Mosquitoes suck. There is no other way to put it and that is not meant to be vulgar. That is how they 'feed' off of their victims - they suck blood. They do not bite, they do not burrow, and they do not kill. They suck.
These nasty little parasites stick a straw-like mouth part into your skin where they inject an anesthetic and anti-coagulant so that you are less likely to feel them sucking on you and your blood won't clot as they suck away. It is always a female (males do not feed on humans - only the gals do so that they can get enough protein to lay some eggs) and she will suck away until engorged with your blood. The mosquito 'bite' that itches afterwards is not a bite at all - it is an allergic reaction to the anesthetic that was injected into your body. Remember, mosquitoes suck.
So what is the best option for avoiding mosquitoes? In a nutshell, keeping mosquitoes away requires diligence on several levels.
The easiest least effective way is to surround yourself outside with a few supposedly repellent candles. Good luck with that one. We've been told to slather DEET and other synthetic chemicals on our skin and clothing to repel but keep in mind, you can't use these on children less than two years of age, you do not want to place them between your skin and clothing (for fear of greater absorption), and common sense tells you to use as little as possible anything that can peel paint off metal. (That is a common complaint you can read about in Sportsman's Journal columns as DEET disintegrate the paint on rifles. But that is another article… )
Beyond repellents, you can prevent mosquitoes from breeding. How many times have you read that mosquitoes like to breed in old tires left in the yard? I personally do not know anyone who has old tires in their yards. But I do know many with bird baths, forgotten toys, buckets accidentally left outside that collect rain, and other benign objects that serve as magnificent breeding grounds for these blood-sucking monsters. So we inadvertently create the very circumstances that wreak havoc.
So again, what is the best way to avoid them?
The ultimate way to avoid mosquitoes is to have a comprehensive plan to make sure no mosquito wants to be in your yard. That means you must take away everything they need to survive which is nesting sites and protection. Make it obvious that mosquitoes are not welcome and they will not come. Here are the step-by-step guidelines to accomplish it.
Eliminate all opportunities for standing water. Easier said than done as many places you are unaware of. Obviously, either empty bird baths daily or at least manipulate the water enough everyday so nothing can breed there. (Mosquitoes need standing water to breed so something with a fountain that is constantly moving the water isn't a problem.) Magnolia leaves that have dropped to the ground and created a 'cup' are notorious breeding sites. Toys, buckets, plant saucers, tarps, candle holders, etc. are all examples of items that unknowingly trap enough water for breeding to begin. It only takes a few teaspoons!
By eliminating the water, it means they can't procreate on your property. But they sure can multiply into the thousands in a few days in your neighbor's yard and drop by for a visit. Now is the time to make sure they REALLY know you mean business and that they are NOT welcome!
Create a barrier that mosquitoes will not cross! I mean make sure your home area emits a clear signal to mosquitoes that if they come here, they will die.
There are several options to create barriers. A Mosquito Misting System is a relatively new invention that many are using to create areas inhospitable to mosquitoes. People can fog their yards (or have a professional do it) for specific events. Both of these options typically use synthetic pyrethroids mixed with additional chemicals to offer some residual control. However, there are environmental and human health concerns about these chemicals and due to pesticide resistance, these chemicals are losing their effectiveness against many species including the mosquito.
A new invention is an Injector System that integrates into an existing irrigation system to safely create pest-free areas wherever water is directed. If you already have an irrigation system, it can now serve as the distribution of mosquito (and other pests) fighting products. However, it must be a safe, green product placed into the water supply - no toxic chemicals allowed. Cedar based products being run through the irrigation system are proving very successful.
Beyond these suggestions, keep in mind mosquitoes are very active at dawn and dusk so wear long sleeves and pants during these peak times. That is not always appropriate however, as the ripest weather for these pests is typically warm and humid and not the time to cover up.
To recap what we've discussed here, an ongoing treatment program for your yard is the best solution to prevent mosquitoes. A safe, green product is preferable for your health as well as offering a long-term solution that the pests cannot become resistant to. Next line of defense - GET RID OF STANDING WATER! If they can't breed, the vast majority of your problems will be solved. Then lastly, you can do nothing preventatively and when they are an issue, either cover up or use repellents.
Avoiding mosquitoes is possible when you follow these steps. West Nile Virus is worthy of avoidance as well as the annoying blood-sucking carriers of that and many other diseases. Being responsible for these threats to our health and safety make it abundantly clear - Mosquitoes really do SUCK!
Parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus that affects dogs and causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Many dogs don't recover from this aggressive virus and can succumb to dehydration. Young puppies and elderly dogs are at highest risk of dying from parvovirus and early detection and treatment are crucial if a dog is to survive. Prevention is better than the cure and a regular vaccination program should prevent your dog from contracting the virus.
Puppies should be vaccinated at the age of six weeks. If the mother has been vaccinated she can transfer some protection to her puppies through her milk but they are still susceptible to the disease and care should be taken not to expose them to the virus. Reputable breeders usually do not sell their puppies until they are 8 weeks old and if you're buying a puppy from a breeder you should enquire to see when the puppy was vaccinated in order to determine when the next booster shot is due.
Puppies require booster shots of the parvovirus vaccine every four weeks until they are 16 to 20 weeks old. Until then, the puppy is vulnerable to the virus and extra care must be taken to prevent any exposure to sick dogs or any discharge from a dog that has parvovirus.
Care should be taken to keep the puppy away from other dogs and places where dogs may have eliminated. The virus can be carried on clothes and shoes so be careful not to allow your dog to sniff your clothes if you've been in contact with a sick dog.
Even with proper precautions your dog may contract the disease due to the highly contagious nature of the virus. Recognizing the symptoms and taking your dog to the vet without delay can give your dog the best possible chance of recovering from the disease.
The first noticeable signs are vomiting and diarrhea. Although vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms common with many dog ailments, parvovirus causes stool to have a specific smell. There will also be blood in the stool and the vomiting will become constant as the dog is unable to hold any food or liquids. The dog will appear lethargic and feverish and there will be a marked loss of appetite.
If your dog displays any of these symptoms it is vital that you consult your vet immediately as parvovirus can lead to death rapidly.
Treatment for this condition consists of supportive care and your dog will usually be hospitalized for a week and given intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Once the dog has been treated it can still transmit the virus to other dogs so you should keep the dog at home for several weeks to avoid affecting others.
Parvovirus is a very serious disease and should not be taken lightly. The only want to protect your dog from this deadly virus is to maintain a diligent vaccination schedule and keep up with booster shots as per your veterinarians' recommendation.
Genital herpes prevention starts with you. I will cover preventative methods as will as give you a brief over view of how the virus is contracted
Genital herpes, or herpes simplex virus type two is contracted through direct skin-to-skin contact with another individual who is infected with the disease. This is the only way that genital herpes can be passed from one individual to another. The herpes simplex virus type two lives in tiny molecules in the skin and mucous membranes. To infect another individual, the herpes simplex virus travels through small and sometimes microscopic abrasions in the skin or in the mucous membranes located in the mouth or genital areas from the infected individual to the non-infected. While the possibility of an exchange of the disease cannot be protected against 100%, there are certain steps that can be taken to help prevent the transmission of the disease.
Genital Herpes Prevention
The use of condoms during sexual intercourse can offer a modest amount of protection against the transmission of herpes simplex virus type two for both males and females.
Studies show that those who use condoms consistently have a 30% lower risk of contracting the herpes simplex type two virus than those who never use condoms during intercourse. The virus is not capable of passing through the latex material that condoms are made of.
However, condoms cannot be 100% effective because they do not prevent contact between all areas of an infected individual's skin and a non-infected individual. The skin around the infected individual's scrotum, anus, buttocks or upper thighs can also transmit the disease.
Further precautions to protect oneself from coming in contact with other areas of the infected individual's skin during sexual intercourse can be taken.
For example, wearing clothing or undergarments such as underwear in the boxer short style can help to shield susceptible areas but allow access to the genitals through a small opening. This type of precaution can be effective in helping to prevent transmission of the infection but is of course, not 100% reliable.
Furthermore, the use of condoms or other forms of protection such as dental dams can help to limit the transmission of the herpes simplex type two virus from the genitals of the infected individual to the mouth of another. Some antiviral medications, such as Valacidovir along with a condom or dental dam can be used during oral sex to further help decrease the possibility of transmission of the virus from one infected partner to a non-infected partner.
Condom use has been shown to reduce the risk of transmission by about 50 %, although it has also been shown that condom use is much more effective in preventing transmission of the disease from males to females, than from females to males.
Genital Herpes Prevention From Mother To Child
Genital Herpes simplex type two can also be transmitted from infected mothers to their infants during childbirth. This risk is increased greatly if the mother becomes infected with genital herpes around the time of the child's birth.
If recently infected, the risk for transmission of the disease during delivery can be as high as 30-60%. This risk decreases greatly to 1-3% if the genital herpes infection is recurrent and if there are no cold sore outbreaks or lesions at the time of birth.
The risk of transmission from mother to infant can further be prevented if the mother abstains from sexual intercourse with an infected individual during her last trimester of pregnancy. Mothers who are infected with genital herpes simplex type two should also try to avoid any birthing procedures they could cause lacerations or trauma to the infant during delivery.
There are no guaranteed genital herpes prevention methods but, by following the precautions listed above, one can greatly reduce their risk of contracting genital herpes simplex virus two.
Millions of people suffer from the flu every winter. The flu, or influenza, is caused by viruses, which are very small germs. Some viruses including the one that causes the flu are easily spread among people. The flu can present as a relatively minor illness in young,healthy people; but it can become a very serious illness in senior citizens,particularly those with a history of conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Flu symptoms generally last for one to two weeks, but the flu can become more serious than that. While your body is working to fight off the flu, you may be more susceptible to other infections such as pneumonia. Senior citizens are especially likely to face experience complications with the flu.
The flu is highly contagious and easily spreads from person to person, often through the air. It is possible foryou to spread the flu to someone else before you even feel symptoms, and you remain contagious for several days after you begin to feel ill. You may contract the flu if someone has the illness and sneezes or coughs near you. It is also possible to get the flu if you touch something that has the flu virus on it(like a doorknob or phone) and then touch your nose or mouth.
The virus can exist on surfaces for hours, so it is very important to wash your hands well when you know you have been in contact with someone who has the flu. Be sure to always wash your hands before eating and touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you can, try to stay away from someone you know is sick.
Distinguishing Between the Flu and a Cold
Although flu and colds have similar symptoms, they can be differentiated by a few traits. A cold is usually milder than the flu; but since the flu can cause serious problems, it is important to recognize the differences.
Normal symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, dry cough, aches and pains, headache, and fatigue. Some people with the flu may experience sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems, but those symptoms are not as common. The flu is a different virus from what some people call the "stomach flu," which mainly causes digestive problems.
Getting an annual flu shot, which contains the flu vaccine, can help you stay in good health. Many insurance plans will pay for the shot, which you can get at a doctor's office or the local health department. Many grocery stores and pharmacies also offer the flu shot during a certain time of year. Although the shot cannot guarantee health for everyone, getting the shot every year can decrease the likelihood of catching the flu or minimize symptoms if you do catch it.
It is recommended that senior citizens age 50 and older should get a flu shot once a year. Additionally, anyone who lives with or provides the elder care for a senior citizen should also get the flu shot each year.
The peak season for getting the flu,referred to as "flu season," is November through April. Since the effects of the shot begin to work two weeks after you receive the vaccine, you should aim to get the shot in October or early November. If you cannot get a flu shot before flu season begins, it is still a good idea to get the shot.
The flu virus changes often, each year it is a bit different from the previous year. The vaccine is changed each year to reflect the changes in the virus. This is one of the reasons to get vaccinated every year.
Most people do not experience side effects associated with getting the flu shot, and getting vaccinated is safer than contracting the flu. Some common reactions to the shot are soreness,redness, or swelling at the site of injection for up to two days after getting the shot. Some people experience a headache or low-grade fever for about a day after they get the shot. Getting the flu shot cannot give you the flu.
Since eggs are used to make the vaccine, if you are allergic to eggs, you may have a severe reaction to the shot and should not get vaccinated.
If you catch the flu, call your physician to ask about possible treatments that can help. Be sure to mention other medications you are taking such as drugs to fight cancer or other medicines that may weaken your body's immune system. Prescription drugs called antivirals are used to treat the flu. Taking antivirals within 48 hours of flu onset can decrease the amount of time you feel sick.
Check with your doctor as soon as you feel any flu-like symptoms. Also call your doctor if:
Your fever goes away and then returns - this could signal a more serious infection.You experience breathing or heart problems or other serious health problems.You do not feel well and are not getting better.You develop a cough that makes thick mucus.
Antivirals can also be useful in preventing the flu. If you are aware of a flu outbreak in your area, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for an antiviral. Prevention is key,and the first choice for flu prevention is the flu shot.
If you are sick, make sure to allow yourself ample rest and get enough fluids like juice and water while avoiding alcohol. Medicine such as aspirin or acetaminophen can control fever and lessen the aches and pains associated with flu. Smoking cigarettes should be avoided while you have the flu because it is a respiratory illness that affects your lungs and nasal passages, which are the same areas that are irritated by smoking. Make an effort to take it easy until you feel better.
The Bird Flu
Differentkinds of flu viruses appear from time to time, including the "bird" or "avian"flu. This is an example of how changes in the flu virus can lead to more serious illness. The bird flu, however, is very rare in people, and in mostcases it has not spread from person to person. This suggests that it may not become widespread in humans, but that may change over time. New vaccines tohelp protect people from the bird flu are in the works. Presently, the flu shotdoes not protect you from the avian flu.
The flu can be dangerous for senior citizens.There are ways to prevent the flu.Senior citizens over 50 should get the flu shot every year.Medicare covers the cost of the flu shot.The flu shot is safe.
Since anaerobic viruses cannot survive in an oxygen rich cellular environment, one would think that the herpes simplex virus could be eliminated via oxygen therapy.
Unfortunately this is not so easy, and here's why:The primary function of the lungs is to oxygenate red blood cells.Inhaled oxygen is taken up by red cell hemoglobin, thereby boosting the oxygen content of arterial blood to 98%. While circulating, arterial blood gives up about 25% of its oxygen when passing through bodily tissue.A tiny proportion of these oxygen atoms actually penetrate down to cellular level where the herpes virus replicates - the balance is used for waste disposal and tissue repair.As a result, the hemoglobin of venous blood leaving the tissues is oxygen-poor. If extra oxygen is infused by other means such as high-pressure hyperbaric oxygen therapy or via oral supplements, it bypasses bodily tissue and is absorbed directly into venous blood.
This means that when venous blood arrives back at the lungs, it carries more oxygen than it usually does. Once the oxygen level in the red cell hemoglobin reaches 98% during lung function, the excess oxygen is simply exhaled back into the atmosphere.
This makes it impossible for extra infusion to increase the amount of oxygen carried to the tissues at cellular level.
How Can We Increase The Oxygen Content of Human Cells?Since oxygen depletion at cellular level is exacerbated under acidic conditions, a practical way of boosting cellular oxygen is to alkalize the body.Alternatively, a means of improving cellular oxygen absorption must be developed.
A motivated homeopathic researcher and herpes victim may have found a way of doing just that.
I recently came across her e-book via twitter. I also noticed that news of a possible herpes cure was beginning to gain media attention.
However, knowing the obstacles facing researchers attempting to cure herpes by oxygenating human cells, I almost passed the book by. Nevertheless, because I am obligated to bring relevant information to my website visitors, I downloaded the book.
Here's what I found out:
Apparently the author has discovered a way to use a common substance to efficiently boost the transference of oxygenated atoms from the bloodstream into human cells.
In her book she says:
"The only reason why the medical industry and the pharmaceutical companies haven't embraced this powerful solution for preventing and curing disease is because there is no financial incentive to do so. The reason? They cannot patent natural substances or homeopathic remedies."
The e-book starts out by covering herpes basics. The author then gets down to the business of oxygen therapy.
She tells us how oxygen therapy research earned a Nobel Prize for an early 20th century scientist and that oxygen therapy is practiced to this day in some modern medical offices.
And then she drops the bombshell.
Effective oxygen therapy has been proved to work with the help of a common household substance. Furthermore, this substance can be obtained easily via pharmacies or over the Internet.
After reading the publication and checking out some testimonials, I've come to the conclusion that this may well be the answer many herpes sufferers are looking for…
That is, if her claims prove to be true.
Should you read the book?
Well, that's up to you. However, since there's no obligation to buy, I believe the preliminary information is certainly worth a closer look.
It has been said that changing your diet lifestyle is one form of natural herpes treatment. If you are wondering how proper nutrition can reduce the onset of this STD in your body, here we will learn how diet therapy works as a natural solution.
As a remedy, the main job of food is to maintain pH balance. An outbreak of herpes results from too much acidity in the body's pH. In order to maintain alkaline conditions, you need to set your sights on eating healthy foods.
As much as possible, you should avoid eating food that would contribute more acid to your body chemistry. Likewise, you should avoid tomatoes and white vinegar. A natural herpes treatment requires that you reduce intake of coffee and substitute it with herbal tea.
Likewise, if you are fond of sweet broth, look for an alternative for refined sugar. Red meat should be avoided as well. The natural solution entails eating more fish and chicken.
When considering diet as a treatment, you would have to give up your craving for tasty food because there are a lot of nutritious foods you can eat. Incorporate fresh vegetables and fruits when planning your menu. Stay away from oil and vinegar dressings.
Once you have gotten used to eating healthier and less acidic food, you will immediately notice a change in the occurrence of herpes outbreaks. This natural herpes treatment likewise offers other benefits for the overall health of your body.
However, you still have the option to live with herpes. The only disadvantage is that you will spend more for your medicines and not to mention that they can have serious complications. Considering this form of treatment is the healthier alternative.
With a solution like this for your STD, you can get rid of the physical discomfort and emotional stress that is associated with having blisters in your genitals. Finally, this form of remedy produces results and is guaranteed effective.
We continue to be inundated with information about the flu season and the H1N1 swine flu virus. We all ask ourselves the question, should I get the H1N1 flu shot? Is this virus more dangerous than the seasonal flu? Who are the people at risk and even dying from the disease? What is in the inoculation? These are very important questions to ask yourself. You need to provide the answers given here to your customers visiting your business internet money online opportunity web site.
Here are three questions and answers to consider before being vaccinated or panicking about the H1N1 swine flu.
- Is the H1N1 swine flu a strong virus and worse than the seasonal flu? No. In the vast majority of cases, both viruses are mild enough where the people are able to recover without hospitalization or medication. Both the seasonal and swine flu produce identical symptoms. This includes a fever exceeding 100 degrees, coughing, runny nose and/or sore throat, joint aches, headaches, vomiting and/or diarrhea, lethargy and lack of appetite. You need to be aware that we all get sick and in this flu season be sure and provide the truth to you customers at your website for your business internet money online opportunity.
- Is it true only those people with severely compromised immune systems are dying or are susceptible to serious harm from either the seasonal flu or the swine flu? The answer to this question is obvious. The flu does not kill those in good health, it kills those whose immune systems have lost their ability to protect. Those children who have died from H1N1 are those with a pre-existing disease. It has been shown that Vitamin D is a main protector against the flu and many diseases. Children or people with a Vitamin D deficiency are at risk. The CDC reports that 36,000 people die annually from the flu but this statistic does not tell you that nearly 34,000 of these cases also had pneumonia caused from other complications and actually die from that. Thus the actual figures are that out of hundreds of millions of people only about 1,800 actually die from the flu and we are not sure if they die from the seasonal or H1N1. Again, report the facts on your business internet money online opportunity web site.
- Are the ingredients in the swine flu inoculation dangerous? Here is a list of some of the ingredients so you can decide.
- Squalene - an adjuvant, causes severe immune responses and is linked to auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and Gulf War Syndrome
- Thimerosal - mercury, linked to neurological disorders such as autism, the 25mcg within 1 vaccine is 250 times greater than the EPA's level that is considered safe. We are told not to eat more than 1 serving of fish per week due to mercury yet injecting a large amount into the blood stream is supposedly healthy?
- Aluminum -- a neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer's disease - Triton X-100 -- a detergent - Phenol (carbolic acid) - Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) - Betapropiolactone - a disinfectant - Nonoxynol - used to kill or stop growth of STDs - Octoxinol 9 - a spermicide - Sodium phosphate
So will you put yourself and family at risk by taking the H1N1 swine flu shot and possibly even get the flu as has been the case in Canada or stay healthy and take precautions to avoid getting it? This is your decision but in either case be sure and tell the facts to your customers at your business internet money online opportunity web site.
Canine Coronavirus is a highly contagious virus that invades and replicates in the small intestine. The resulting symptoms are generally not too severe except if the dog is already infected with the Parvo virus. Together Corona and Parvo are synergistic producing exaggerated symptoms and possibly leading to death.
Corona is typically spread by fecal material. The virus can stay in the environment for months so transmission is fairly easy. Like many of the canine viruses multi-dog environments such as kennels, shelters and dog parks pose a higher risk. Also, puppies are more vulnerable than adult dogs.
The most prevalent symptom is watery diarrhea which tends to be more yellowish and foul smelling. Other symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and depression.
There's no cure for Coronavirus. Treatment varies with the severity of the symptoms. With diarrhea you always want to be very cautious about dehydration. If the dog does get dehydrated, subcutaneous or IV fluids are needed to protect him from organ damage and going into shock.
Antibiotics are sometimes used to prevent opportunistic secondary infections. And some medications and dietary changes can be used to help with severe diarrhea and/or vomiting. The disease generally runs it's course within 10 days.
Since the virus can be anywhere dogs congregate and since puppies with less developed immune systems are more vulnerable, prevention for puppies includes avoiding these places and any contact with stray dogs.
There is a vaccination for Coronavirus. It's fairly effective but there are multiple strains of Corona so it's possible to be vaccinated and not be immune to all strains. You want to talk to your Vet to determine the prevalence of the virus in your area. As well you want to assess the risk relative to your individual situation.
Canine coronavirus infection (CCV) sounds intimidating, as well it should be, because it is a highly contagious disease that can be found in dogs all over the world. It is specific to dogs and replicates itself inside the small intestine. In most cases, the disease can be treated and is not serious. In fact, some dogs don't even show symptoms. However, if a CCV infection occurs simultaneously with a viral canine parvovirus infection, the consequences could be more serious.
Most adult dogs with canine cornavirus will show no symptoms, however dogs that do show symptoms will experience:
• Lack of appetite
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Mild respiratory problems
• Inflammation of the small intestine
How do dogs contract CCV?
The most common way for dogs to get CCV is when they are exposed to feces from an infected dog. Dogs that are overly stressed from over-intensive graining, over-crowding and live in unsanitary conditions are more susceptible to the virus. Places where dogs gather, such as dog parks or shelters are the most likely locations for the virus to spread.
How is CCV diagnosed?
A veterinarian will need to administer a few tests before diagnosing your dog with CCV. This is because the virus usually has some symptoms in common with other conditions such as food intoxication or intolerance.
How is CCV treated?
When it comes to treating CCV, puppies need the most intensive care because they are more vulnerable. Most healthy adult dogs will recover from the infection on their own without medication. Antibiotics can be given to dogs that have complications such as respiratory problems or blood poisoning. It is possible for some dogs to have severe vomiting or diarrhea as a result of CCV, usually leading to the need for extra fluid and electrolyte treatment. When a dog is suffering from dog diarrhea or taking an antibiotic, it is a good idea to administer a probiotic, which will help to bring balance back to the intestinal tract. Further monitoring of your dog is not needed after he has recovered, however, if you have another pet it is important to keep them away from the feces of the previously infected dog as there could still be remnants of the virus in the dog's feces.
How can you prevent CCV?
The best way to prevent canine coronavirus is by keeping your dog away from other dogs that have been diagnosed with it. Keep your household clean and sanitary and always clean after your dog right away if it has been infected with CCV to ensure that other dogs do not become infected. Also, if CCV is a big concern for you, there is a vaccine available. It is normally reserved for dogs that are most vulnerable, like puppies, show dogs and shelter dogs. Your veterinarian can also give you tips on what to do to keep your dog CCV free.
Vaccinations for cattle are one important way to prevent calf scours, and are becoming standard practice. Here are answers to the important questions you might have about vaccinating your calves against scours.
- What are Calf Scour Vaccinations?
Vaccinations are preventative medicine. By injecting an animal with low-level or inactive strains of a virus or infectious bacteria, the immune system builds up a protection against it. Then when a calf encounters the virus or bacteria in the environment, its immune system has already built a resistance to it, and the calf doesn't become ill.
While there are a wide variety of conditions, illnesses, and infections that result in scours symptoms, there are vaccinations for the most common infectious causes: rota-virus, corona virus, and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
- Why Do I Vaccinate the Dam to Protect the Calf?
The recommended vaccination method for scours prevention is to vaccinate the pregnant dam several weeks prior to birth. This method reduces the stress on the calf while still providing the needed protection. Antibodies are then passed from the dam to the calf through the bloodstream prior to birth, but mostly though the colostrum (first milk) just after birth. This method of vaccinating the dam before birth increases the importance of the calf receiving a sufficient volume of colostrum in order to bolster its immune system.
There are vaccinations directed at preventing scours that are given directly to calves, and some vaccinations given to the dam will require the young calf receive a booster dose in the first few weeks of life.
- Will Vaccinations Protect Calves from Scours?
As noted above, there are multiple causes that result in scours or diarrhea. Therefore, vaccinations are not a guarantee that calves will not have scours. The common vaccinations for scours prevention address the most common infectious causes: the rota-virus, corona virus, and E. coli. The calf could still develop an infection from a different bacteria or virus, have nutritional issues, or a have a parasite; all of which could result in scours symptoms.
While vaccinations will not guarantee calves will be totally free of scours, they do greatly reduce the risk and incidence of scours in most herds.
- Are There Additional Benefits from Vaccinating for Scours?
In a scours vaccination program that includes vaccinating the dam in the weeks prior to birth, you are actually getting a two-for-one prevention program. Preventing sick cows through vaccinations can help prevent the spread of disease. Plus, a healthy cow through the next year provides the best chance of producing strong, healthy calves in the future. It is easy to see how an appropriate vaccination program can improve the overall herd health over time.
- Is Vaccinating for Scours too Expensive?
Considering the negative impact of scours outbreaks in the herd, using vaccinations to prevent scours usually has an overall cost benefit. Preventing the loss of just a single calf to scours can typically provide a cost justification for a full vaccination program.
- What is the Best Scours Vaccination Brand?
There are currently three leading brands/producers of scours vaccines that provide protection from varieties of rota-virus, corona virus, and E.coli, and they all claim to be the best. Declaring one to be the best, however, is difficult since each can properly claim distinct advantages in varying areas. The best vaccination may vary between farmers and ranchers as well. Compare important product features such as:
Recommended periods of injection (i.e. 4-5 weeks prior to birth versus 8-12 weeks prior)Coverage (i.e. 6 strains of E.coli versus 4 strains)Costs
For example, it may be more important for you to have a wider window for cow vaccination, so you sacrifice some coverage. Perhaps your main objective is to keep costs low. There are also claims that some brands are more effective in cold climates. Talk to a trusted vet, friend, or animal health professional about their experiences and recommendations as well as making direct comparisons. Then decide which product is best for you.
Vaccinations are not the only solution to preventing scours. However, they are an integral part of an overall scours prevention strategy that includes dam health, nutritional management, and housing/sanitation management. After all, prevention is always twice as good as a cure.