Bovine vaccinations keep cows 'happy'
Posted August 23, 2018
Vaccinations are an essential component of preventative medicine
when it comes to protecting the health of a herd of cattle.
As National Immunization Awareness Month comes to a close, Dr.
Brandon Dominguez, a clinical associate professor at the Texas
A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences,
recommends that cattle begin a routine vaccination schedule at a
young age with the guidance and administration of an accredited
“Cattle should receive their first vaccination against
clostridial diseases and respiratory viruses at least two weeks
prior to weaning,” Dominguez said. “When heifers are developed into
replacements for the breeding herd, vaccination against
leptospirosis, campylobacter, and brucellosis may be recommended.
Vaccination for brucellosis should occur between four and 12 months
Dominguez stresses the importance of vaccinating for clostridial
diseases, respiratory viruses, and bacteria that cause reproductive
problems in cattle.
After the initial vaccination, cattle in breeding herds should
be vaccinated annually against some diseases and other vaccinations
are on a semi-annual basis.
To determine what vaccinations are necessary for their herd,
owners should consult a veterinarian to discuss the proximity and
potential exposure to disease.
Owners may notice mild side effects after vaccination like
swelling at or around the injection site. If any uncommon or severe
side effects are noted, owners should contact their veterinarian
“Injection site swellings may be a concern. Modified live
vaccines are known to cause problems when given to pregnant cattle,
especially if they have not received the vaccination previously,”
Dominguez advised. “Vaccination against gram-negative bacteria,
which are many of the disease-causing bacteria, may cause a
reaction if too many gram-negative bacteria are vaccinated against
at the same time.”
There are many factors to consider when deciding on the right
vaccination program for a herd of cattle. As always, owners should
look to their veterinarian with any questions, concerns, or
recommendations regarding immunizations.
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