Help prevent calf scours by building the best antibody-rich colostrum possible

Greensboro, NC (November 7, 2008) – A big issue for beef producers last winter was calf scours, and this year likely will be no different. Producers can help prevent the problem by vaccinating pregnant cows and heifers with a scours prevention vaccine in order to build high-quality colostrum.

How do you build the best antibody-rich colostrum possible? Timing is key.

“Cows need to build antibodies in their blood before laying them down in colostrum,” says Doug Scholz, DVM, director of veterinary services for Novartis Animal Health. “Antibodies move from blood to colostrum four to six weeks before calving.”

To maximize antibodies before they are transferred to the colostrum, it’s important to not only give the vaccine prior to that window, but also to select a product that provides sustained antibody levels through calving.

Chris Chase, DVM, PhD, professor of veterinary science at South Dakota State University, explains: “In cattle, immunoglobulins are not transported across the placenta, so colostral immunoglobulins are critically important. Oil adjuvants in a vaccine help provide sustained immunoglobulin levels in cows.”

With Scour Bos® 9, you can vaccinate earlier than you can with any other product.

Scholz adds: “You can make sure circulating antibodies are as high as possible before they are transferred to the colostrum, and you can vaccinate an animal that is less immunosuppressed compared to one that is about to calve.”

The Scour Bos® label indicates that the first year, you vaccinate with Scour Bos® 9 at eight to 16 weeks pre-calving and follow up with a booster dose of Scour Bos® 4 at four weeks pre-calving. The second year and thereafter, it’s just one dose of Scour Bos® 9 eight to 10 weeks pre-calving.

For beef producers, this timing often coincides with preg-check, which is convenient and cost-effective.

“As we like to say, ‘preg-check and protect,’” says Scholz.

In addition to timing, using the right vaccine is important in preventing scours.

Because scours is often multifactoral, Scour Bos® 9 provides broad spectrum protection with nine antigens, including three rotaviruses – in fact, it’s the only three-way rotavirus vaccine on the market.

When calves are born, they should ingest at least four quarts of antibody-bolstered colostrum within six hours of birth. Delivering antibody-rich colostrum at this time is important because a calf is born with its immune system suppressed.

To find out more about preventing calf scours, visit or ask your veterinarian.

About Novartis Animal Health

Novartis Animal Health researches, develops and commercializes leading animal treatments that meet the needs of pet owners, farmers and veterinarians. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Animal Health conducts business in 40 countries and employs about 2,700 people worldwide. For more information, please consult

About Novartis

Novartis AG provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2007, the Group’s continuing operations (excluding divestments in 2007) achieved net sales of USD 38.1 billion and net income of USD 6.5 billion. Approximately USD 6.4 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 97,000 full-time associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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Novartis Animal Health Media Relations

Joseph Burkett

Novartis Animal Health Communications(336) 387-1006 (direct)(336) 209-4887 (mobile)[email protected] GroceNovartis Animal Health Communications(336) 387-1080 (direct)(336) 601-8079 (mobile)[email protected]

Scour Bos is a registered trademark of Novartis AG. For further information, contact Novartis Animal Health US, Inc., Customer Relations Department, 3200 Northline Avenue, Ste. 300, Greensboro, NC 27408; 1-800-843-3386.

© 2008 Novartis Animal Health US, Inc.