click image to zoom A few years later, collaborative research in 1989 conducted between groups at the National Animal Disease Center and the Department of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa, reported that lymphocytes (white blood cells which are part of the adaptive immune system and associated with antibody production and function) are significantly impaired particularly during the first week following calving.
While the direct cause-and-effect relationship between management and nutritional practices with metabolic disease of the early lactating dairy cow are still not clearly understood, several key management and nutritional strategies can be implemented to reduce the effects of immune dysfunction around the time of calving and into early lactation.
Ken Zanzalari, Ph.D., Dipl. ACAN is an ARPAS board-certified nutritionist with Prince Agri Products, Inc. specializing in transition cow management and nutrition. He will present this information, “Immunity and Transition,” at the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., on April 15.