Vaccinate fresh cows against BRSV.
Make sure you
never miss a post.

Respiratory Protection Isn’t Just for Calves

October 23, 2019
POSTED BY: Matt Boyle | DVM | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Respiratory disease challenges need just as much attention in your prefresh groups as they do in the calf barns. With suppressed immune systems, springing heifers and cows can easily fall victim to bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) challenges. This is especially true during the five weeks prior to freshening. As dry matter intake drops and the cow is exposed to other stressors associated with the impending delivery of the calf, her ability to effectively manage bacterial or viral disease challenge is diminished.

Think beyond common fresh cow diseases and follow these management tips to help protect springing heifers and cows against respiratory diseases.

  • Support immunity that can help enhance production.
    • Vaccinate prior to freshening to help keep immune response in peak condition.
    • Provide protection against BRSV with INFORCE 3® respiratory vaccine — the first and only intranasal respiratory vaccine that is effective against respiratory disease caused by BRSV while also effective against infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus and parainfluenza 3 (PI3) virus — as part of a complete vaccination program. A 2010 study found that vaccinating with INFORCE 3 prior to freshening helps reduce the risk of BRSV infection during lactation and supports overall positive production as well — 205 pounds more milk per cow per lactation and $36 greater income per cow compared with vaccinating with TSV-2®.1,*
  • Maintain health and immunity through nutrition.
    • Provide cows with easy access to clean, fresh water at all times.
    • Encourage dry matter intake with ample feed bunk space that provides each cow feed access at the same time.
  • Control environmental conditions.
    • Provide adequate clean and dry resting space for both springing and post-fresh animal groups.
    • Protect them from drafts and precipitation.
    • Provide a constant exchange of fresh outside air.

Maintaining health and wellness around the time of calving will prepare heifers and cows for a successful lactation and help set up your operation for success. Properly preparing her immune system from respiratory diseases caused by IBR and PIviruses provides for better health and, ultimately, may translate to increased milk production. This could mean lower treatment and labor costs and, in turn, may positively impact the financial bottom line for the dairy.

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


Study was not reviewed or approved by USDA. 

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



Have a Comment? Subscribe