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Tips to implement judicious antibiotic use

Boehringer Ingelheim. (PRNewsFoto/Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.)

To ensure a high-quality and nutritious product, antibiotics are used with thought and care on dairies.

Jen Roberts, a professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim, shares ways producers can put cattle first and use antibiotics judiciously on the dairy.

“Judicious use of antibiotics means that we’re going to try to focus on prevention and management strategies that actually reduce the need for antibiotics. But when we do need to use antibiotics, we are using what we know about the most common pathogens that cause those disease conditions and choosing the right drug for the right bug as we say. And then, finally, one of the major tenants of judicious use of antibiotics is following the product labels.”

Roberts says there are several benefits resulting from reducing antibiotic use on dairy operations.

“It results in an all-around win for the dairy industry. It benefits the farm because it’s going to reduce labor and disease treatment costs. It also reduces milk discard that’s associated with treatment with antibiotics. It’s going to help the consumer by increasing consumer confidence in dairy products, because we as an industry are taking steps to try to reduce the use of antibiotics. And it allows us to, as we say, at BI, we talk a lot about putting cattle first.”

She adds its important to have a discussion with your veterinarian to develop plans to reduce antibiotics use.

“A veterinarian can help by developing protocols for prevention and treatment of common diseases, including mastitis, they can help the farm with implementing an effective dry cow management program. If the farm is choosing to try on-farm culturing as a way to reduce their antibiotic use, the veterinarian can help set up an on-farm culture system and help with interpreting those culture results. And then finally, the veterinarian can answer any specific questions related to judicious antibiotic use for your dairy herd as well.”

Visit Boehringer Ingelheim’s website for more information.

(Story courtesy of NAFB)