so important? It allows your veterinarian to provide your animals with the best possible medical care. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics requires a valid VCPR to be in place for a veterinarian to prescribe medications or treat an animal. It also is required by law in many states.

Learn more about the benefits of a VCPR partnership and how to better maintain a valid VCPR with your veterinarian by reading the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Guidelines or from Zoetis at



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