Sage Advice: Veterinarian’s Recommendation of TRANSITION™ Boluses Answers Demands of Several Northeast Wis. Dairies

Sage Advice: Veterinarian’s Recommendation of TRANSITION™ Boluses Answers Demands of Several Northeast Wis. Dairies

Dr. Scott Armbrust, DVM, has operated an embryo transfer practice in northeastern Wis. for over 30 years. During this time, he has worked with some of the world’s top high-end genetic dairy operations. Dr. Armbrust has always been open to trying new innovations to help advance the operations of his more than 40 dairy clients.

One common obstacle many of Dr. Armbrust’s clients face is the task of managing long-extended lactation cows. “The high-end genetics industry is a very fast-paced business. A lot of the cows we work with get flushed multiple times and have an extended calving interval because their genetics are in demand,” says Dr. Armbrust. “Because of this, the cows we work with end up a little heavy and have longer dry periods. Our job is to help these cows calve without any metabolic problems, so having a reliable source of supplemental calcium is very important.”

Many of Dr. Armbrust’s clients have used calcium bolus products with mostly positive results, though some had concerns with the bolus size and ease of administration. “Some clients were worried about the bolus getting caught in the cow’s esophagus or spitting up if the cow couldn’t swallow properly, especially the Jersey producers,” says Dr. Armbrust. 

In early 2015, during a discussion with some of his colleagues, Dr. Armbrust was introduced to a new supplemental calcium bolus alternative – TRANSITION™ Calcium Boluses. Dr. Armbrust saw a significant difference in the size and form of TRANSITION compared to the bolus option his clients were using, and thought it would be worth a try by some of his high-producing dairy clients. 

“When new products come out, I like to do trial and error on my own,” says Dr. Armbrust. “I’m very independent in the way I don’t need to be convinced by large companies that their product is the best. The most important thing to me is that my client is happy with the results.”

And happy they were. Of the half dozen clients that tried TRANSITION on Dr. Armbrust’s recommendation, not a single one has had a cow that required IV calcium to maintain blood calcium, nor any significant issues with product administration. His Jersey client was especially pleased with the smaller TRANSITION bolus option. “He can give two small boluses and feel good that the cow is getting the calcium delivered safely, instead of being nervous about the one large bolus,” says Dr. Armbrust.

Dr. Armbrust also values the different forms of immediate and sustained release calcium varieties available in TRANSITION calcium boluses. After a year of using the product, Dr. Armbrust is convinced that TRANSITION can be a valuable tool for any dairy operation. “So far, everything has been very positive. TRANSITION has provided equal if not better results than my client’s other bolus options, and at about 20-30% less cost,” says Dr. Armbrust. 

“Every dairyman values his cows. When he has a product that gives his cows the boost they need to get through the transition period, and he’s comfortable using it, that’s a success.”