Importance of Vaccinations and Vaccination Protocols

Herd health management is vital to profitability and production to each operation. Many animal health problems can be controlled with good management, proper nutrition and vaccinations against diseases. Vaccination protocols are a necessity for each operation. The investment in prevention is less than the cost of treatments.

Every farm is different with regards to the risk of disease as well as labor and facilities needed to work the operation. Your veterinarian has the knowledge to tailor a vaccine protocol and timeline to your unique situation. Use this protocol schedule as a guide for your discussion with your veterinarian to manage herd health for various stages of a cow’s life.

Calves at Birth

  • Dip navel
  • Identify with tag
  • Test for BVD
  • Give oral scour vaccine products
  • Feed a minimum of 1 gallon of quality colostrum or colostrum replacer

Calves 2 Weeks Prior to Weaning

  • Killed Bacterial Pneumonia vaccine injectable or intranasal
  • Modified live viral pneumonia vaccine injectable or intranasal
  • 7 Way Clostridial
  • Castrate bull calves if not already done
  • Make sure all calves are dehorned if not already done
  • Treat for external and internal parasites

Calves around 3 Months of Age

  • Viral Respiratory Vaccine Injectable
  • 7 Way Clostridial
  • Pinkeye vaccine (if using)

Calves around 4 Months of Age

  • Viral Respiratory Vaccine Injectable

Heifers 4-6 Weeks Prior to Breeding

  • Vaccinate for Viral Respiratory and 5-way Lepto- modified live or killed vaccine
  • Fetal Protection (FP) product is preferred
  • 7-Way Clostridial
  • Treat for internal and external parasites

If calves cannot be processed pre-weaning, follow ‘Calves at Weaning’ with a 2-3 week booster. If dehorning and castration were not done earlier, complete as soon as possible. At this point, a tetanus vaccination is encouraged. Modified-live vaccines (MLV) provide fast immunity. ONLY use MLV in pregnant cows and in nursing calves if the cows were vaccinated with MLV in the last 12 months. Killed vaccines must be given twice, usually 2-3 weeks apart. Annual boosters are required after initial two-shot sequence.

Vaccination protocols are designed farm-specific. When deciding on what products are best to use and when to administer, always consult with your veterinarian. Every vaccine is different. Read and follow the label instructions.

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