About Dairy Wellness

Seven tips for proper treatments
Posted by Richard Wallace

Your cows deserve the best care. If a cows becomes ill, it is the responsibility of the employees on the dairy, in conjunction with the herd veterinarian, to properly treat the animal and use medicines according to the label to bring her back to good health.

When cows get sick following these tips will help you and your employees successfully treat them and avoid violative drug residues:

  1. Complete a physical exam before treating: Some cows may be too sick to recover from an illness. Ask your herd veterinarian to evaluate any cows you are concerned about not recovering before deciding to treat.
  2. Determine the right treatment: Review written protocols for common diseases provided by your veterinarian. Make sure to choose an effective treatment for the disease risk at hand. Follow the instructions that address the cow’s illness. Ensure that you use the correct medicine to treat the disease.
  3. Give the correct dose: For most medicines, not all cows get the same amount. Carefully estimate the cow’s weight in order to give the correct amount of medicine. Remember, diseased cattle can lose body weight very quickly, especially if they are not eating.
  4. Treat for the prescribed times per day and the approved number of days: A cow might start to improve before the protocol is complete, but you must give all the doses prescribed so the cow fully recovers and does not relapse.
  5. Use the proper route of administration: Cows may receive medicines through several different routes, such as intramuscular, under the skin or intravenously. Make sure you understand the differences, can perform the procedure and do only what the label or prescription says.
  6. Keep accurate records: After treating a cow, record all of the information about the treatment and which cow was treated. This will help the veterinarian and herd manager know how well treatments are working. It will also provide an important tool to help avoid residues.
  7. Ask for help: If you don’t understand part of the protocol, medicine label or prescription, don’t guess. Ask your herd veterinarian for help and encourage your employees to come to you to ask questions as soon as they arise.

Work with your veterinarian to develop complete treatment protocols. Make sure employees understand protocols by conducting proper training and retraining. For more information and resources on properly treating your cows visit

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