March 8, 2016
By Scott Nordstrom, D.V.M.
Springtime preventive measures before turnout can help increase the health and productivity of your cows and calves. With this post, we begin a two-part series that looks at ways to get better results from disease prevention programs.
Achieving the best results from vaccination programs requires planning to meet the herd’s specific disease challenges, geography and management systems. This includes:
- Knowing what diseases to vaccinate against. All vaccination programs should protect against diseases considered endemic to cattle – IBR, BVD, Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) and Leptospirosis. Include other vaccines when infection risk is high enough to justify vaccine expense.
- Knowing when the animal will need the most disease protection. Administer vaccines at least two to four weeks prior to the time of challenge and avoid giving vaccines during stressful times or transitions.
- Knowing how long the animal will need disease protection. Vaccines should be precisely timed so that they provide protection during the times of highest disease challenge.
Many vaccines now list the product’s demonstrated duration of immunity (DOI) on the label. DOI is the length of time, after proper immunization, that the vaccine is expected to provide protection following a pathogenic challenge.
DOI information allows veterinarians and producers to plan a science-based vaccination program with the knowledge that the vaccine will protect against a pathogenic challenge for a certain amount of time.
The second part of this series will explain the importance of DOI and how to use this information.