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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Eighty-six cow-calf operations involved in the Colorado National Animal Health Monitoring System were monitored for a 12-month period, and data were collected on the incidence, prevention, and costs of disease. The costs of veterinary services and vaccines/drugs used in the treatment and prevention of disease conditions in these beef herds were determined and expressed on a per cow basis.

Beef producers in this study spent an average of $2.04 ($0 to $29.88) per cow annually on veterinary services for treatment of disease conditions. The cost of veterinary services was a relatively small percentage (5.4%) of the total mean cost of disease incidence. The reproductive tract disease class was the most costly class in terms of veterinary services for disease treatment ($0.99/cow). Dystocia was the disease condition with the largest veterinary treatment cost.

The total mean annual cost of drugs used in the treatment of disease conditions was $1.22/cow. The enteric, miscellaneous, and respiratory tract disease classes had similar mean drug costs for disease treatment and ranged from $0.31 to $0.39/cow.

The total mean annual cost of veterinary services for administration of preventive measures in these herds was $1.85/cow ($0 to $12.03). Pregnancy examination, breeding soundness examination in bulls, brucellosis vaccination, pulmonary arterial pressure test, and campylobacteriosis vaccination accounted for over 90% of the money spent for preventive veterinary services.

Approximately 60% of the total mean annual disease prevention cost was attributed to the purchase of vaccines/drugs ($6.59/cow). More money was spent by these beef producers on vaccines/drugs to prevent miscellaneous disease conditions than for other disease classes because of the cost of drugs used to prevent general disease of parasitism and infestation with lice, grubs, or flies. Diarrhea of unknown cause had the highest mean cost ($1.16/cow) for vaccines/drugs among individual disease conditions.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
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Summary

Four percent of the total cost of disease in 60 Tennessee cow-calf herds in 1987 to 1988 was attributable to veterinary services, and 2.3% was attributable to the purchase of drugs to treat sick animals. When producers spent money on therapeutic veterinary services, it was most often attributable to diseases of the reproductive system ($0.69/cow annually), especially dystocia ($0.51 /cow annually). When drugs were used therapeutically, the most was spent on products to treat respiratory tract disease ($0.37/cow annually). The cost of preventive veterinary services accounted for 8.8% of the total cost of preventive actions. Pregnancy examinations (considered here as a preventive action) was the most costly preventive service ($0.62/cow annually). The cost of drugs and biologicals used to prevent disease accounted for 69.4% of the total cost of preventive actions, with drugs to prevent intestinal and external parasites being the most costly ($7.79/cow annually). These figures are based on cow-calf herds randomly selected by use of a 2-stage, stratified plan. Herds were visited once a month for 1 year. Results of this study support other work that showed that beef producers perceive veterinarians as primary sources of information on diagnosis and treatment of sick animals and on reproduction/breeding, but less knowledgeable or cost effective in the areas of animal/herd management, feed nutrition, and agribusiness/economics.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Thirty-nine and 47 randomly selected Colorado cow-calf operations were monitored for health events and their associated costs during rounds 2 and 3, respectively, of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS). Data were collected from each operation for a one-year period by NAHMS veterinarians through monthly interviews, and the costs associated with the incidence and prevention of disease conditions were determined and expressed on a per cow basis.

The beef producers involved in this study spent an average of $32.75 per cow in round 2 and $40.97 per cow in round 3 on an annual basis for the treatment of disease conditions. These costs were not different between the 2 rounds because of the wide ranges in the individual herd costs for disease incidence in each round. In both years of the study, the largest contributor to the total mean annual cost of disease incidence was the cost of death of diseased animals, and this cost accounted for approximately two-hirds of the total mean annual cost in each round.

The total mean annual costs of disease prevention in these herds were $11.24 and $11.19 per cow in rounds 2 and 3, respectively. There were wide ranges in both rounds in the amounts of money spent per cow by individual herds for disease prevention. The largest individual cost of disease prevention in each year was the cost of vaccines/drugs, whereas the smallest individual cost in each round was the cost of veterinary services. Nearly all the preventive veterinary services cost in each study year was attributed to pregnancy examination, brucellosis vaccination, breeding soundness examination of bulls, pulmonary arterial pressure testing, and campylobacteriosis vaccination.

The costs of disease incidence and prevention were summed to determine the most costly individual disease conditions in the study herds. Death of unknown cause was the most expensive disease condition in both study years. Diarrhea of unknown cause, nonpregnancy, dystocia, pneumonia, hypothermia-exposure, general disease of parasitism, and brisket disease were other disease conditions that ranked among the ten most costly disease conditions in both rounds of the study.

It was concluded that reducing the costs associated with disease has the potential for increasing profits in cow-calf operations.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Data on costs associated with episodes of disease and disease prevention, including expenditures for veterinary services, were collected from 57 California beef cow-calf herds during 1988-1989 as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System. Mean cost associated with episodes of disease was $33.90/cow-year, with $0.78 and $1.37/cow-year being spent for veterinary services and drugs, respectively. The highest costs for veterinary services related to episodes of disease were for dystocia, lameness, and ocular carcinoma. For disease prevention, mean expenditures for veterinary services were $1.67/cow-year, nearly all of which was spent on prevention of reproductive tract conditions. Preventive expenditures for veterinary services related to female infertility (pregnancy examination), vaccination against brucellosis and male infertility (breeding soundness examination) were $0.72, $0.39, and $0.22/cow-year, respectively. Many costs associated with episodes of disease and disease prevention were similar to those reported from Colorado National Animal Health Monitoring System beef herds.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

For efficient disease management in dairy production, the influence of disease prevention strategies on farm profitability must be known. A survey of mastitis control practices, milking machine function and maintenance, and cow environmental conditions was conducted with 406 dairy producers on the Michigan Dairy Herd Improvement-somatic cell counting program responding. These survey data, in conjunction with Dairy Herd Improvement production data, were used to develop a model estimating the marginal value products of mastitis control practices. Lost milk production associated with increased somatic cell count was calculated for each herd. Mastitis control practices, milking machine function and maintenance, and cow environmental conditions were used as independent variables in an analysis of covariance model with lost milk production as the dependent variable. Variables significant in explaining changes in production from increased somatic cell count were the use of teat dip, use of sanitizer in the wash water, milking cow bedding, summer nonlactating cow housing, summer calving locations, type of regulator, alternating pulsation, and rolling herd average milk production. The marginal value product (change in revenues received) from the use of iodine, chlorhexidine, and quaternary ammonium-type teat dips were $13.79, $16.09, and $22.17/cow/year, respectively, and these changes were statistically significant. However, sanitizer in the wash water was associated with a decrease in production. Management practices that have previously been shown to be economical and did not appear in the final model included nonlactating cow therapy and single-use paper towels.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

The economic feasibility of the use of rapid milk progesterone assays (RMPA) for early detection of pregnancy status in cows, to reduce the cost associated with reproductive inefficiency, was evaluated by use of decision analysis techniques. A decision tree was formulated and used to compare the rmpa to the alternative of palpation per rectum alone for the determination of pregnancy status.

A computer spreadsheet was used to examine the effect of manipulating the values of inputs affecting the optimal decision (ie, cost of a day a cow is not pregnant, conception rate, cost of the rmpa, test sensitivity and specificity, cost of insemination) over the range of values likely to be encountered. The sensitivity of the optimal decision was greatest to the variables for cost of a day a cow is not pregnant, conception rate, and cost of the rmpa. When the cost of a day a cow is not pregnant is $2.00 and the cost of the rmpa is $6.00, the best decision is to use the rmpa when the herd conception rate is between 20 and 77%. When the herd conception rate is 60%, the best decision is to use the rmpa as long as the cost of a day a cow is not pregnant is greater than $1.44. Indifference curves were calculated, allowing both the cost of a day a cow is not pregnant and conception rate to vary, and used to select the most economical decision. Use of the rmpa for early detection of pregnancy status is likely to be economically advantageous in most dairy operations.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Computerized decision-tree analysis and simulation modeling were used to evaluate control and eradication strategies for pseudorabies virus (prv) in swine. Three alternative actions were considered for a hypothetical 100-sow, farrow-to-finish operation: (1) depopulation-repopulation, (2) test-and-removal of seropositives (t&r), and (3) vaccination (of the entire herd or of sows only). The expected monetary values for the vaccination and t&r alternatives were similar, which was consistent with the long-standing controversy over the best strategy for dealing with prv. When the prevalence rate of prv was ≤57%, t&r was found to be optimal; otherwise, vaccination of sows only was recommended.

Sensitivity analysis was performed to determine how modifications in some of the original assumptions affected the expected monetary values of each strategy. When higher gross margins for the producer were assumed, t&r was preferred at all prevalence rates. Vaccination was preferred when lower gross margins, lower vaccination costs, or better protective effect of prv vaccines on reproductive performance were assumed. The use of gene-deleted vaccines in conjunction with the t&r strategy was also evaluated. When this option was available, t&r was favored at any prevalence rate (t&r alone when the prevalence was ≤20%, or combined with gene-deleted vaccination at prevalences >20%). Depopulation-repopulation was not the best option under any circumstance. Once formulated, a decision-tree analysis can be adapted to the prevailing economic or epidemiologic conditions; hence, it is a useful tool in the prv decision-making process.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

The economic impact of pseudorabies was examined in a commercial swine herd. At the onset of clinical signs, a modified-live virus vaccine was administered to the sow herd and repeated at 3-month intervals. According to production data from the 320-sow farrow-to-feeder unit, preweaning mortality increased twofold, and subsequently, the number of pigs weaned per litter decreased by 19% (P < 0.005) during the 5-week epizootic. Also, the number of pigs born alive decreased by 6% during the epizootic (P < 0.05). No significant differences in production were observed between the 6-month periods before and after the epizootic. Actual cash flow analysis for the farm under isomarket conditions revealed a decreased net return of $2.40/inventoried sow/week, which was attributed to the disease during the epizootic, and a $0.46 decrease in net return/inventoried sow/week in the postepizootic period. Most seropositive herds have clinical signs less severe than those described in this herd, and the cost of eradication of the virus from a swine herd can be in excess of $200/inventoried sow. Thus, we believe that sufficient financial incentives are not available to all swine producers to ensure their enthusiastic cooperation in the effort to eradicate pseudorabies from the US swine population.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Twenty-nine California dairy herds were studied over a 12-month period from 1988 to 1989 as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System. Monthly interviews administered to dairy producers were used to measure the costs of all health-related expenditures and disease incidence in these herds. Of the total $1,523,558 reported, $1,355,467 (89%) was attributed to cost of disease events and $168,091 (11%) to cost of disease prevention. Most (78%) of the cost of disease events was attributable to death and culling losses. Veterinary services accounted for only $54,099 (4%) of total costs, 64% of which was used for disease prevention, compared with 36% for disease treatment. Udder disease was the most costly category of diseases reported at an average of $49.85/head at risk annually, followed by reproductive problems at $38.05. Through the use of sampling strategies less biased than those used in other surveys, the National Animal Health Monitoring System is designed to provide statistically-valid estimates of disease incidence and costs across broad geographic areas, potentially benefiting all those interested in the economics of livestock diseases in the United States.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association