• Managing the Calf at Calving Time

      Mee, John F (American Association of Bovine Practitioners, 2008)
      Perinatal mortality rates are increasing internationally, particularly in Holstein-Friesian primiparae. The prevalence of perinatal mortality in US dairy herds is currently 8%. This article outlines our current knowledge of bovine perinatal pathophysiology and presents practical guidelines on management of the calf at calving time. Biophysical profiling of the newborn calf, without sophisticated equipment, is the first step in diagnosing at-risk perinates. Resuscitative techniques adaptable for both the producer and the veterinarian are detailed. In addition, management of prolonged recumbence, hypothermia, failure to suck, umbilical antisepsis and calf movement after calving are discussed. Knowledge gaps constraining future progress towards better newborn calf management are highlighted. Finally, current topics in perinatal mortality are presented.