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Lepto Hardjo-Bovis: Pregnancy Robber

December 12, 2019
POSTED BY: Matt Boyle | DVM | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Lepto hardjo-bovis (LHB) is a reproductive disease that can have a major impact on cows becoming pregnant, retaining an embryo and carrying a fetus to full term. In fact, a study suggested LHB is present in up to 59% of United States dairy herds1 and cows that test positive for LHB can be eight times less likely to become pregnant.2 Disease caused by LHB is often subclinical, making it difficult to monitor and diagnose before reproduction is affected. Chronically infected cows can pass LHB to other cows, further perpetuating the health challenge. The key to limiting the damage of LHB is preventing the disease before it is established.

Follow these tips to help prevent LHB-associated production losses in your herd:

  • Provide clean, adequate bedding space: Be sure to properly stock bedding in resting areas, regularly remove dirty bedding, and avoid overcrowding that may facilitate the spread of disease.
  • Limit exposure to standing water: Don’t allow any standing water on surfaces where animals congregate. Fence off any areas of standing water if your cattle are out on pasture.
  • Start a reproductive vaccination program: Work with your veterinarian to establish a prevention program that includes reproductive vaccinations. BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP® 5 L5 HB is the only viral combination vaccine that helps provide 365 days of comprehensive reproductive protection against five viral pathogens, five serovars of Lepto interrogans, and Lepto hardjo-bovis.
  • Prevent young animals from being exposed to urine of older herdmates as LHB can be transferred through urine. 

Reproductive efficiency drives milk production and overall profitability on dairies. Make sure you are taking the necessary steps to prevent reproductive diseases to protect pregnancies and production.

Visit with your Zoetis field team for more resources to help you and your veterinarian establish a vaccination protocol that includes protection against LHB.

Do not use in pregnant cattle (abortions can result) unless they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP or PREGGAURD GOLD FP vaccine prebreeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Do not use in calves nursing pregnant cows unless their dams were vaccinated within the past 12 months as described above. To help ensure safety in pregnant cattle, heifers must receive at least 2 doses of any BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP or PREGGUARD GOLD FP vaccine with the second dose administered approximately 30 days prebreeding.

1 Bolin CA. Diagnosis and Control of Bovine Leptospirosis, in Proceedings. Western Dairy Management Conference 2003;155-160.

2 Guitian J, Thurmond MC, Hietala SK. Infertility and abortion among first-lactation dairy cows seropositive or seronegative for Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1999;215:515-518.

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