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.
What is Hepatitis C Virus?
Hepatitis C Virus is a virus that can damage the liver. Unlike hepatitis A and B there is no vaccine to protect against hepatitis c.
How could I get Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is carried in the blood. The virus is mainly spread through contact with the blood of a person who has Hepatitis C. You can't catch it through everyday contact such as holding hands, kissing and hugging, or through sharing toilets, plates and cups and kitchen utensils.
Hepatitis C is passed in the following ways.
By sharing equipment for injecting drugs, even if you only did this once or twice or a long time ago. Needles and syringes are the highest risk, but other drug injecting equipment such as spoons filters and water could also carry the infection if they are contaminated with blood from some one who has the infection. Through a blood transfusion before 1991, or blood products like clotting agents before 1986. All blood in the UK is now screened for hepatitis c.
Hepatitis C can be passed on in the following ways
From a mother with hepatitis C virus to her baby before or during the birth. Through unprotected sex with some one who has the virus. By having a tattoo an ear piercing a body piercing or acupuncture with equipment that is not sterile. During medical and dental treatment abroad in countries where hep c virus is common and equipment is not properly sterilised. By sharing razors or toothbrushes which have bee contaminated with blood from someone who has the virus.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR OR NURSE IF YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE COME IN TO CONTACT WITH THE VIRUS IN ANY OF THESE WAYS
What are the symptoms?
Most people who have the Hepatitis C virus have no signs or symptoms at all for many years. But even if you have no symptoms at all for many years you can still pass the virus on.
How might the virus effect me in the long term?
Around one in four people who become infected with hepatitis c will get rid of the virus naturally. However, most people who become infected will have it for a very log time. This may effect them in many different ways: Some will stay well throughout life and about one in five may develop severe liver damage after many years. Cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer or liver failure.
Where can I get a test?
Your doctor will be able to test you for Hepatitis C.
What if the test result is negative?
This probably means you have never been in contact with the Hepatitis C virus. However, it can take up to 3 months for your body to react to the virus, so the test may not be positive if you have been exposed to the virus recently. Your doctor may advise another test at a later date.
What if the test result is positive?
The result will tell if you have bee infected with the virus in the past. I t will not tell if you still have the virus, you may need another test to find this out, you may then need to see a liver specialist.
Is Hepatitis C treatment available?
New treatments are becoming available. A form of drug therapy that cures half the people treated includes a weekly injection of a interferon drug called Pegasys and oral capsules taken daily called ribavirin. New drugs Telaprevir and a similar one called Broceprevir are being offered to patients who have previouly had treatment and had not responded. Both these new drugs are taken along with Pegasys and Ribavirin making it a 3 fold drug combination therapy. Your specialist will discuss the best form of treatment with you.
What can I do to help myself if I am positive for the virus?
If you have the virus stop drinking alcohol, this is the single most important thing you can do to reduce further damage to your liver.
How do people avoid becoming infected or if they have the virus passing it on?
Don't inject drugs. Never share drug injecting equipment. If you are considering having piercings, tattoos or acupuncture make sure all the equipment such as needles and ink pots are fully sterilised. If you or you partner have the virus there is a small risk it could be passed on during sex. Condoms reduce this risk. Do not share razors or toothbrushes as they could have blood on them.
"My cat keeps sneezing. How serious is it?" At first you thought it was no big deal. But you know that chronic sneezing might be a sign of a serious more condition, just as in humans. You hate seeing your pet suffer, and hate cleaning up all the mucous and snot! But what you really want to know is, "Is my cat's chronic sneezing a sign of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)?"
Usually, when you are thinking, "my cat keeps sneezing", some local environmental effect is the culprit. He stuck his nose somewhere that got some dust, dander or other irritant lodged in his nostrils. He may just sneeze out the irritant. But sometimes this can cause his sinus tissues to become damaged. These tender tissues are raw and very susceptible to disease and bacteria. They can lead to more serious afflictions, like FIV, which can be deadly if not treated promptly.
Let's look at some common symptoms of FIV.
Chronic sneezing and nasal dischargeFever and fatigueRed and wet eyesChronic diarrheaSkin and hair lossExcessive urination and thirstOvereating
As you can see, FIV is a disease that can manifest itself in many forms. This is because once the immune system is weak, any number of afflictions and bacteria can invade! The key to combating your cat's excessive sneezing, whether it is a sign of FIV or merely an upper respiratory congestion, is to boost your beloved pet's immune system immediately to fight bacteria and disease.
Wild cats eat leaves and herbs when they begin to feel a negative change in their body's many internal systems. They know the answer lies in natural minerals. Your cat is no different. Natural, herbal, homeopathic remedies to combat upper respiratory issues like chronic sneezing, coughing and weepy eyes provide an overall immune boost. This boost in their immunity system improves overall resistance to all afflictions and ailments!
Did you know that 2% to 3% of all healthy cats have FIV? It is laying in wait for your pet's immune system to weaken. Then it allows some affliction to strike. The upside is that every cat that is diagnosed with FIV early usually lives a full healthy life through the application of regular treatment. And if your cat's sneezing is simply a minor upper respiratory infection, this same natural homeopathic cure will alleviate his sneezing also.
Provide your pet with an overall immune system boost, ward off FIV, and stop her cold and flu like symptoms with a safe, fast-acting, natural cure. Then you will never have to say, "My cat keeps sneezing. How serious is it?"