Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
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Tuesday, February 6 2018 7:00 AM
By Anne Burkholder

Spending time with Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz to learn about cattle health and antibiotic use.

Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz helped to shape my beliefs regarding good animal care. As a cattle veterinarian, Dr. Kip spends his days working with farmers and teaching us to better understand our animals. His love of cattle and his passion for always doing the right thing helps to inspire us to greatness. Today, we take a minute to visit with Dr. Kip and learn more about his role as a veterinar

Anne: What is your role on the animal care team at Ward Feed Yard?

Dr. Kip: I teach. I lead. I inspire. The most important thing to me is understanding our animals in order to best provide what they need to be happy. Happy cattle are healthy cattle. I develop road maps (animal health protocols) for the animal caregivers to follow each day as well as teaching them how to understand and communicate with their animals.

Anne: What specific tools do you teach the cattle cattle caregivers to use in daily animal care?

Dr. Kip: Cattle have both psychological and physical needs. On the psychological side, I help caregivers to use low stress handling which allows for care to be animal specific and driven by holistic health principles. 

On the physical side, I teach caregivers to recognize the difference between normal and abnormal which allows us to give extra help to animals that become challenged. During times of challenge, we have really great diagnostic tools that range from using Whisper Technology with a stethoscope to access lung health, to evaluating animal body temperature via thermometer, to diagnosing foot or digestive challenges.  Modern laboratories available to veterinarians allow us to bring state of the art diagnostics to the farm.

Anne: What is the difference between a vaccine and an antibiotic?

Dr. Kip: A vaccine stimulates natural immune health to prevent an illness challenge. It trains the body to be stronger and better able to fight off disease. An antibiotic is a product that helps to treat an animal that is challenged by sickness. They are both tools in our toolbox of animal care, but used differently - a vaccine as preventative, an antibiotic to control and treat active illness.

Anne: How do you hold an animal when evaluating or treating them? Cattle weigh 5-10X as much as you do!

Dr. Kip: We use a squeeze chute to secure an animal during individual evaluation or treatment. The slight pressure of the machine helps to calm the animal and reduces the space around it. This creates an increased level of comfort and security for the animal. It's not a lot different than a mother holding her baby while a doctor evaluates or treats the child. Our squeeze chutes are programed to offer that same level of support to ensure the safety of both the animal and the caregiver. 

Anne: What do you most want people to understand about you as a veterinarian?

Dr. Kip: I care. It's who I am and what I do. I work hard each and every day to give our animals everything that they need to be happy and healthy.

That reminds me of my favorite Dr. Kip quote: "We can never completely remove stress from our animals' lives. Rather, what we can do is to teach them how to deal with it. This allows them to maintain optimal health and comfort as they move through each stage of their lives." -- Wise words that inspired me to not just listen, but to change the way that I embraced being a cattle caregiver.

A big 'thank you' to Dr. Kip for helping us to learn more about our animals. Look for a video as well as pictures and an infographic later this month as we get to know more of the great people that spend their days caring for cattle! An additional 'thank you' to the Kansas Beef Council for the visual images used in this blog.

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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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