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Leptospirosis in cattle

vaccinate calf against leptospirosisAfter the Manawatu floods a few years ago, there was a big upsurge in lepto, as it survives very well in the environment in wet conditions.

By now you should have all your cattle lepto vaccinations for the season done. If not, get onto it urgently, as the risks at present are higher than usual.

Calves need to be vaccinated at 3-4 months of age, with a booster 3 – 6 weeks later, then a “catch-up” dose in the autumn (usually) along with the heifers and herd in your lepto vaccination month. Herd and heifers need their annual boosters within 13 months of the last one.

As BVD causes the biggest problem if it hits a herd during mating, it is critical that they are protected BEFORE mating begins.

AT THE VERY VERY MINIMUM: TEST ALL BULLS FOR THE VIRUS AND HAVE THEM VACCINATED, before they get near the herd. Do not buy bulls that do not have proof in writing that this has been done, or, if you do, get them tested and vaccinated well before using them.

To prevent carrier calves occurring should your herd be exposed to BVD virus in the critical first third of pregnancy, consider vaccinating the herd BEFORE mating. If never previously vaccinated, cattle need TWO vaccinations 4 weeks apart, with the second one at least FOUR weeks before mating starts. Animals vaccinated last year will only need a single booster 4 weeks before mating.

If you are putting bulls over your heifers on October 1st, the bulls need to have their first vaccination on AUGUST 6th – i.e. about the time you are reading this.

Likewise if you are wanting to vaccinate to protect the heifers or herd, they need their first vaccination in the near future (1st shot Aug 16th for Oct 10th mating start), if not already done.

If you need to vaccinate, please contact us ASAP to ensure we have vaccine stocks available (the whole country uses this vaccine at the same time over a very limited period)

BVD web site: www.bvd.co.nz, is a good source of more information on the disease.