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.”