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Vaccinations

Production Animal Vaccinations

A well planned vaccination programme is vital in minimising unnecessary losses with any production system.

Cattle:

1. Leptospirosis

Vaccination against leptospirosis is of utmost importance in our production systems as it is a disease that can pass from cattle to humans and cause serious health issues. It is a disease that is transmitted through the urine of infected animals, and can cause production drops and, in severe cases, death. Cattle can be carrier animals, meaning they may not show signs of disease but can still transmit the disease to people in contact with them.

Approximately 90% of dairy cattle are vaccinated against lepto, compared to less than 10% of beef cattle.

An initial course of two vaccinations is required four weeks apart, starting from as young as 12 weeks old. Thereafter, a yearly booster is needed to keep the animals protected.

2. Salmonellosis

There have been a fair amount of salmonella breakouts in the greater Waikato area within the last couple of years. The salmonella bacteria invade the intestinal tract in times of stress and causes production losses, bloody diarrhoea and death. This disease can also be passed on to humans causing serious and potentially fatal health issues.

Vaccination protocols are similar to lepto in that two initial doses are required 4-6 weeks apart, followed by annual booster vaccinations.

3. 5 in 1

Clostridial bacteria are found throughout any rural environment and can often be a cause of sudden death in both cattle and sheep. These bacteria cause diseases such as

* Black leg

* Tetanus

* Pulpy kidney

* Black disease

* Malignant oedema.

As for the above vaccine protocols, two doses 4-6 weeks apart are required initially, followed by a booster 1 year later. This protocol provides lifelong immunity to tetanus and blackleg, although if your farming system is at higher risk for the other diseases, yearly boosters may be recommended.

4. Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD)

This is a complex virus, with the disease manifesting in many ways depending on when the cow gains infection. It can cause early foetal losses, genetic abnormalities, or persistently infected calves if a cow is infected during pregnancy. Persistently infected calves can hide the disease and pass on infection throughout their life, are often slow growers, low producers, and can develop the diarrhoea manifestation of the disease complex, eventually leading to death.

One of the keystone points of BVD control programmes is vaccination. An initial course of two vaccinations given 4 weeks apart, followed by an annual booster is required to protect against this virus.

5. Rotavirus/E. coli/Coronavirus

The scours caused by rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli are detrimental to calves and can be a major cause of losses within your calf rearing system. The scour caused by these pathogens often lead to the loss of ability to suckle, dehydration and death. Vaccination of pregnant cows close to calving boosts their antibodies against rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli. These antibodies are transferred to the calf via colostrum, offering protection during the first three weeks of life, when they are most susceptible to these diseases.

Previously unvaccinated stock may need either one or two doses, depending on the product. Thereafter, a yearly booster is sufficient to provide protection to the calves through colostrum. First colostrum from vaccinated cows needs to be given to calves as soon as possible after they are born to provide the greatest protection. Without this colostrum, the benefits of vaccination are lost.

6. Bopriva

This vaccination temporarily lowers testosterone production in non-breeding bulls. Testosterone contributes to aggression and sexual behaviour in bulls and vaccination reduces these unwanted characteristics for up to 3 months.

The benefits of this vaccination include easier grazing management by being able to run larger mobs of bulls together, less pasture damage through pugging/digging, less damage to fences, less fighting and bellowing behaviour.

Two doses 3 weeks apart, with results 1-2 weeks following the second dose. After approximately 3 months the bulls will gradually return to their previous behaviour.

7. Pinkeye

Pinkeye (or Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis) is a disease most often seen in young stock due to their developing immune system. The main bacteria responsible (Mycobacterium bovis) is transferred from animal to animal mainly through flies. Damage to the eye is most common in the drier months (summer-autumn) due to UV rays and dust.

This is a very painful condition that causes excessive tear production, reduced appetite and hence production and potential scarring of the cornea.

A single vaccination of Piliguard 3-6 weeks before the greatest risk period helps to prevent infection caused by M. Bovis.

 

Sheep:

1. 5 in 1

Clostridial bacteria are found throughout any rural environment and can often be a cause of sudden death in both cattle and sheep. These bacteria cause diseases such as

* Black leg

* Tetanus

* Pulpy kidney

* Black disease

* Malignant oedema

As for the above vaccine protocols, two doses 4-6 weeks apart are required initially, followed by a booster 1 year later. This protocol provides lifelong immunity to tetanus and blackleg, although if your farming system is at higher risk for the other diseases, yearly boosters may be recommended.

2. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma can cause abortion storms in pregnant ewes with up to 30% losses in unvaccinated flocks. It is a leading cause of abortions in sheep in New Zealand.

Vaccination is a cheap insurance policy to protect your flock from these losses occurring. In hogget mating systems, a single vaccination of Toxovax four weeks before the teaser ram goes out offers the best protection. A booster in the two-tooths should be considered as there have been toxoplasma outbreaks in “protected” flocks when vaccinated once as hoggets.

Mixed age ewes require a single dose which offers long-term protection.

3. Campylobacteriosis

Campylobacter is another leading cause of abortions in New Zealand sheep flocks. A small number of sheep can carry the disease and as a consequence every few years an outbreak may occur when replacements join the flock with no immunity. Campylobacter abortions usually occur in the last third of pregnancy, leading to an increase in wet/dry ewes.

Initial vaccination requires a course of two vaccines four weeks apart, with the second vaccination before the ram goes out. If mating hoggets, a booster is recommended as two-tooths. Best practice recommendations are for an annual booster to mixed age ewes thereafter.

4. Androvax

This vaccine stimulates antibody production to increase the ovulation rate in ewes. The vaccine works to increase lambing percentage by an average of 20%. This can have benefits in terms of management by: having the same number of lambs from fewer ewes – which can be used as a drought management tool during times of feed shortage. The increase in lamb production is additional to increases through nutrition and genetics, making it a valuable tool in certain management systems. The first vaccination should be given 8-10 weeks before tupping, followed by a booster 4 weeks later. A yearly booster 4-6 weeks pre-tup is required thereafter.

5. Salmonellosis

Salmonella outbreaks can occur in sheep during times of stress, and can cause significant losses within the flock (up to 20%). Intensely grazed sheep are most at risk, and an outbreak is often triggered by a carrier animal – that carries the bacteria without showing signs of the disease. The bacteria invade the intestines and can cause significant damage/death to the affected animals.

Salmonella is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can also be passed to humans and cause serious illness.

Vaccination consists of two doses 4-8 weeks apart in unvaccinated animals, followed by a yearly booster.

 

Deer:

1. Yersiniosis

This bacteria (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis) is an opportunistic bacteria that is widespread in the environment. It causes disease in deer during times of stress. Weaners are most at risk, and often outbreaks occur if feed is suddenly changed, yarding, cold windy weather, heavy parasite burdens and mixing groups together. The bacteria invade the intestinal tract causing diarrhoea, loss of blood and large amounts of fluid, eventually leading to death.

Young stock can be vaccinated as early as 12 weeks old. Two doses are required for the best protection, with the second dose being given before or at weaning.

2. Johne’s disease

Johne’s disease is a common disease affecting young deer in New Zealand. The bacteria (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis) starts multiplying in the small intestine before spreading to the lymph nodes. This reduces absorption of nutrients, and eventually causes death. The bacteria is very widespread in the environment and infection is gained in many different ways. Losses of up to 20% in young deer have been reported. There is no cure once the deer are infected.

A vaccine is available, but can only be used in finishing deer destined for slaughter. This is because it interferes with TB testing, giving false positives.

A single dose at weaning is given to reduce clinical signs of disease. It does not prevent the disease if the animal is already infected.

3. 5 in 1

4. Leptospirosis