While all herd pneumonia cases cannot be eliminated, an effective biosecurity plan and an effective immunization plan can greatly reduce the risk of pneumonia outbreaks, says David Wolfgang, Penn State University extension veterinarian.
He offers the following suggestions to help minimize pneumonia outbreaks on your farm, especially when bringing in new animals:
- Separate or quarantine new arrivals from the rest of the herd for at least two weeks after arrival. If at all possible, four weeks of quarantine would be better and closer to the ideal. “This can be hard at times, but at the very least new animals can be housed together in one string, or at one end of the barn to minimize contact,” he says.
- Separate water and feeding areas.
- Review air flow and farm traffic patterns so that clean areas and cattle are taken care of first before moving to areas where new or suspect cows are housed.
- Any animal that becomes ill needs to be thoroughly evaluated, treated as soon as possible, and have appropriate tests taken to diagnose the problem. This is especially important after new animals have been brought on the farm. “Serious infectious agents are much more economically contained the sooner the offending organism is identified” Wolfgang says.
- Finally, it is very important that newly purchased animals are selected from herds with solid herd health preventative plans. Plus your existing herd should be well immunized and have adequate boosters well in advance of the arrival of any new animals. Purchased animals should be pre-conditioned with immunization protocols that include adequate boosters. Animals should be adapted to a similar diet, and not be stressed through the trucking process.
“It is certainly in the animal’s best interest as well as in the producer’s best interest to prevent rather than react to disease problems,” Wolfgang concludes.
Source: Penn State Dairy Digest