Selecting the Best Cattle Respiratory Vaccine

US - Choosing a respiratory vaccine may start with simple questions like: Is this going to work? How much is it going to cost? But Ted Evans, DVM, Tecumseh Animal Clinic, Tecumseh, Nebraska, says producers need to dig deeper and consider the operation’s needs, as well as the vaccine’s label claims and duration of immunity.
calendar icon 27 January 2012
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Pfizer Animal Health

“Our practice is primarily cow/calf producers with quite a few backgrounding clients,” Dr Evans says. “But all of those producers are different, and have different ways of handling their cattle and managing their operations. It’s important for us to help each choose vaccines according to the individual operation.”

In fact, Dr Evans says he works closely with his clients to help develop vaccination and other herd health programs. As a veterinarian, he knows which diseases producers should be concerned with and how many times each year they’re planning to vaccinate their cattle.

“Some of our producers also are farming, so they may not handle their cattle as often,” Dr Evans says. “Knowing that, we can pick vaccines that will work according to the producer’s timing and environment.”

For example, knowing how often his clients are planning to work calves helps Dr Evans determine the needed duration of immunity, which is the time a vaccine is expected to help provide protection. He recommends producers choose a vaccine with a duration of immunity that helps protect their cattle from branding to weaning and as cattle move from the stocker phase into a feedlot.

“For us, duration of immunity is a very important factor,” Dr Evans says. “We want to use vaccines that are going to help offer enough protection so that producers can hold their calves to get them to a backgrounder and keep them healthy.”

Knowing a vaccine’s duration of immunity, as well as specific label claims, can help producers decide on a vaccine that fits best into any herd health programme and operation, says Victor Cortese, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl., ABVP, director, Veterinary Specialties Group, Pfizer Animal Health.

“Many vaccines aren’t labeled for a specific duration of immunity in relation to viruses, such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus Types 1 and 2, which can lead to bovine respiratory disease (BRD),” Dr Cortese says. “If that’s the case, producers have no information regarding the duration of immunity of the vaccine.”

Vaccines are also granted label claims based on the level of protection consumers can expect when they use the vaccine according to label directions.

“When it comes to combining duration of immunity and label claims, Bovi-Shield GOLD® 5 is an excellent option for many veterinarians and producers,” Dr Cortese says. “Bovi-Shield GOLD 5 is the only respiratory vaccine that prevents infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus and aids in the prevention of bovine viral diarrhea virus Types 1 and 2 respiratory disease for at least 279 days.”

What’s more, Bovi-Shield GOLD 5 helps protect cattle against other viruses that can lead to BRD, including bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) and parainfluenza 3 (PI3) virus.

Dr Evans recommends while producers review labels for appropriate claims, they also should read label indications, which include instructions on proper handling and administration, types and classes of cattle for which the product is intended, as well as any safety precautions.

In the end, Dr Evans says there are multiple factors, in addition to duration of immunity and label claims, that helped him decide to — and continue to — recommend Bovi-Shield GOLD 5 to his clients.

“We continue to use Bovi-Shield GOLD 5 because we have had very few problems and the vaccine is very dependable,” Dr Evans says. “Overall, it’s an effective vaccine. And when you help people, and they get a good response from the vaccination programme you’ve recommended, it’s very rewarding.”

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