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 Treating with Tomorrow and Orbeseal

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
maryjane Posted - Feb 21 2017 : 6:36:40 PM
I used both Tomorrow and Orbeseal on Fanci because she had such a bad case of dry mastitis half way through her pregnancy. Here's what I know about both.

Tomorrow is the dry cow treatment used routinely on dairies that is the counterpart to Today that is the wet/lactating cow treatment for mastitis (Today has a 96 hour milk withdrawal). Per my vet's advice, I used penicillin and eventually Today to cure Fanci's mastitis. Once it was gone, I used a single dose of Tomorrow in all four quarters. I still have some on hand, but it's past its expiration date.

Tomorrow is preventative. It provides slow release bactericidal levels of the active antibiotic Cephapirin for strep and staph and strains resistant to penicillin. It can't be used later than 30 days prior to calving. The milk can't be used for food (humans) for 72 hours after calving but the milk (colostrum) can be used for food for calves. Obviously, lots of calves get a dose of Cephapirin because they must have the colostrum before 24 hours. I asked WSU about it and they reassured me that by the time the cow calves there is hardly any left and it's a very low dose and given Fanci's susceptibility to mastitis, I made the decision to use both.

Orbeseal is essentially soft white plastic inserted immediately afterward to seal the orifice. In theory, in comes out first thing so once Fanci calved, I milked out about a cup of colostrum from each teat before Finnegan nursed and quite a bit came out. However, for a 2 to 3 week period after, I would occasionally find bits of telltale white strands of Orbeseal in the strainer that I poured her milk through (it's very distinct and very white). You need a good system for straining (a fine sieve) if a cow has been treated with Orbeseal.

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NellieBelle Posted - Feb 23 2017 : 11:21:05 AM
I'm not keen on using any of the above products (my personal preference), and hope I don't have trouble extracting whatever was used. I will hopefully have Sienna's milk to use anyway, so if I need to wait more that 72 hours that's not a problem. Sounds like I may not be using the milk for some time. My concern is udder and teat health, and I would rather let the cow's body handle situations naturally, but apparently this is what owner (Tim) uses routinely at their facility and he informed me they've not had a problem. With my little group ( 2-3 cows) I doubt it will ever be necessary. Thanks for the information MaryJane. I did some reading up on both the Orbeseal and Tomorrow so I would know more about them. Hoping all works out, literally. ;) Learning never stops.
maryjane Posted - Feb 22 2017 : 10:57:10 AM
I was thinking a person could carefully milk out some of both prior to calving and then spot check for anything brewing using a gel test. In theory, a cow makes a keratin orifice plug--nature's version of Orbeseal. For example, I would assume both Sienna and Bea are full enough to give some liquid to dislodge the Orbeseal and maybe some of the Tomorrow but that would leave a cow unprotected so you'd need to pay close attention. That's what I would probably try. I doubt taking some liquid/milk/colostrum would result in not enough colostrum for the calf.

I was able to discuss both with the owner of the two new cows I'm getting because originally, they were both in milk, but it's taken so long for me to get them here, it was time to dry one of them up (they're both pregnant), so no Orbeseal or Tomorrow will be used.

That being said, I've been pondering an incident several months ago while looking at cows to purchase that weren't so far away. The testing, etc. was onerous to say the least and several cows failed the tests I paid for--a lengthy process each time. That's one of the reasons I value Tim Covington so much. He has been a gem to work with and gets why a person would want tests. So many people resist helping a prospective buyer get tests.

So, one of the cows I was considering was only a two-hour drive from me. My daughter and I drove to meet her. She'd been dried up for about a month. The week prior, a blood draw was taken by their AI tech and sent to WADDL for the tests I wanted and was willing to pay for. While I waited for the test results, I drove to meet her in person. She was tragically lonely and couldn't keep her head off us because her long-time companion cow had been sold a couple of weeks prior. It truly broke my heart. But I was worried how forceful she'd be with my grand girls. She almost knocked us over. The owner agreed that she was very lonely and sad and that it had been a mistake to separate them. Upon inspection of her udder, one of her quarters was very swollen. The other three weren't empty by any means. So I decided then and there I also needed to test milk samples. We took about a cup from her swollen quarter and a few squirts from the other three and mixed them all together. I put them on ice and drove them directly to WADDL on my way home. After opening up her orifices, I asked for some teat dip but apparently it wasn't something they do. They did find some iodine and dabbed some on each teat per my insistence. On the way home, I said to Megan, "Wow, just when you think you know something--that cow looks like she's about to pop a calf. Her tail was super loose and her vulva jiggly and swollen. They just have to have her due date wrong. She can't be 45 days out." Eventually, I spoke with the guy who AIed her and sure enough the date was correct. Long story longer, said cow gave birth very unexpectedly about four days later, 41 days early. The bull calf survived only because they brought it in when they discovered him in the mud and got him some colostrum and then proceeded to milk the cow and bottle feed the calf. But the owner suggested that perhaps I had triggered her early delivery by taking milk, causing the cow to generate oxytocin that in turn triggered uterine contractions. I haven't researched that idea to my satisfaction yet but thought I should mention it. I kind of doubt it because with Fanci's mastitis (later in her pregnancy), I milked her out repeatedly after flushing her udder with diluted iodine, etc. And she went full term. Just something to consider.
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 22 2017 : 06:46:41 AM
so miss janet gets to learn all about this when darling darla calves as she was treated with it. it is always a learning journey around here and with the cows. thanks for the info maryjane.