I feel like if you ask any cattle producer what their number one priority is that they will respond with cattle care. We check our cattle every day to make sure they are doing well. It is important to us that they are healthy, comfortable, and have what they need. For the most part, we provide the cattle what they need and they are usually fine on a day-to-day basis. However, sometimes they need us to intervene and assist with additional care and treatment.
When I check cattle, I count them and then start looking at individuals to make sure they are not showing signs of sickness (off feed, away from the herd, diarrhea, etc.) or other issues such as limping, open wounds, etc. On a recent check, I noticed one of our heifer calves had a large bump on her face. It looked to me like an abscess (swollen area, usually filled with fluid/pus) but you cannot tell just from looking at the calf. I consulted with our veterinarian and we decided it was best to catch the calf and examine her.
Once the calf was caught, our veterinarian came out and checked the swollen area to see if it was an abscess or something more serious. It turned out to be an abscess and he gave her pain medication and removed the scab/tissue so the area could be cleaned and drained. Normally, an animal with abscess is given antibiotics due to the infection associated with the abscess but our veterinarian decided against it due to the health of the calf and how early we caught the abscess. The calf never showed signs of sickness and was very alert, eating well, and otherwise fine. We are very careful with antibiotic use and that is another reason to work with a veterinarian and only administer antibiotics when necessary.
Having a good veterinarian-client-patient-relationship is very important to us and also from a Beef Quality Assurance standpoint. We want to raise the healthiest cattle possible under the best guidance available and to do that you have to work with a veterinarian.