Vaccines, bacterins and adjuvants

Vaccines are defined as immunological products containing virus which may be live, modified live or inactivated, killed. Sore mouth would be an example of a live vaccine. Products made from inactivated bacteria are properly called bacterins but often referred to as vaccines. The enterotoxemia products are examples of bacterins commonly used sheep and goat production.

The more critical subject I wanted to discuss was adjuvants. Adjuvants are added to vaccines and bacterins to enhance immunity. They may and often are irritating at injection site. The amount of irritation may or may not be associated with the degree of immunity produced. The warning I have for sheep and goat people is that the use of cattle vaccines in sheep and goats may end up in death and or serious abscesses at injection site. Adjuvants designed for cattle are seldom compatible for sheep and goats.

A line of bacterins that carry a label for cattle, sheep and goats is the Vision clostridial products supplied by Merck with the adjuvant SPUR. these are very effective products and the adjuvant is less irritating than competitive products. Example would be Vision CDT. 

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Penicillin   

Penicillin is an old commonly used drug. I use it commonly for treating what I consider crud infections, opening abscesses, after assisting a difficult birth, repairing a prolapsed uterus. Also use it in conjunction with Nuflor or oxytetracycline 200 to treat mastitis and prevent gangrene. Another major use is to prevent tetanus when banding. For those ideologues out there that don’t understand use of antibiotics to prevent disease this is a classic. The inclusion of penicillin with CDT is the most effective method of preventing tetanus. Antitoxin is ineffective due to short half life and chances of death resulting from anaphylactic shock are greater than developing tetanus. Penicillin also helps with other bacterial infections in the banding process. When I was younger I didn’t know what an ideologue was.

The problem comes when animals are to be slaughtered for human consumption. Penicillin is almost never used at labeled levels. I recommend 1cc per 10# bdy wt. subq daily. This is an over dose and and a different route of injection that requires a slaughter withdrawal of 50 days.  I see no need to ever use long acting penicillin because the object is to increase dosage to develop effective blood levels and this is impossible with a slow release product.

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OPP update

There is a new strategy out there that no longer relies on orphaning lambs. It is now thought that ewes don’t transfer the virus through milk or colostrum. The new approach is to maintain the ewe lambs separate from the ewe flock, tested prior to 12 months of age, they are permanently segregated and retested annually to confirm continuing test-negative status. This creates a base for a negative flock. These ewes never enter flock. The original flock is culled.

The significance I find in this that is the Midwest many production systems producers routinely maintain their ewe lambs as a separate unit. Unknowingly they have reduced test positive sheep.

In the end what difference does it make, the disease has no economic significance.

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Enterotoxemia 

The disease in sheep is characterized by sudden deaths in feed lot lambs or sudden deaths in nursing lambs that may or may not be accompanied by a bloody stool. In feed lot lambs the disease is caused by clostridium perfringens type D. In nursing lambs type C. Confirmation of diagnosis is based on acute inflammation in areas of the intestines and petechial hemorrhage on thymus and heart. This disease in feed lot lambs is sometimes confused with acidosis, grain overload. They are two distinct entities.

With this disease, vaccination will achieve prevention and control of the disease. Old school thoughts are to vaccinate the ewe prior to lambing to protect the lamb through colostrum. Research has shown this procedure to be unnecessary. It has been shown that there is adequate immunity present when the ewes have been vaccinated as lambs. If the ewes have never been vaccinated then two injections three weeks apart are indicated.

Consequently we currently recommend mixing  1cc of aqueous penicillin and 1cc of CDT to give the lambs at processing followed by a full dose of CD at weaning and that is the life time vaccination program for that animal.

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Antibiotic use 

There is a lot of discussion about antibiotics and their use in livestock. The first target of the antibiotic cops was use in feed. Therapeutic use in feed will be allowed upon a veterinarians direction. The veterinary establishment interpets this as having a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. I interpret this to in effect require that this relationship should exist if a producer wants to feed a product like AS700 to prevent abortion. 

Lack of veterinary services to sheep and goat producers is an established fact. This is primarily driven by two factors, economical needs of the small producer and remoteness of some operations. In the future, it may affect small cow calf producers as well. Further restrictions on these producers will result in forcing producers out of business and  animal welfare issues because proper treatment of sick animals is no longer available.

Just what is the issue?  Antibiotic resistance will occur. Does use in animals increase the chance of resistance in humans? I sincerely doubt it. Penicillin has been around almost as long as I have and is still effective. When a resistant problem does occur it is quite often in a human hospital setting where the same procedures have been repeated almost endlessly.

New antibiotics have been developed that have addressed the problem and continued development is often slowed by the bureaucratic process,  the same people that are attempting to curtail use of presently approved products.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics should be avoided and the livestock industry as a whole has gotten much better. Prudent use should be advised and encouraged to protect the well being of our animals.

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Goat Micro Mix-feeding instructions

Sample 16% Ration

Corn [cracked]……………………….1325
Oats………………………………………..250
Soybean Meal 44%………………….365
Limestone…………………………………30
White Salt………………………………….20
Goat Micromix…………………………….5
Ammonium Chloride…………………..5
Total………………………………………2000

RU-MIX, #876, 5lbs can be added to control coccidiosis and prevent Toxoplasmosis abortion.
Mix five lbs of Micromix to 50 lbs of soybean meal prior to mixiing.
Soy oil may be added to reduce fines.
DO NOT FEED TO SHEEP

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Sample Feed Rations using 5 # Micro Mix

Creep and Starter Ration 20
0-40 days

Corn[cracked]…………………………1320
Soybean Meal 44%……………………625
Limestone…………………………………..30
White Salt……………………………………20
Micro Mix……………………………………..5
2000

Grower Ration 16
41-80 days

Corn[cracked]………………………….1675
Soybean Meal 44%…………………….365
Limestone……………………………………30
White Salt…………………………………….20
Micro Mix………………………………………5
Ammonium Chloride……………………..5
2000

Finishing Ration 13
81 days to market

Corn[cracked]……………………………..1740
Soybean Meal 44%……………………….200
Limestone………………………………………30
White Salt……………………………………….20
Micro MIx…………………………………………5
Ammonium Chloride………………………..5

Mix 5 pounds Micro Mix with 50# of soybean oil meal before adding to mixer.

Soy oil may be added to reduce fines.

Deccox 6% can be added to control coccidiosis, 2# in creep, 1# in starter, half pound in finisher.

Micro Mix contains all the necessary Vitamin E,Iodine, Selenium and other trace elements and vitamins that are necessary for a successful ration.

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Milk Replacer

Milk Replacer | Ask-a-Vet Sheep

 

by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

Six years ago we had enough of low quality milk replacer,  so we decided to custom formulate our own product. I am not a nutritionist but, relying on people who have expertise in the field, we determined there were two critical aspects. First, it should be skim milk based, and second, we preferred acidification as well. Our product has enjoyed instant success and customer satisfaction. Twelve thousand lambs yearly can’t be wrong.

Now come the competitors with products that are cheaper priced. By leaving out the costly ingredients that are used for human consumption, you can lower the price on a twenty-five pound bag by three to four dollars. We have less margin than that,  so we chose to compete with quality and performance, not price. I refuse to sacrifice animal welfare for cost.

It is pretty simple. If you use skim milk at 1.44 versus dried whey concentrate at .62 per pound, it does make a difference. Dairy calves are started on higher cost ingredients and then the formula is cheapened up at two weeks. Calves are fed for eight weeks while sheep should be weaned at 30 days so time doesn’t permit changing the formula once started as they are fed full feed free choice.

I never back away from a fight when the welfare of animals is involved. Not only is it the right thing to do but a well-cared for healthy animal is the most profitable.

It all revolves around the difference in protein and lactose content. The majority of the protein content of skim milk powder is casein. Otherwise known as slow protein, casein is slowly released after ingestion. Whey protein is a fast protein which is quickly assimilated, the casein has been removed through the cheese making process. The feeding of whey can result in intestinal hemorrhage syndrome caused by rapid fermentation of lactose and high levels of gas production, abomasal bloat.

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Creep

by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

Lets visit about creep feeding. Unless lambs are on pasture, creep feeding is essential. Lambs learn to eat with the ewes and want the security of their mom around, so location of creep is important. Ideally it should be in the center of their area and well lighted. Back in a dark corner doesn’t work.

Rations can be a mini sized pellet or texturized ration of corn and soy bean meal. 18 to 20% protein is ideal. Big Gain that has dealers in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa have an 18% product, a mini pellet combined with cracked corn that I found superior to any other choice available. It is very palatable and in my operation I am eliminating the 16% grower ration and offering this product alongside the 13% whole corn pellet ration with free choice alfalfa hay until they convert to the 13% ration.

Some shepherds will mix cracked corn and soybean meal 50/50 to get lambs started. Deccox needs to be added to aid in the control of coccidiosis. Two and one half pounds of 6.6% Deccox per ton is indicated. The Deccox can only work if you get consumption. Deccox works early in the coccidiosis life cycle and without consumption doesn’t work at all. That explains why some of the best lambs on heavy milking ewes are the first to show signs of the disease in an outbreak.

Clean, fresh water is always to be provided along with the best quality hay available. Offer grain ration in small amounts to start with and keep it clean and fresh. A dirty stale creep feed isn’t palatable and lambs will refuse to eat it. Discard old feed or feed it to the ewes.

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Strawberry Foot Rot

strawThe scientific name is Dermatophilosis. A Dermatophilus bacteria is involved. It causes skin lesions in horses and cattle as well as lumpy wool in sheep. Strawberry foot rot is also the result of usually wet conditions and the same bacteria.

Animals need to be placed in a dry environment and topical products such as D-Thrush are helpful. If these conditions are met then one subq injection of Zactran, 2cc to market weight lambs, 4cc to ewes and 5cc to rams and repeated in 23 days if necessary should remedy the problem.

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