This demonstration was prepared by George Stilwell from FMV ULisboa. 

G. Stilwell during the demonstration

Faculdade De Medicina Veterinaria (FMV) of Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa)  and Associação de Criadores de Bovinos Mertolengos (ACMB) organised two presentations of the Research Innovation: “Thoracic Squeeze in new-born calves with maladjustment syndrome in Portugal. One was a webinar, the second one was an on-farm demonstration. For this a presentation was made to a group of 10 producers and 10 veterinarians in the Lisbon region. After a brief description of the physiological aspects, compression was applied to a 2-day-old Charolaise calf. The whole process was filmed in order to produce a demo video.

Benefits of the squeeze technique are an increase in survival of new-born calves with maladjustment syndrome, reduction of cost for treatments and vets and improvement in welfare of calves. When interviewed after the demonstration farmers described the Madigan squeeze as “New simple and easy-to-execute technique”, the Vets saw a chance for rapid recovery which allows colostrum to be ingested as soon as possible.

For the demo the main problem was not having a calf with maladjustment syndrome to demonstrate the results. For the application on farm, the main obstacle is not identifying in time animals with the syndrome or misidentify calves that are suffering from other problems (e,g. acidosis). This problem was also seen by the farmers. Vets feared that the technique will become too common. "What I see as the main disadvantage of using the technique is that it can be used by producers and they don't have the perception of when the calf actually needs the squeeze or that it needs another kind of assistance." Marta Rato, DVM. The Veterinarians stated that they will spread the word of the technique to other practitioners.

Two more demonstrations have been organized on this topic, one in Ireland and one in Germany.