FAQs: Ask Dr. Geoff Westfall, inventor of Fight Bac
Dr. Geoff Westfall (right) discusses proper teat disinfection protocol with dairy
Q: How close to the teat do I hold the can when spraying?
A: Fight Bac is designed to be used ½ inch (1cm) away from the teat (see photo). The vertically directed fan shaped spray provides excellent coverage of the teat and actually displaces any residual milk at the teat orifice. This provides better contact of disinfectant at the teat orifice where bacteria enters the teat.
Q: One veterinarian says I should get rid of my dip cup and use a pump sprayer because dip cups can be contaminated and spread infection. Another vet says get rid of the sprayer and use a dip cup because my sprayer doesn't cover the other side of the teat well. What do you recommend?
A: Fight Bac was developed as a solution to the deficiencies of dip cups and sprayers. We know a dip cup can become contaminated and spread infection. Toward the end of milking, dip cups are often seen to be visibly contaminated and nearly empty. A dip cup may actually spread infection at this time!
Pump sprayers are more sanitary but often do not cover the teat well. Sprayers also can be tedious to use and wear out quickly.
Fight Bac is completely sanitary, quick, convenient and provides excellent coverage of the teat. The vertical spray displaces any residue of milk from the teat orifice, providing better contact of disinfectant at the teat orifice. The aerosol propellant vaporizes off the surface of the teat briefly chilling the teat which has been shown to enhance contracture of the teat orifice. No other method of teat disinfection does all of these things.
Q: Does Fight Bac’s active ingredient, chlorhexidine, work as well as iodine?
A: Chlorhexidine actually works better than iodine, for several reasons. It kills mastitis-causing pathogens faster than iodine and is shown to be more persistent (longer lasting) than iodine too. Chlorhexidine is much gentler on the skin, and is also routinely used in human healthcare and dental settings, so you can feel confident in its safety and effectiveness.
Q: How many cows will one can of Fight Bac treat?
A: 300 cows. Two cans of Fight Bac will treat as many cows as one gallon of teat dip.
Q: How expensive is Fight Bac?
A: Surprise! Fight Bac is very economical to use because waste is eliminated, you get free shipping with every order, and quantity discounts are available. And don't forget that the lower SCCs you can get using Fight Bac will increase milk premiums and reduce mastitis treatment costs. Sold in boxes of 12, the cost is comparable to mid-priced teat dip with two cans of Fight Bac treating as many cows as one gallon of dip.
Q: If I switch to Fight Bac, how long will it take to see results?
A: Fight Bac is an excellent teat disinfectant however no teat disinfectant will cure existing cows that have mastitis. The purpose of teat disinfection is to prevent new cases of mastitis. If you prevent new cases of mastitis in the herd and cows that have mastitis are either cured, culled or go dry, you will see your somatic cell count fall after a couple of months.
Q: How does the cow react to Fight Bac?
A: Not a problem at all. Farmers tell me a nervous first calf heifer is easier to treat with Fight Bac than a dip cup.
Q: What about use in cold weather?
A: Frost bite of the teat can be a concern in some free stall barns after cows are milked, teats disinfected and turned out into severe cold weather. The main factors contributing to frost bite of the teat are:
Fight Bac is advantageous in cold weather because it leaves less water but more glycerin on the teat than any other teat disinfectant (14% glycerin after the propellant rapidly vaporizes away). This keeps the teat skin healthy and protected. However, during severe wind chill conditions with any teat disinfectant it may be best to blot the teat with a clean towel before turnout.
Q: Some teat disinfectant products are damaged by below freezing temperatures. What about Fight Bac?
A: Not a problem. Fight Bac is not harmed in any way by freezing temperature.
Q: Is there a right way to hold the Fight Bac can?
A: Hold the can as if you were shaking hands with it. The spray nozzle should be facing up. Fight Bac is designed to be used a half-inch away from the teat end. The vertically directed fan-shaped spray provides excellent coverage of the teat. Learn more.
Q: Is Fight Bac safe for our environment?
A: Yes! The propellant is a non chlorfluorocarbon product made by Dupont. It has been extensively tested for human and environmental safety. It is used in personal care products. The empty can may be recycled with household cans.
Q: Can I use Fight Bac to disinfect a calf's navel?
A: Yes! Fight Bac's antibacterial formula with chlorhexidine has been proven to be just as effective as 7% tincture of iodine. For years now, hospitals have turned away from iodine and switched to chlorhexidine for treating human baby umbilical cords. It simply is a better, more available and affordable antibacterial. Fight Bac also is more convenient and less messy than using iodine in a dip cup (or paper cup) - no gloves needed. Learn more.
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