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Objective—

To determine whether intravenous administration of 6% dextran 70 solution to young calves with severe diarrhea is cost effective.

Design—

Randomized, prospective, clinical trial.

Animals—

22 calves < 2 months old that were hospitalized for diarrhea and that did not have pneumonia.

Procedure—

All calves received antibiotics, were fed by use of an orogastic tube, were supplied with radiant heat, and were given crystalloids, IV, as deemed appropriate by an attending veterinarian. A group of 12 calves also received 500 ml of 6% dextran 70 solution, IV, over a 1-hour period as part of the initial treatment. Data were collected to determine whether early treatment with 6% dextran 70 solution resulted in a similar end cost for treatment because of a decrease in the volume of fluids administered IV, a decrease in antibiotic usage, a decrease in the amount of time hospitalized, or a decrease in mortality.

Results—

Capillary refill times, heart rates, respiratory rates, and rectal temperatures; and scores for dehydration, mucous membrane color, lung sounds, mental status, and suckling response were not different between the 2 groups of calves at admission. Differences were not detected in client charges or in hospitalized time (6% dextran 70 group, $89.68 ± 11.05 and 36 ± 3 hours; control group $88.02 ± 4.93 and 36 ± 4 hours), but those charges did not include costs for the 6% dextran 70 solution.

Clinical Implications—

Use of 6% dextran 70 solution as part of the resuscitation of most young calves with diarrhea requiring hospitalization is not likely to be cost effective. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1714–1715)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To monitor effects that improvements in housing facilities would have on herd performance. Financial measures were calculated to estimate whether improvements resulted in an improved financial status for the farm.

Design

Prospective, observational study.

Animals

160-cow dairy herd.

Procedure

Farm visits were conducted from 1990 to 1994. Areas for improvement were identified, and changes were recommended. Herd production and farm financial records were analyzed before, during, and after adoption of recommended changes.

Results

After improving facilities, somatic cell count was somewhat constant, but tended to decrease during the last 16 months of the study. During the last 8 months of the study, incidence for clinical cases of mastitis decreased to 3.3% per month. Reproductive variables improved dramatically after implementing use of a bull for breeding. Subjective evaluation of cow comfort and lameness indicated apparent improvements in each area. However, milk production remained fairly constant from January 1991 through December 1994.

Review of the farm's financial status revealed that costs of production increased from 1990 through 1993, but decreased in 1994. Slow financial response to improvements were attributed to a large decrease in milk price in 1991 and a poor crop harvest in 1993. Thus, although progress was made toward financial stability, approximately 55% of the farm's assets (determined on a market-basis value) were represented by debt.

Clinical Implications

It is important to monitor financial status when managing complex health problems that involve several aspects of a farm's operation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1406–1410)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To estimate the marginal contribution of pasteurization of waste milk and colostrum to gross margin per calf at weaning and to estimate the minimum number of cattle on a dairy farm for pasteurization to be profitable.

Design

Randomized, controlled, clinical trial.

Animals

300 Holstein calves.

Procedure

The performance of calves fed pasteurized colostrum and waste milk was compared with the performance of calves fed nonpasteurized colostrum and waste milk. Costs, revenues, and gross margins for the 2 groups were compared.

Results

Calves fed pasteurized colostrum and waste milk were worth an extra $8.13 in gross margin/calf, compared with calves fed nonpasteurized colostrum and waste milk. The minimum number of cattle for which feeding pasteurized colostrum and waste milk was calculated to be economically feasible was 315 calves/d (1,260-cow dairy farm).

Clinical Implications

An economic benefit was associated with feeding pasteurized colostrum and waste milk. Additional benefits that may accrue include higher mean weight gain and lower mortality rate of calves as well as calves that have fewer days in which they are affected with diarrhea and pneumonia (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:751–756)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To identify the preferable testing and vaccination strategy for control of porcine parvovirus (PPV) during a 6-month period.

Design

Decision-tree analysis and computer simulations.

Sample Population

Computer modeling of 300-sow farrow-to-finish herd.

Procedure

Serologic testing of 30 females to estimate herd PPV prevalence versus not testing any females was the initial decision alternative. On the basis of serologic test results, herds were classified into 1 of 3 PPV-risk categories: low (≥ 80% seropositive females), moderate (40 to < 80% seropositive females), or high (< 40% seropositive females). Vaccinating all females, only gilts, or not vaccinating was the second decision alternative.

Results

For initial model assumptions (test sensitivity and specificity = 0.95; test cost = $5/female; vaccination cost = $0.30/dose; vaccination efficacy = 0.95; and foregone gross margin = $10.85/pig), vaccination of all females (with or without serologic testing) was preferable, but the financially preferable option was to omit serologic testing. Most profitable vaccination option varied with foregone gross margin, vaccination cost, and efficacy. For herds in which all sows were known to be immune, vaccinating only gilts was financially preferable, and serologic testing was not warranted. Variation in expected monetary losses was less in vaccination options than with nonvaccination.

Clinical Implications

For most herds in the United States, serologic screening for PPV prior to selection of a vaccination program is unlikely to be cost-effective, because vaccination is inexpensive ($0.30/dose) and effective (95%). At current profit margins ($10.85/pig), vaccination of all females has the least-risk and is the preferred option.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

An epidemiologic model of Pseudorabies virus (PRV) in swine was developed. This model was used to project future herd-to-herd disease transmission under alternative eradication or control programs over 20 years (1993 to 2012). With current PRV eradication program funding, it was projected that prevalence would be 23% in higher-risk states in the United States, 10% in moderate-risk states, and 1% in lower-risk states. Increased funding for the PRV eradication program was projected to reduce PRV prevalence substantially.

Productivity and economic impacts of PRV also were estimated for the average size farrow-to-finish operation. These impacts included mortality for preweaning, nursery, growing/finishing, and breeding hogs; market weights and number of market hogs sold; farrowing rates, number of live pigs per litter, and number of litters per sow-year. Profitability was estimated to be $6/cwt less for PRV-in-fected herds than for uninfected herds.

Aggregate effects of PRV eradication programs were estimated by use of economic welfare analysis. For all PRV eradication program alternatives analyzed, consumers were the major beneficiaries of the program because of reduced prices and increased consumption of pork. Estimates of the value of economic welfare impacts under the current program with an assumed parallel supply-curve shift were determined: consumers gained $336.5 million; producers gained $35.9 million; government expenditures were $197.1 million; and the benefit/cost ratio of the program was 1.89. Economic welfare measures were projected to increase substantially with increased PRV eradication program funding. Economic welfare measures also were estimated under other assumptions.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To determine gross income lost that was attributable to thin cows in a beef cattle herd, to estimate the cost of added nutrition necessary to prevent thin cows in the herd, and to determine the financial outcome of the improved nutritional practices.

Design—

Prospective, observational study.

Animals—

Four hundred twenty-two Santa Gertrudis cows and their calves.

Procedure—

At pregnancy examination in the fall of 1992, cows were assigned a body condition score (BCS), using a scale of 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese), and the ratio of the productivity of BCS-3 and BCS-4 cow groups (thin cows), compared with the mean productivity of BCS-5 and BCS-6 cows (cows in good condition), was determined. Measures of productivity evaluated included pregnancy rates, weaning weights, and prices per hundredweight of calves. The performance ratios of BCS-3 and BCS-4 cows were multiplied by the mean gross income of BCS-5 and BCS-6 cows to calculate their gross income. This was then subtracted from the mean income of BCS-5 and BCS-6 cows to estimate the amount of lost gross income per thin cow. The cost of a nutritional program that would prevent thin cows in the herd was subtracted from the lost gross income of the thin cows to yield the amount of increased net income that could be generated from a nutritional program that would maintain cows in the herd at a BCS of 5 or 6.

Results—

Cows with a BCS of 3 were 0.48 as productive, and cows with a BCS of 4 were 0.74 as productive as the average of the BCS-5 and BCS-6 cows combined. Each BCS-3 cow generated $215.06 less, and each BCS-4 cow generated $107.53 less gross income than the average gross income of BCS-5 and BCS-6 cows. The added cost of nutrition that would have reconditioned BCS-3 and BCS-4 cows to a BCS of 5.5 was $91.48/BCS-3 cow and $43.67/ BCS-4 cow. Implementation of the reconditioning nutrition program the previous fall would have resulted in an extra net income of $123.58/BCS-3 cow and $63.86/BCS-4 cow, received over a 2-year period. The 262 thin cows in the herd accounted for a total net income loss of $19,897.

Clinical Implications—

The time of pregnancy examination is a strategic intervention point to estimate the past negative economic impact of thin cows and to implement a plan to prevent these losses in the future.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Productivity and economic effects of pseudorabies were estimated for a mean-size, farrow-tofinish swine enterprise. A Delphi technique was used to elicit productivity effects from an expert panel. Enterprise budgets for pseudorabies-infected and noninfected herds were constructed by use of these productivity estimates, as well as by use of economic data from secondary sources. Data examined to determine effects on productivity included preweaning, nursery, and growing/ finishing pig mortality; breeding hog mortality; feed conversion; labor; and veterinary services and medication expenses. Results indicated that profitability was lowered in infected herds by approximately $6/cwt of swine produced.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Approximately 70% of dairy cows are inseminated with semen from bulls provided by commercial artificial insemination centers.1 To help producers in the selection process, artificial insemination centers publish information regarding production and type traits associated with each bull. Producers must decide from these lists which bulls to use, how often they are to be used, and to which cows they should be allocated. The bulls selected have a direct effect on cost of semen for the herd and genetic improvement in production of future generations. In general, producers’ goals are to replace poor genes through strategic culling (not breeding certain cows) with better genes through semen purchases in an economically efficient manner. The cost of semen, however, is realized immediately, whereas economic returns from the traits selected are dependent on the realization of future cash flows. Higher production returns are needed to justify using more expensive bulls. The purposes of the study reported here were to examine the bull selection portfolio of a 450-cow commercial dairy herd in southeastern Pennsylvania and to use linear optimizing programming to select a genetically similar group of bulls at a much lower cost than that the producer had been using. This approach of dominant decision-making can be generalized and implemented for various dairy farm conditions.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary:

Food animal veterinarians recognize the need to economically justify their recommendations regarding whole-herd management programs. An enterprise analysis technique may be used by veterinarians to determine the actual cost of production on beef cattle operations. Enterprise analysis was used on 2 groups of cattle to demonstrate the financial impact of a recommendation to modify the winter-supplementation program of a large ranch. Pregnancy rates improved from 62 to 95% for group-1 cattle and from 75 to 94% for 2 groups of cattle in the 2-year study. Additionally, the calving cycle was shortened and the number of calves born earlier in the calving season was notably increased, which raised the total pounds of calves sold at weaning. These outcomes were realized without additional winter-supplementation expenses for either group. Veterinarians can use enterprise analysis to determine the value of their recommendations, thus allowing them to charge more appropriately for the services provided.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Authors and

Summary

The Swine Tuberculosis Regulations, revised in 1972, stipulated that all swine carcasses with mycobacterial lesions in more than 2 primary sites should be passed for cooking (pfc). Economic loss from a condemned carcass is 100%, whereas loss from a pfc carcass is 66%. Increased condemned and pfc swine carcass rates in 1972, 1973, and 1974, and the economic losses from them were attributed to changes in the regulations. An industrial organization estimated increased economic losses from swine tuberculosis, but detected decreased rates of condemned and pfc swine carcasses in 1975 and 1986. The federal meat inspection data for 1976 to 1988 indicated that the yearly condemned carcass rate remained < 8.0/100,000 swine slaughtered, whereas the pfc carcass rate decreased by 74.1%, from 52.4 to 13.6/100,000 swine slaughtered. The incidence (condemned + pfc) per 100,000 swine slaughtered decreased by 67.7%, from 58.03 in 1976 to 18.72 in 1988. The Agricultural Statistics indicated that a yearly loss from tuberculosis of $2.3 million in 1976 decreased by 73% to $0.97 million in 1988. A yearly loss of $41,580/ $100 million of animal value decreased by 70% to $12,880/$100 million in 1988. The decreased incidence of swine tuberculosis and the economic losses with this disease indicate that the swine industry in the United States was not adversely affected by the change in the Swine Tuberculosis Regulations.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association