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A Look Inside a Farm Veterinarian’s Medicine Bag

By Hubert J. Karreman, V.M.D.

I don’t usually mention the products that I carry for organic farms, but the other day I was surprised by a farmer when he had no idea about certain treatments I commonly use. These medicines are used within a valid veterinary client-patient relationship (VCPR), which means that a veterinarian has knowledge of the animals in the herd, has been on the farm recently and is available for follow-up, or there is a clinic that is available for follow-up.


Here’s the list:

Phyto-Mast is a botanical multipurpose antiseptic avail­able in aseptic, easy-to-use tubes with alcohol pads. It is in­tended to be used as an antiseptic irrigation. Its uses include milk quality, udder rot, pinkeye and digestive upsets. Phyto-Mast may also be considered for cows that have milk quality concerns at dry off. This product is not intended for Staphylo­coccus aureus or coliform infections. The ingredients of Phyto-Mast are essential oil of thyme, licorice, wintergreen, angelica, and vitamin A, D, and E in olive oil.

Veterinarian treats a calf
Having the right materials on hand can help you treat your herd. Always call a vet if you are not sure.

Get Well is a liquid tincture of plants that have well-known antibacterial properties to enhance health. Get Well is normally used an oral treatment, but I do give it IV as a loading dose when called out for a case (I add it to a carrier such as dextrose or physiologic saline). An oral dose of Get Well is 5cc per calf and 20cc per cow given three times daily. When administered with other IV fluids, a 90cc dose is given. A repeat IV using 60cc in a bottle of dextrose can be given daily as needed.

Heat Seek is a combination of botanicals for reproductive health. It is a botanical blend of herbs that seems to enhance the visually observable signs of heat (estrus). This is for use in animals that are in normal body condition (not skinny/nega­tive energy balance), have a corpus luteum on the ovary, and have not shown visible heats for a long time.

Listen to the Author


Dr. Hubert Karreman, on Prevention & Treatment Strategies for Cattle, from the Acres U.S.A. Conference in 2010. 1 hour, 30 minutes

Eat Well is a liquid tincture of plants known to stimulate appetite and the gut. It is purely for indigestion and lack of appetite with normal temperature (no fever). Indications would be mild bloat, constipation, impacted rumen, or potential dis­placed abomasum. It is an old horse colic remedy as well and works great for that purpose. Eat Well can be given at the rate of 15cc–20cc per adult cow (or horse) or occasionally at 5cc intravenously with a diluent such as dextrose or physiologic saline. Given after IV calcium, this has been shown to help very well.

Ferro is a liquid from water percolated through earth, which is high in fulvic acid, iron, sulfur, and almost all the elements on the periodic table. It is especially good at help­ing animals with diarrhea caused by internal parasites as it constipates them quickly and stops the dehydration. With its high level of iron, Ferro also helps build up the bloodstream in depleted animals. It is given orally. Calves should get 5cc–10cc daily in their milk or mixed with molasses as it is very bitter. Yearlings should get 20cc daily. The duration of treatment is usually seven to ten days. On one farm I took manure samples from the calves infested with giardia. After the treatment, only two of the fifteen or so calves tested had slight amounts of giardia, and they all looked really great compared to pretreat­ment. Giardia is related to coccidia and cryptosporidia. I nor­mally recommend Ferro for typical stomach worm problems due to strongyle-type worms.

With the above ready in the medicine cabinet, you will be prepared for many situations that can befall organic dairy cows and calves.

Source: Four-Seasons Organic Cow Care