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Vaccines – Cattle

Vaccination is a huge part of animal husbandry and ensuring you optimise herd production. Consider a vaccination for clostridial diseases, Leptospirosis, BVD and Rotavec prior to Calving.

The clostridial diseases include Pulpy Kidney, Tetanus, Malignant Oedema, Black disease and Black Leg. They are in the environment, they are the bugs responsible for decomposing dead organic matter either animal or plant. They can be found in the gut of animals. When they get out of control – there is trouble.

Pulpy Kidney causes sudden death of calves after a change of feed – usually the biggest calf in the mob.

Tetanus bacteria enter the body from a cut in the skin and lead to “lock jaw” and terminal seizures.

Malignant Oedema (gas gangrene) gets in from skin wounds, which become necrotic, then gassy – the animal then succumbs to blood poisoning.

Black disease occurs secondary to liver fluke infection. The immature liver fluke damage the liver, allowing clostridial bacteria to multiply, causing tissue damage followed by blood poisoning and death.

Black leg causes necrosis and blackening of muscles (usually of the leg) followed by gas production, blood poisoning and death.

Traditionally these above diseases have been prevented by using “5 in 1” vaccines – e.g. Ultravac 5 in 1, we also offer ‘7 in 1’ which includes protection from Leptospirosis. This needs to administered by a vet only. Leptospirosis remains a serious threat to the health and livelihood of cattle and their farmers, increasing numbers reported in humans over the last few years.

The normal vaccination protocol is a sensitizer dose of ‘eg. Ultravac ‘5 in1’ or Ultravac ‘7 in 1’ followed a month later by a booster dose.This can be given as early as 4 weeks for Ultravac ‘5 in 1’ and ‘7in1’.

A annual booster dose is due every 12 months thereafter, which is very important for breeding cows as it aims to protect the cow from infertility and abortion related to leptospirosis and protect her new born calf from becoming infected in utero.

Rotavec Reminder Rotavec corona needs to be administered to cows 3 weeks before start of calving.

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD)

BVD in calves causes signs such as scouring, weight loss, and suppression of immunity for up to 6 weeks, making them more susceptible to other diseases such as yersiniosis and pneumonia.

They will often have ulcers in the mouth, and dribble a lot.

Adult cattle are often asymptomatic, they may be unwell for a few days, and then are immune. If

infected while pregnant ,however there is a range of adverse effects depending on the timing of infection.

These range from increased return intervals, to abortions, high empty rates, to the birth of carrier calves or calves with birth defects.

We use (Bovillis BVD) vaccine which can be used from four months of age and requires two shots at 3-week intervals. It only covers BVD.


Rotavirus is a serious disease of young calves. Calves are infected by their mothers, soon after birth, and with a short incubation period, calves as young as 1 – 4 days can be affected. Parvovirus can cause severe diarrhoea in calves with high infection rates and in some cases high death rates.

We use Rotavec Corona vaccine, this provides protection to calves via colostrum against E.Coli, Rotavirus and coronavirus scours.

Pregnant cows are given one injection about 3-4 weeks pre-calving.