There are now several vaccinations on the market which improve calves’ immunity to respiratory pathogens.
- Intranasal vaccines may be given to claves from only 10 days of age and provide protection against two common pneumonia viruses (PI3 and RSV). One dose given into the nostrils should provide protection for up to three months. This can then be followed up around weaning time with further vaccinations to protect calves for several months over their young lives.
Many of you will have used Rispoval Intranasal in the past to protect your calves. However, an equivalent product, Bovalto Respi Intranasal, is now available and we will be recommending this as it affords you the same level of protection against pneumonia viruses but is more cost-effective and user friendly.
- An injectable vaccine (Bovipast RSP) is now available which provides protection against RSV and PI3 viruses, as well as Mannheima hemolytica, one of the most prevalent bacterial causes of pneumonia. This vaccine can be used in two ways:
Vaccination of calves from 2 weeks old. A second dose given 4 weeks later will then protect calves for several months, so if pneumonia in weaned calves is more of a problem than bucket calves, this product would be a good choice.
Vaccination of dry cows to provide colostral antibodies against pneumonia pathogens, thereby protecting calves from the first day of life. This would be helpful in herds where calves experience pneumonia at an early age, e.g. 2-3 weeks old.
Alongside other measures, such as optimising colostrum management, feeding and air quality, vaccination plays a critical part in increasing animals’ resistance to respiratory disease, maximising growth rates and minimising the long-term consequences of calfhood respiratory disease (e.g. increased age at first calving, decreased milk yields, increased culling rates).
Contact West Ridge Veterinary Practice to discuss vaccination options and pricing.