Dairy producers focused on improving their reproductive performance shouldn’t overlook their vaccination programs. A comprehensive herd vaccination protocol can help protect against reproductive diseases that decrease fertility and increase risk of abortions.
“Often, dairy producers do not connect reproductive issues with infectious diseases,” says Victor Cortese, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ABVP, Director, Veterinary Specialties Group, Pfizer Animal Health. “A great deal of time, energy and money is invested to ensure reproductive success. A key cog in that process is establishing a complete vaccination protocol to limit reproductive issues caused by bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus and Lepto hardjo-bovis.”
Dr. Cortese provides details on three infectious diseases that can limit reproductive success:
- BVD: BVD Types 1 and 2 often can go undetected in a dairy herd and cause reproductive failure and immune suppression in adult animals. Clinical reproductive issues associated with BVD include abortion or return to estrus; development of persistently infected calves; and fetal anomalies or weak calves. Persistent infection (PI) is a result of in utero exposure to BVD. PI occurs when the virus crosses the placenta before the immune system is developed, and the calf recognizes the strain of BVD virus as part of itself. Calves may be weak and/or immunologically frail, and spread BVD infections throughout the herd.
- IBR: IBR not only can cause severe respiratory infections, but also reproductive losses, including mid- to late-term abortions, conception failure, vulvar and vaginal lesions, and early embryonic death loss. In fact, approximately 20 percent of diagnosed cattle abortions in the United States are associated with IBR.1
- Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a significant bacterial disease that can cause abortions, embryonic death, stillbirths and infertility, as well as loss in milk production. Dr. Cortese advises dairy producers to protect against the appropriate leptospira species and serovars, including the primary cause of bovine leptospirosis, Lepto hardjo-bovis, in order to help provide protection against reproductive complications caused by leptospirosis.
“Dairy producers should work with their veterinarians to implement a vaccination program to appropriately address diseases that can cause reproductive complications and failure,” Dr. Cortese says. “A vaccine like Bovi-Shield GOLD FP® 5 L5 HB helps provide comprehensive coverage against five viral pathogens that can cause both respiratory and reproductive issues — BVD Types 1 and 2 viruses, IBR virus, bovine respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza 3 virus, and 5-way leptospira protection, including Lepto hardjo-bovis.”
Pfizer Animal Health guarantees that 100 percent of calves born will be BVD PI-free provided that all cows and heifers have been vaccinated according to label directions at least 30 days prebreeding with the Bovi-Shield GOLD® family of FP vaccines. In addition, Pfizer Animal Health guarantees herds will be free of IBR abortions if cows and heifers are vaccinated according to label directions at least 30 days prebreeding with the Pfizer Animal Health family of FP vaccines.*
Pfizer Animal Health, a business of Pfizer Inc., is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines, investing an estimated $300 million annually in animal health product research and development. For more information about how Pfizer Animal Health works to ensure a safe, sustainable global food supply from healthy livestock, fish and poultry; or helps companion animals and horses to live longer, healthier lives, visit www.PfizerAH.com.
LABEL INDICATIONS: The Bovi-Shield GOLD line and PregGuard GOLD FP 10 are recommended for vaccination of healthy cows and heifers approximately one month prior to breeding. These products also can be administered to pregnant cattle provided they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any Bovi-Shield GOLD FP or PregGuard GOLD FP vaccine prior to breeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Failure to follow label directions may result in abortions. The Bovi-Shield GOLD line may be administered to calves nursing pregnant cows, provided their dams were vaccinated within the last 12 months as described above. Consistent with good vaccination practices, heifers should receive at least two vaccine doses, with the second dose administered approximately 30 days prebreeding.