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Drug Tracking for Responsible Dairy Management

You invest a lot of effort and money in creating the best product possible, but sick cows are always a drain on resources. You can protect your investment by using tools that will help you and your employees easily keep track the treatment of sick cows.

Because Drug Residue Shouldn't be a Problem

Following simple protocols will protect your dairy from unintentional mistakes that keep drug residue from entering the food supply. These protocols also keep you focused on a quality product instead of treating sick cows.

When the conditions surrounding a disease and the protocols for treatment of the disease are clear, your employees will know what is required to keep drug residue out of the bulk tank.

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Related Health-Data Articles

Wrong RX Admin

The Drug Residue Dilemma

Owning a dairy is a lifestyle... we understand incidents of drug residue are not intentional.

The FDA requires that records be collected when live animals (or their by-product) are being sold for human consumption. By their definition, giving drugs to animals without proper records can constitute insanitary conditions...

We understand most employees want to help keep their employer out of legal trouble, but sometimes they just don't understand. By defining a plan to treat sick cows and having a reference for employees to follow, you eliminate the variables. We've helped thousands of dairies define protocols for their employees to follow and methods to understand the conditions that require treatement. 

The drugs, protocols for use of the drug, and the conditions under which the protocol should be used... can be defined clearly in DHI-Plus. And you can automate recording as the treatments are administered.

The Rx-Plus module proved to be very effective for us right away.

“Soon after we started using it we had a situation involving a cow with drug residue. Due to the documentation from Rx-Plus, the inspector came to the conclusion they had the wrong cow. The documentation provided the accuracy in the treatment records we needed.”

Chris Crandall

Cannon Shelley Dairy, Shelley, ID - 9,300 cows

Drug Tracking with DHI-Plus

Rx-Plus is the drug tracking module for DHI-Plus herd management software.

  • Define protocols that will guide each employee to the correct treatment for common diseases and conditions.
  • Protect your dairy from drug residue investigations.
  • Enable your employees to make more prudent decisions related to drug treatments on the farm.
  • More closely watch the health of your animals.
  • Identify Animals that may be using too many resources.
  • Easily calculate and quickly reference meat and milk withholding dates.

How to get started with Drug Tracking


Keep An Approved Drug List

Working with your veterinarian, make a narrow list of approved drugs to be used on your dairy. In DHI-Plus we call this a drug library.

The intent is to focus on the scope of drugs being used and simplify drug usage to prevent violation of antibiotic residue laws.

The Rx-Plus drug tracking module has a Drug Library Review in the Rx Tools section that allows a producer and a veterinarian to review the list of drugs approved for use. At the bottom of this form is a spot for the farm representative and the veterinarian to sign and note a scheduled for review date. This can be kept on file for reference as part of the treatment plan.


Create an Animal Treatment Plan

In order to learn from past drug use and treatment protocols, it’s important to be consistent.

A treatment plan should be created in conjunction with a veterinarian. In DHI-Plus these are called protocols... which help link a disease or condition to a drug, and a specific protocol for the use of that drug. The protocols in DHI-Plus include all of the information you need to successfully follow an established treatment plan.

This is what helps you define successful treatments. Read the article, How do you measure the results of your hospital treatments, for a good example of the importance of defining a treatment plan.


Keep a Daily Treatment Record

If a drug is used, keep track of use of that drug for the specific animal it’s used on. In DHI-Plus you can use electronic identification (EID) tags to quickly scan the cow that will be treated, look up the cow record, then quickly enter in a treatment protocol when the animal is treated.

We have many customers who have commented how keeping good drug records with the necessary treatment details has helped them immensely when facing an investigation because of a possible milk or meat withholding problem. In all cases, those dairies that keep records according to the protocols setup in DHI-Plus were able to provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate that the drugs were administered properly and the milk and meat was withheld for the proper amount of time.


Separate Animals That Are Treated

Establish a protocol so that when an animal is treated, it is then physically moved to a hospital pen. In DHI-Plus, when establishing a protocol for a specific disease or condition, you can also define a specific pen to hold the animal for the duration of the treatment.

Here is an article by Dr. Tripp that gives some thoughts on the hospital pen called, Hospital Pens: Does One Size Fit All.


Periodically Review your Economic Investment in Each Cow

When is it time to cull a cow from your herd? By reviewing the time and financial investment you are making in each cow that has been treated, you can make a better decision.

Taking the time to review what happens after the hospital pen will help you refine your protocols. Take a look at this article called Disappearing Cows in Your Herd.


Review Treatment Records Before Culling

Cows need to be examined before shipping... when a cow is on the truck it’s too late. With DHI-Plus, you can scan the cow using EID and quickly look at the withholding records before sending a cow to be culled.

Talk to a Customer Service Representative for a free look at DHI-Plus Drug Tracking

By filling out the form, here is what will happen:

  • We will send you an email with a few specific questions we might have to help us customize our thoughts for your needs.
  • After we get your response, you will be contacted by one of our customer service representatives.
  • The representative can show you how to setup a drug library and how to associate drugs with conditions and protocols. If you want, they can help you install DHI-Plus so you can try it for a period of time with your own data.
  • If you want to talk to someone today, use the options on our contact page.