News & Advice

Rotavirus Vaccination
 – Prevention is better than cure when it comes to calf scours

Jun 8, 2017 | Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare, Young Stock

Rotavirus colostrum vaccines are due NOW. Anyone who has had an outbreak of Rotavirus calf scours will tell you about the heartbreak they endured as this awful disease spread through their calf shed like wildfire. We now have a vaccine which can help prevent these kind of outbreaks from happening. Rotavirus vaccines are what we call colostrum vaccines; we vaccinate the pregnant cow while her body is making colostrum. In response to the vaccine, she makes antibodies (immune defence proteins) specific to Rotavirus, which goes directly into her colostrum. 
When the calf drinks the colostrum containing these antibodies, the calf’s immune system is primed ready to recognise and fight off Rotavirus from day one. Vaccinations must be given three weeks before the planned start of calving. Once you have vaccinated, your colostrum management needs to be excellent- there is no point putting the antibodies into the colostrum if you aren’t getting colostrum into the calves in a timely fashion! Calves must have 2 to 3 litres of first milking colostrum within the first 6-12 hours of life to absorb the antibodies. It’s important to remember, Rotavirus vaccination is an insurance policy; prevention is better than cure. 
Members take advantage of our member only offer and pay no Vet Visit fee when you vaccinate your herd for Rotovirus during June and July. 

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