Quantify immune protection in calves

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In the November 2012 issue of Calving Ease, Sam Leadley, calf and heifer management specialist with Attica (N.Y.) Veterinary Associates, discusses the importance of antibody levels and how to quantify them in a blood sample. He makes the following key points:

  • Protection against infections among young calves is directly related to antibody levels in their blood.
  • Serum from a blood sample can be used to estimate circulating antibody levels in young calves.
  • A practical schedule for taking blood samples often includes drawing blood on calves between one and seven days of age.
  • Research continues to show that while antibody levels are a significant factor in calf wellbeing, we also need to do a good job in reducing pathogen exposure and feeding plenty of clean, wholesome milk/milk replacer.

Leadley also provides a link to a guide that explains how to use blood serum from calves to get values for “Blood Serum Total Protein” or BSTP.

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Source: When to Test for Immunity - November 2012 Calving Ease



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