Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Ruralrootscanada.com in June, 2018.

Changes are coming on December 1 that will require livestock producers to have a prescription to get antibiotics.

Dr. Blake Balog is the owner of Bow Valley Livestock Health in Brooks, Alberta.

The veterinarian says the changes mean developing a relationship between producers and vets.

“It is knowing your veterinarian and the veterinarian accepting they are going to be working with you and your operation in terms of taking care of those animals, helping make those decisions when those prescription products are going to be used, particularly antibiotics,” said Balog.

“It is also that you are going to follow through with that in terms of following those recommendations and also the veterinarian needs to know what are you treating, have enough knowledge about that operation and be able to make those decisions.”

“So, sometimes that means we have to be on the operation or help establish animal – health protocols to make that work and then the veterinarian also needs to be available for follow-up anytime a critter is sick or protocol fails or anything along those lines.”

RELATED ARTICLE: BCRC: This December, you’ll need a prescription to buy any antibiotic.

Balog says developing that relationship is key here.

“We want to make sure producers are using these prescription products in a prudent manner that is actually minimizing the use of antimicrobials when necessary.   So, putting in steps to preventative measures using vaccines or other dewormers or other products that limit our use of antimicrobials or other prescription problems that we don’t want to be using so, a lot of that is trying to minimize it to reduce your bottom line or actually reduce your bottom line cost.”

He says communication is key in this relationship.

“There’s some grounds to be had in terms of having that animal health discussion and that herd health discussion with your veterinarian so that we can actually make that all easier for us as well as probably leverage some other opportunities where the veterinarian might be able to give you insight into other areas to improve your operation.”

Dr. Blake Balog spoke during the Rural Roots Canada – Rolling Hills Ag Day in June.


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