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Pneumonia Vigilance Needed as 'Wonky Weather' Grabs Headlines

15 January 2015

UK – Respiratory disease could be on the rise after a rapid eighteen degree temperature lift early in the month.

The rise, which occurred over four days in early January, prompted a Daily Mail Headline of “Wonky Weather” and should be a reminder for cattle farmers, advises Zoetis.

“Farmers who prefer action to prevent health problems before they occur still have time to protect cattle through pneumonia vaccination if they haven't been done already," said Zoetis veterinarian, Carolyn Hogan.

Acting fast could save up to £243 per head among suckler calves, according to industry research, and £1008 in dairy heifers.

Beef calves suffer from delayed finishing and carcass downgrading and dairy calves have higher treatment costs, later first calving age, reduced first and second lactation yields and shorter life expectancy in general.

Ms Hogan added: "Pneumonia is most often started by a viral infection, and there is a wealth of serology evidence which tells us that RSV and Para-Influenza 3 are the two viruses most commonly identified on farm.”

"Against these pathogens, a one-dose up-the-nose vaccine is licensed for use in cattle from nine days of age onwards, offering up to 12 weeks duration of immunity."

To help more farmers realise the performance gains available from minimising respiratory disease, both severe and low grade, during winter housing, Zoetis vets have created a five-point-plan:

  1. Improve building function
  2. Manage grouping and group size
  3. Vaccination and parasite protection
  4. Monitor growth rates
  5. Involve your vet from the outset


TheCattleSite News Desk

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