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7. Sanitation and hygiene


Oxytetracycline Facts 10-13

  • Oxytetracycline (OTC) is one of the most common medications used in veterinary medicine.
  • OTC is a broad spectrum antibiotic.
  • OTC becomes widely distributed throughout the body.
  • 60-80% of OTC is absorbed via oral administration if the calf is fasted.
  • Concurrently feeding milk or other feed may reduce oral OTC absorption by about 50%.
  • OTC has affinity for Ca++, which chelates the drug to make it inactive.
  • OTC stains bone & teeth when given to young animals.
  • Antimicrobial resistance to OTC is common among many types of bacteria, including strains of E. coli that can cause calf scours.

The next day while driving, Gretchen asks Dr. Karl, “ How can over 40% of all dairy farms do just fine without ever using medicated milk replacer?

Dr. Karl replies, “I like to encourage dairy producers to prevent scours and respiratory disease with the use of good sanitation and hygiene, proper nutrition, vaccination, appropriate ventilation, and a good colostrum program.  Most dairy managers agree that it is more cost effective to prevent disease than to allow the calves to get sick and then try to treat them.  Dairy producers that have good management practices with low rates of calf disease will usually not benefit from using a medicated milk replacer.  The antibiotic resistance fostered by the unnecessary use of antibiotics makes it more difficult to treat future animal diseases and may contribute to the antibiotic resistance burden in animal agriculture and human medicine.  Plus, medicated milk replacer costs more than non-medicated milk replacer.


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