Sarah’s Notes from the NOFA Winter Conference February 2009 Dr Guy Jodarkski’s Presentation

February 2009
Dr Guy Jodarkski’s presentation

Holistic approach to herd health with an emphasis on prevention through methods including:

  • Grazing – good quality, well managed pastures
  • High Forage Diet –
    • goal of 70 to 80% forage
    • forage quality is essential if you want to have DM intake be that high
    • benefits are not just herd health… also economic benefits
    • soil helath will need to be improved in order to improve forage quality
  • Soil Health


  • Nutrition and soil fertility
  • Management – hygiene
  •  Biosecurity and vaccination (he recommends BVD and lepto – and suggests that if you vaccinate the heifers for BVD correctly you may not need to vaccinate the adults again.  Note that if you do need to vaccinate the adults you cant use the live vaccine on pregnant cows)
  • Housing

DA’s Displaced Abomasum

  • Rarely will happen on a high forage diet
  • May occur as a secondary problem to ketosis or acidocis, milk fever, RP/Metritis
    Rumen pH
  • 5.9 or higher is normal
  • 5.6 to 5.8 is marginal
  • under 5.5 is abnormal
    sub acute rumen acidocis
  • laminitis
  • acidocis

Chronic Lameness

  • acidosis – laminitis
  • environment – wet, dirty
  • nutrition – minerals, trace elements
  • mineral deficiencies contribute to lower immune function

How to treat?

  • Wrap with a mixture of sugar and betadine
  • Some salves may be helpful, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate


  • Isolate new animals that come to the farm
  • Make sure hoof trimmers and other workers going from farm to farm practice good biosecurity/sanitation


  • Mastitis is the most costly disease for livestock producers in the US and most of the world
  • The term mastitis refers to inflammation of the mammary gland
  • In dairy cattle mastitis is almost always caused by micro organisms (usually bacteria) that invade the udder
  • Sub clinical mastitis – no visible change in udder or milk – is the most common type of mastitis, in can be detected by measuring the SCC

Contagious mastitis:  staph aureus, strep ag & mycoplasma

Environmental:  E. coli, Strep species, Enterococcus and other coliforms

The main resevoir of contagious bacteria is the udder of infected cows.

Environmental bacteria live in the surrounding environment

Mastitis Prevention

Milking procedures
Well trained milkers, Dr Guy recommends gloves, proper udder prep, unit attachment and removal and use of a post milking dip


Equipment function
check the system both static and under load


  • first look at soil fertility and forage quality
  • make sure the mineral supplementation is adequate


  • Frequent stripping
  • aloe vera – 10 oz twice a day for an acute case or ½ that for a chronic problem.  Treat 3 to 5 days for an acute problem
  • topical – liniments
  • whey products
    o    biocel CBT
    o    impro
  • herbal antibacterials ( garlic…
  • vitamin and mineral supplements – vitamins A, D & E as well as C
    o    note that vitamin C requires a prescription.  He likes to give 250 cc IV to an acutely sick cow
  • biologics – antisera, immunoboost
  • homeopathy

Milk withholding for organic herds

  • don’t put mastitic milk in the bulk tank
  • hold other quarters too if the cow is sick
  • withhold milk when using any intramammary treatments

Natural treatments are more labor intensive, require early treatment and may take longer to correct a problem