Give incoming cattle a strong, healthy start
Stocker and feedlot operators understand the importance of getting incoming cattle off to a good start. The addition of an intranasal respiratory vaccine to their on-arrival programs can offer early protection against bovine respiratory disease to help keep cattle healthy and productive for the entire production phase.
"Vaccination against respiratory diseases should be done during arrival processing," says Lee Bob Harper, DVM, Cattle and Equine Technical Services, Pfizer Animal Health. "Since the health, management and vaccination histories are typically unknown for incoming cattle, it's crucial that on-arrival programs include BRD vaccination to help get calves off to a good start."
Harper recommends stocker and feedlot operators talk with their veterinarian about including an intranasal vaccine in their on-arrival programs for several reasons. First, intranasal vaccines allow producers to help jump-start the calf's immune system by stimulating a quick immune response, Harper says.
"Intranasal vaccines can stimulate a different part of the immune system than injectable vaccines," he says. "They help stimulate local immunity at the site of exposure, the upper respiratory tract--helping create a quick immune response where viruses attack first. In other words, the immune system works to eliminate or limit the pathogens in the nasal passages before they can reach the lungs, which is where they cause the most damage."
In addition to stimulating a quick immune response, intranasal vaccines can help provide protection against leading causes of respiratory disease.
Harper suggests producers also consider using an injectable vaccine that helps prevent respiratory disease caused by the bovine viral diarrhea virus and offers a demonstrated duration of immunity.
"Respiratory disease remains the most economically significant disease in stocker and feedlot cattle," Harper says. "Therefore, every producer should have regular discussions with their veterinarian regarding which vaccines should be used on arrival to help get their cattle off to a healthier start."