Cull Reproductive Losses

A comprehensive reproductive vaccination program could mean more calves, profits

As producers begin to tally and evaluate this season’s calf crop, they should keep reproductive health top of mind, says John Rodgers, DVM, Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health.

“Reproduction is a major driver of profitability in cow/calf production,” Dr. Rodgers says. “Therefore, it is important to maintain reproductive health to optimize productivity. Respiratory diseases are far and away the most talked about in cattle production, but reproductive diseases can be the difference in producing a calf or not, and that’s what will really impact the bottom line at the end of the year.”

Reproductive diseases also can often be difficult to diagnose and many producers may not realize their herds have been affected. While they can easily see if cows abort late term or simply do not settle at all, producers may not notice if cows abort early in the pregnancy.

“Signs of reproductive disease can vary from relatively mild cases of poor reproductive performance to severe abortion storms,” Dr. Rodgers says. “In some cases, producers may think that cows just aren’t settling when, in fact, diseases like infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), vibriosis or leptospirosis may be to blame.”

A 2002 study showed, when all reproductive diseases and conditions are factored in, infertility, abortions or stillbirths, dystocia, retained placentas, and metritis or pyometra cost beef producers up to $502 million.1 What’s more, reproductive diseases can cost more than just a calf at the end of calving season — they can cut efficiencies and profits from unprotected operations. In fact, losses to reproductive disease cost U.S. beef cow/calf producers $13.10 to $14.90 per cow annually.1

With so much at stake, Dr. Rodgers says producers should talk with their veterinarians when reviewing their vaccination programs.

“Talking with a veterinarian is always an important step when revising or developing a new vaccination program,” Dr. Rodgers says. “Veterinarians can provide the technical expertise needed to design reproductive vaccination programs specific to a producer’s particular situation.”

In addition to keeping an eye on nutrition, bull fertility and other management factors, producers also should look for vaccines that help protect against pathogens that can cause poor reproductive performance, including infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus, bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) Types 1 and 2 viruses, Campylobacter fetus (vibrio) and Lepto hardjo-bovis, Dr. Rodgers says.

Bovi-Shield GOLD® Fetal Protection (FP) vaccines offer producers the flexibility to choose a reproductive vaccination program that best fits their operations and helps reduce the risk of encountering reproductive problems. Only Bovi-Shield GOLD FP® 5 L5 HB helps provide comprehensive reproductive protection against most major reproductive diseases, including Lepto hardjo-bovis.

What’s more, Bovi-Shield GOLD FP 5 L5 HB helps provide protection against IBR abortions, BVD Types 1 and 2 persistent infection and Lepto hardjo-bovis infection, urinary shedding and kidney colonization for 365 days. Finally, Bovi-Shield GOLD FP 5 L5 HB is fully supported by an FP Guarantee for BVD PI-free calves and IBR abortion.†

“Putting a comprehensive reproductive vaccine program in place is one of the most important things producers can do in maintaining good reproductive performance in their herds,” Dr. Rodgers says. “And, Bovi-Shield GOLD FP products provide industry-leading protection against major pathogens that can cause reproductive problems.”

*LABEL INDICATIONS: The Bovi-Shield GOLD line and PregGuard GOLD FP® 10 are recommended for vaccination of healthy cows and heifers approximately one month prior to breeding. These products also can be administered to pregnant cattle provided they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any Bovi-Shield GOLD FP® or PregGuard GOLD FP vaccine prior to breeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Failure to follow label directions may result in abortions. The Bovi-Shield GOLD line may be administered to calves nursing pregnant cows, provided their dams were vaccinated within the last 12 months as described above. Consistent with good vaccination practices, heifers should receive at least two vaccine doses, with the second dose administered approximately 30 days prebreeding.