To minimize the chances of a meat or milk residue, help clients develop a proactive residue prevention plan:

1 Develop written treatment protocols with clients veterinarian that include dose, route of administration, meat withdrawal length and milk discard times.
2 Help clients select products for efficacy. Consider drug residue risk in selection process.
3 Encourage clients to follow label directions for over-the-counter (OTC), prescription, and extra-label drug use, and make a file that contains the complete label for each pharmaceutical used.
4 Have clients inventory pharmaceuticals regularly and keep pharmaceuticals for lactating and non-lactating animals in separate locations. Do not keep prohibited drugs on the dairy. At least annually check that all pharmaceuticals are still on the approved list.
5 Help train dairy employees on farm protocols and insist on adherence to those protocols.
6 Advise clients to keep good records, including the following:
* Animal identification: eartag or other ID
* Drug used
* Date drug administered
* Route of administration
* Person administering
* Dosage of drug administered
* Milk withdrawal time
* Meat withdrawal time
7 Check the records of every animal prior to shipping the animal to slaughter or before putting milk in the tank.
8 Adhere to vaccine withdrawals as well (in general, oil adjuvant vaccines, 60 days; other vaccines, 21 days)
9 Develop a list of animal exceptions that may require additional withdrawal periods.

Some common issues extending withdrawal periods can be: dehydration, kidney failure, liver problems, poor rumen function, off-feed, etc. In other words, anything that may slow the metabolism of the cow. Work with your clients to develop a drug screening plan for these animals.

10 Consider extra safeguards for a recently purchased animal.


Adapted from Texas Dairy Health Matters, Fall 2011