Vaccinate fresh cows against BRSV.
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Respiratory protection isn't just for calves

October 18, 2013
POSTED BY: Greg Edwards | DVM | Managing Veterinarian | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Respiratory disease challenges need just as much attention in your pre-fresh groups as they do in the calf barns. With suppressed immune systems, pre-fresh heifers and cows can easily fall victim to bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) infections. This is especially true during the five weeks prior to freshening. The changes in immunity coupled with changing lactation can weaken an individual’s ability to respond to disease exposure.

Think beyond common fresh cow diseases and follow these pre-fresh management tips to help protect pre-fresh heifers and cows against respiratory diseases:

  • Build immunity
    • Vaccinate to help keep immune response in peak condition.
    • Use INFORCE 3 respiratory vaccine — which is demonstrated to be effective against respiratory disease caused by infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus, parainfluenza 3 (PI3) virus and BRSV — as part of a complete vaccination program.
  • Nutrition supports health and immunity
    • Provide cows with easy access to clean, fresh water at all times.
    • Encourage dry matter intake with ample feed bunk space that gives each cow feed access at the same time.
  • Control environmental conditions
    • Give pre-fresh groups a clean, dry resting space that accommodates their large bodies.
    • Protect them from drafts and precipitation.
    • Help them maintain body temperature with a constant exchange of fresh outside air.

Maintaining pre-fresh health and wellness will help prepare heifers and cows for a successful lactation. Better health and maximized immunity can help provide a greater return on investment through increased milk production and lower treatment and labor costs.

In fact, a recent real-world field study suggests that vaccinating adult cattle against BRSV with INFORCE 3 respiratory vaccine prior to freshening helps reduce the risk of BRSV infection during lactation.1 The findings revealed that cows vaccinated with INFORCE 3 prior to freshening had higher production and income. INFORCE 3 vaccinates produced approximately 205 pounds more milk per cow per lactation and generated a $36 greater income per head when compared with the TSV-2 group.1

Visit to learn more about bovine respiratory disease (BRD) protection for your pre-fresh heifers and cows.

1 Data on file, Study Report No. 10PETINF01, Zoetis Inc.


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