Cattle handlers need continuing education for respiratory disease recognition

by | Mar 7, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Just like when we are not feeling well, our livestock shows signs of not being 100%. However, the biggest difference between animals and humans is that humans can communicate what is wrong. Animals can only give us body language cues to tell us something isn?t right.

When working with these animals, it is important to be staffed with people who are trained to recognize these cues from the animal and take appropriate action. If you don?t have those types of people on hand, it is time to get your employees trained. Sometimes this recognition can be the difference between a couple of sick animals and a whole herd being down with an outbreak of respiratory disease.

Dr. John Davidson is a Senior Associate Director with Boehringer Ingelheim. He says that we need to be better at recognizing the signs that animals might be giving or even concealing.

Dr. Davidson says the goal is to bring more animal handlers up to speed with catching these signs. He uses the DART acronym. Depression, Appetite Suppression, Respiratory changes, and Temperature.

Dr. Davidson adds that the veterinary profession has been working hard at finding more signs of earlier prevention of disease. He outlines some of the options that are available.

Dr. Davidson says that it is understandable that consumers may be concerned with what is given to these animals that will eventually enter the food chain. He addresses the responsibility that veterinarians and producers have responsibility have in ensuring their product is safe and explains to consumers what they need to realize about the beef product they are seeing at the meat counter.

We will hear more from Boehringer Ingelheim?s Dr. John Davidson next week.