Beef Tips

Category: July 2017

Toe abscesses in feedlot cattle

By A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, MS, extension veterinarian

Lameness is a significant disease challenge in feedlot cattle. It has been estimated that 16% of all treatments, 5% of deaths, and 70% of animals for railer slaughter is due to lameness. One cause of lameness that often goes underdiagnosed is toe abscesses. This issue goes by a number of different names such as toe tip necrosis or P3 (third phalangeal bone) necrosis. It can affect heifers, steers, calves, and yearlings. They typically occur and present during the first 3 weeks after arrival into the feedlot. Toe abscesses can occur on any foot, but tend to be more common on the rear feet. Continue reading “Toe abscesses in feedlot cattle”

Nitrates – what we know and where we need to go

Nitrate toxicity is a well-known metabolic issue in cattle associated with the amount of nitrate in the feed and water; however, it is a complex issue, especially in regards to grazing green forages.  Once consumed by cattle, nitrates enter the rumen where microbes convert nitrate to nitrite in a rapid manner.  Other microbes convert nitrite to ammonia, but at a much slower rate than those converting nitrate to nitrite. This rapid accumulation of nitrite in the rumen is then absorbed into the bloodstream, where nitrite binds with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin, thus reducing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the animal.  As methemoglobin increases, symptoms of nitrate toxicity become worse.  At low levels of methemoglobin dry matter intake and performance can be stunted.  At moderate levels of methemoglobin, pregnant animals will abort.  At high levels of methemoglobin incoordination and death can occur. Continue reading “Nitrates – what we know and where we need to go”

Tally Time – Get more value from pregnancy diagnosis

By Sandy Johnson, extension beef specialist

We just finished preg checking some replacement heifers from a project conducted earlier this spring.  The heifers were all artificially inseminated (AI) at a single fixed-time.  Natural service sires were turned in 10 days after AI and removed 20 days later.  This short breeding season was used for a number of reasons but most importantly so that there would be no late calving replacement females.  The staging of this ultrasound examination was such that we had pregnancies at either 64 days or 54 to 34 days.  Differentiating these stages of pregnancy with ultrasound was relatively easy and the information obtained was very powerful.  The open heifers were sorted off and hauled to the feedlot that day. Continue reading “Tally Time – Get more value from pregnancy diagnosis”