News & Events - Page 2 of 9 - Bovilis - MSD Animal Health Bovilis | A world of protection

Flies – Nuisance by name, nuisance by nature


With temperatures slowly on the rise, next on the agenda – fly season

Impact on production and spread of disease

Anyone who has worked with cattle during the summer months needs little reminding of the annoyance which flies can cause. They can be responsible for a state of unrest in the parlour for both cows and milker.

The constant source of irritation at grass interferes with normal grazing activity and has been shown to cause a reduction in milk and butterfat production.

They are also capable of transmitting viruses, bacteria and certain parasites. Flies are implicated in the spread of common diseases such as ‘summer mastitis’ and ‘pink eye’.

Why choose Butox Pour-On this summer?

Butox Pour On contains the active ingredient, deltamethrin. Butox provides the longest protection available on the market (10 WEEKS) against flies. Product information:

  • Butox Pour On is indicated for the prevention and treatment of flies and lice in cattle and sheep
  • Contains the active ingredient deltamethrin
  • Provides up to 10 weeks protection against flies*
  • Safe to use during pregnancy and lactation. 18 day meat and 12 hour milk withdrawal periods for cattle. Best to apply this product after evening milking and ensure that the full withdrawal period is respected
  • 30ml dose for cattle over 300kg. The 2.5 liter pack will treat 83 cows
  • Sold in 250ml, 1 and 2.5 liter packs

It is advised to pour the dose along the animal’s spine from the base of the head to the tail. The person applying should wear gloves.

Butox in cattle

IndicationsDose rate
FliesPrevention and treatment of flies on calves and other cattleUp to 100kg: 10ml
100kg – 300kg: 20ml
Over 300kg: 30ml
LicePrevention and treatment of biting and sucking lice on calves and adult cattle10ml per animal irrespective or weight

Types of flies

There are 5 broad categories in Ireland:

  • House or stable flies
  • Face flies
  • Head flies
  • Warble flies
  • Blowflies

Stable flies

Also known as biting house flies, they are mostly found close to buildings inhabited by animals and man. During warm wet weather they may enter sheds and be an annoyance to housed cattle, a particular concern for feedlot cattle. The irritation caused by their bites results in a reduced feed conversion efficiency affecting both meat and milk production.

Face flies

These are the top offenders for annoyance of cattle at pasture. Worst case scenario they can also cause damage to the eye tissue of affected animals. They have been linked to the transmission of Moraxella bovis the bacteria responsible for ‘pink eye’.

Head flies

They are often present in large swarms. Due to the intense irritation and annoyance, their presence can result in self-inflicted wounds (from scratching). They pose a risk for “pink eye” and there is strong evidence to suggest head flies are involved in the transmission of summer mastitis.

Warble flies

This type of fly no longer occurs in Ireland though rare reports exist of cattle ‘gadding’ – showing hysterical behaviour – that have not been confirmed infestations. However, it is important to recognise the condition as the risk of infestation may still exists with importation of animals.

Infestation is associated with the larval stage which over-winters in the animal and then appears as soft, painful lumps on the hide the following May-June. As a result, warble flies may cause issues with subsequent carcase and hide damage. Suspected warble fly infestations should be reported immediately to the Department of Agriculture.

Blow flies

Mostly associated with fly strike in sheep, cattle can succumb to infestation too. Large populations of these adult flies are associated with poor waste management and suboptimal hygiene.

Treatment and control

Indoor environment

Removing or at least reducing the source of infection is the most useful approach in controlling stable flies. Areas of manure/straw/decaying matter should not be allowed to accumulate as these areas provide the perfect environment for flies to breed.

Pasture management

Reduction in the use of fields bordering woodlands has been advised in the peak risk period (June-September) where possible in the control of head flies.

Animal options

Pour-on and spray preparations together with insecticide impregnated ear tags are widely used to reduce fly annoyance. For head flies a number of repellent creams are available for application around the base of the horns however many of these only prevent skin contact.

In other words they do not reduce the annoyance caused by flies. Pour-on products applied at the dosing intervals recommended by the manufacturer will also aid control. It is best practice to start fly control early in the season (to reduce buildup of the fly population).

There are many products on the market and it is most advisable to read the guidelines supplied by the manufacturers and adhere to exact instructions regarding administration, dose, frequency of use and withdrawal periods.

In summary, the annoyance caused to cattle by flies is a real issue which has implications for both animal health and welfare. Remember to start fly control treatment in time this summer.

For more information on Butox Pour On talk to your vet.

References
*Depending on the degree of infestation, fly species and weather conditions


Watch: Tullamore Farm Series – Sheep

Held last month, the Tullamore Farm Virtual Series featured MSD’s veterinary advisor, Sarah Campbell, who spoke with the Irish Farmers Journal’s Darren Carty, covering a range of animal health issues facing sheep farmers.

Clostridial disease

On the night, Sarah highlighted the importance of vaccination against clostridial diseases. This is particularly important given that clostridial bacteria are a common cause of death in both lambs and sheep.

Clostridial infections of sheep and cattle are caused by a group of bacteria that exist in soil, on fields, within buildings and even in the tissues and intestines of cattle and sheep.

However, protection can be achieved by using a broad-spectrum vaccine to provide animals with the necessary antibodies to combat all the strains of clostridia.

Tribovax 10 is a low dose clostridial vaccine offering cattle and sheep producers the broadest available protection against clostridial bacteria.

Orf

Touching on the topic of Orf, Sarah advising sheep farmers to use preventative control measures against Orf, including the vaccination of the flock with Scabivax® Forte to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

Abortion

If farmers are having issues with abortion in their sheep, Sarah recommended that farmers get a diagnosis through submitting the foetus and placenta to a lab for analysis. If this is not possible, blood samples can be taken by a vet.

Toxoplasma gondii is the most commonly diagnosed cause of ovine abortion in Ireland and in the most recently published report, was diagnosed in 26% of samples submitted to the regional veterinary laboratories. 

Chlamydophila abortus is the second most common cause. Other less frequently diagnosed causes include leptospirosis, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis and listeriosis.

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, a control strategy can be planned. This will often involve vaccination against either toxoplasmosis, enzootic abortion (EAE) or both. 

For further information on any of the products discussed in this video contact your veterinary advisor or check out the Bovilis website for further product information.


WATCH: Get your Cattle Ready for Summer Grazing


As the Summer months approach, its time to consider protecting your cattle ahead of the grazing period. With that, we have administration videos for some of our products typically used while cattle are at grass. For more information on any of these products, talk to your vet.

Tribovax 10

Tribovax 10 is a “10 in 1” clostridial vaccine that provides broad protection against ten clostridial bacteria namely C. perfringens type A, B, C & D, C. novyi, C. septicum, C. tetani, C. sordellii, C. haemolyticum and C. chauvoei; the causes of blackleg, tetanus, malignant oedema, black disease, ‘sudden death syndrome’ (caused by C. sordellii), bacterial redwater and enterotoxaemia in cattle.

How to use Tribovax 10

  • The primary course involves 2 injections given 4-6 weeks apart and can given to calves from 2 weeks of age
  • 1 injection is not enough as it is an inactivated vaccine and would provide little or no immunity
  • Single boosters are then given at 6-12 month intervals depending on the risk profile of the batch of animals
  • It is a 2 ml dose in cattle and 1 ml dose in sheep and should be given under the skin (recommended in the loose skin on the side of the neck)
  • Shake well before-hand and use within 8 hours of opening the bottle
  • Change needles regularly while injecting

Start calves now on their two injection primary course and give weanlings their booster injection of Tribovax 10 (provided they received their full primary course within the last 12 months).

Tribovax 10 administration video

Repidose Bolus

The ideal approach to controlling lungworms, gut worms and stomach worms is to use a wormer that allows some exposure to the worm larvae but kills adult worms before they cause clinical signs of disease.

Repidose bolus provides season long protection. The product’s pulse release mechanism strategically releases a dose of oxfendazole into the animal’s system every 21 days. The pulse release system prevents clinical signs of disease by killing worms every 21 days while at the same time enabling the animal to generate immunity to gut worms and lungworm. With 21 weeks cover the bolus is ideally suited to grass-based systems especially replacement heifers.

Repidose is the only bolus on the market for the prevention and treatment of lungworm, stomach worms and gut worms. The bolus is divided into seven individual compartments or chambers. Every three weeks, a therapeutic dose of the anthelmintic oxfendazole is released into the animal’s gut. This kills worms at all stages of development.

How to use Repidose Bolus

  • Target weight at time of administration: 100kg – 400 kg
  • Active ingredient: Oxfendazole
  • 1 bolus per animal
  • Withdrawal periods: Meat & Milk – 7 months. Do not administer to cattle producing milk for human consumption
Repidose Bolus administration video

Butox Pour On

Mild weather combined with rainfall provides the perfect environment for nuisance flies to multiply. Flies can cause a state of unease in the parlour leading to occasions of flying clusters. Flies can interfere with the grazing routine of cattle and this may cause a reduction in milk and butterfat production. Their impact does not end there, they are all capable of transmitting viruses, bacteria and certain parasites.

Butox PO administration video

How to use Butox Pour-On

  • Indicated for the control of flies and lice in cattle.
  • Active ingredient: Deltramethrin
  • Withdrawal periods: Meat – 18 days. Milk – 12 hours. In dairy herds, we advise to administer after evening milking.
  • Pour the dose along the animal’s spine from the base of the head to the tail.
  • The person applying should wear gloves.
  • For fly control, a single application provides protection for 6 to 10 weeks (depending on the infestation, fly species and weather). If flies remain an issue thereafter, it is advised to repeat the application.
Butox PO dose rates for cattle
For more information on any of the above products, contact your vet

BEEP-S Scheme 2021 – The details


The objective of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme for Sucklers (BEEP-S) is to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd though improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data that is collected. The deadline for applicants is Monday 26th April 2021. Register here on the DAFM webpage. See figure 1 below for an overview of the 2021 programme.

Figure 1: Overview of the BEEP-S scheme for 2021.

One of the voluntary measures under Action 2 of the BEEP-S scheme is vaccination. The objective of this action is for farmers to implement a vaccination programme to reduce the incidence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) caused by certain viruses and bacteria otherwise known as pathogens. Bovine Respiratory Disease or BRD as it is also known, refers to diseases that affect the respiratory system of cattle. The best-known example of BRD in cattle is pneumonia. We would encourage farmers to opt for vaccination as part of option 2 of the scheme and to talk to your vet about vaccination protocols suitable for your weanlings at weaning.

Purpose of Action 2 – vaccination

If you select vaccination as part of Action 2 of the programme you will need to familiarise yourself with the disease pathogens you are trying to protect your cattle against, the vaccines suitable for the programme and their protocols. Let’s start with the disease pathogens. The vaccination pillar of the programme aims at reducing the disease incidence caused by BRD which is illustrated in figure 2:

Figure 2. List of disease pathogens the programme aims to protect calves against through vaccination
Figure 2. List of disease pathogens the programme aims to protect calves against through vaccination

For the purpose of this programme, Teagasc are advocating the importance of vaccinating calves against all four pathogens listed in figure 2 where possible. If inspected, you must provide receipts to show proof of purchase and a record of vaccine administration dates in order to satisfy Action 2 of the programme.

Applicants must choose one of the following vaccination protocols to qualify for payment:

Option 1. (if there is adequate time before risk period or a broader coverage including bacteria is required)

  • First subcutaneous injection of RSV, PI3 and Mannhaemia haemolytica dead vaccine, six to eight weeks before weaning/housing/sale
  • Second subcutaneous injection of RSV, PI3 and Mannhaemia haemolytica dead vaccine, two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
  • At the same time as the second injection, a single IBR live intra-muscular, two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale

Option 2. (if there is a short time before risk period or if cattle can only be handled once)

  • Single RSV and Pi3 Intranasal two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
  • At the same time, a single (or two dose programme) IBR live intra-muscular injection (two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale)

Which vaccines can farmers use to qualify for the scheme?

MSD Animal Health has the full portfolio of BRD vaccines to provide protection against the four pathogens listed in figure 2. Figure 3 below displays the disease pathogen each product provides protection against and the specific vaccination protocol.

MSD Animal Health BRD vaccine portfolio suitable for the BEEP-S scheme
Figure 3. MSD Animal Health BRD vaccine portfolio suitable for the BEEP-S scheme

MSD Animal Health are advising all farmers to implement a vaccination protocol using Bovipast RSP and Bovilis IBR Marker Live. Benefits of this programme:

  • Combination of these vaccines will provide protection against all four pathogens
  • The two vaccines are licenced to be administered on the same day
  • Bovipast RSP provides the BROADEST cover against Mannhaemia haemolytica that’s available on the market
  • Bovilis IBR Marker Live provides the FASTEST onset of immunity compared to competitor product

Bovipast RSP

Bovilis Bovipast RSP
Bovilis Bovipast RSP
  • Provides protection against RSV, PI3 and the BROADEST protection against Mannhaemia ((Pasteurella) haemolytica
  • Inactivated or dead vaccine
  • Two shot primary course given four weeks apart. One shot is 5ml
  • The second shot must be given no later that two weeks prior to weaning, sale or housing
    • 1st shot six weeks prior to risk 
    • 2nd shot two weeks prior to risk
  • Subcutaneous injection (under the skin)
Bovilis IBR Marker Live
Bovilis IBR Marker Live

Bovilis IBR Marker Live

  • Provides the FASTEST onset of immunity against IBR
  • Live vaccine
  • Single 2ml shot given at least two weeks prior to weaning, sale or housing
  • Intranasal (up the nose) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection
  • Both intranasal and intramuscular administration will give 6 months protection when given to stock over 3 months old.
Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live
Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live

Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live

  • Provides the FASTEST onset of immunity against RSV and Pi3
  • Live vaccine
  • Single 2ml shot given at least one week prior to weaning, sale or housing
  • Intranasal administration
  • Provides 12 weeks protection against RSV & PI3

Why is vaccination part of this programme?

A correctly timed vaccination programme in conjunction with correct animal management can have both an economic and labour-saving result for the farmer.

Vaccination programmes can:

  • Improve the welfare of the animals. Vaccines can reduce the risk of an animal becoming infected by certain disease pathogens
  • Reduce the risk of animals becoming ill which reduces the need for antibiotic treatment
  • Protect animals during risk periods. Examples are weaning, housing, mixing of groups, transport, mart trade etc.
  • Reduce sick days for animals while also maintaining thrive, allowing animals to reach key target weights

Studies show beef cattle with obvious signs of pneumonia can take over 59 days longer to finish than healthy animals. Even animals showing little or no sickness can be suffering from subclinical respiratory disease which will increase finishing times to slaughter. See figure 4 below:

BRD on finishing times
Figure 4. Negative effects of BRD on finishing times1

MSD Animal Health are advising all farmers to consult with their attending veterinary practitioner prior to implementing a vaccination protocol.

If inspected, you must provide receipts to show proof of purchase and a record of vaccine administration dates in order to satisfy Action 2 of the programme.

References
Bareille et al. 2008. Impact technique et économique des troubles respiratoires des jeunes bovins lors de l’engraissement. Rencontres autour des recherches sur les ruminants: 77-80.

Calf Pneumonia – Why prevention is better than cure for Bandon dairy farmer

“Vaccinating against pneumonia is cheap reassurance and ensures long-term protection for a cow” says Bandon dairy farmer, Owen O’Brien  

Owen runs a 74 cow-dairy herd alongside his wife, Rosaleen, his three children, Daniel, Amy and Ciaran, and parents who remain very active on the family farm.  

Like so many farms across the country, the O’Brien’s have made significant strides over the last number of years to overcome calf pneumonia outbreaks on farm. Calf pneumonia is the most common cause of death in cattle of all ages over one month old. For calves that do survive death, an outbreak of calf pneumonia can lead to significant costs in terms of reduced growth rates, lower milk yields, increased feed requirements and veterinary attention.

Owen O’Brien explains his experience with calf pneumonia on farm while local vet Kevin O’Sullivan gives some tips to stay ahead of calf pneumonia as we near the latter part of the calving season

The cost of pneumonia

Pneumonia is a multifactorial disease meaning any factors can influence the onset of an outbreak. Two important viral causes of pneumonia are RSV and PI3 viruses while one of the most common bacterial infections can be caused by Mannheimia haemolytica. The severity of pneumonia can vary from reduced appetites, mild nasal discharge and coughing in a group of calves, to severe pneumonia causing death.

According to Department of Agriculture Quarterly Surveillance Report 2020, in the first three months of 2020, Mannheimia haemolytica was the most common pathogen identified on post-mortems of cattle examined by the regional veterinary labs.   

“Pneumonia will kill or, at the very least, significantly compromise lung function and impact on heifer growth rates,” says Kevin O’ Sullivan from Glasslyn Vets. Preventing the problem from arising in the first place is key and management is reliant on a good understanding of the causes and risk factors.

What makes calves susceptible to the disease?

Calf pneumonia is a complicated, multi-factorial disease. Healthy animals can carry Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida as commensals without developing clinical signs. Infectious agents, environment, and the calf’s immunity status are all factors that can determine the onset of an infection.

A calf receiving poor-quality or inadequate levels of colostrum is one of the biggest factors affecting immunity, making them more susceptible to infection. Several stress factors such as poorly ventilated and overcrowded housing, grouping, changes in weather and transportation can also increase the risk of pneumonia. Once the calf is stressed, the ability of their immune system to fight infection is significantly reduced.

Prevention is better than cure 

Disease prevention is key to avoiding the onset of pneumonia on farm. “My motto is prevention is better than cure on farm. Good quality colostrum, good hygiene practices, good housing management and an effective vaccination programme must go hand in hand to reduce the risk of pneumonia. The results are clear as I find my cows are heathier, fitter animals and don’t get any setbacks”, says Owen.

Alongside building immunity, reducing stress and minimising exposure to infection, Kevin states that one of the best routes for preventing a costly pneumonia outbreak is vaccination along with good calf management. It stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies, which protects the animal against infectious pressures once they are challenged by those pathogens.

“By vaccinating against pneumonia, you are reducing the risk of outbreak, helping the animal thrive and reach their weight targets at weaning, housing and pre-breeding. This will ensure they are in optimal condition when meeting the bull in ~20 months’ time” states Kevin.

Why choose Bovipast RSP?

Owen uses Bovipast RSP in his calves from two weeks of age and gives the booster shot four weeks later. Bovipast RSP contains IRP technology which inhibits Mannheimia haemolytica from replicating which reduces the infection from developing. It provides the broadest protection against bacterial pneumonia caused by Mannheimia haemolytica and protects the animal against two of main viruses, RSV and PI3. As pneumonia can result from bacterial or viral infection, it is important to choose a vaccine that provides a broad range of cover against some of the most common infectious pathogens challenging calves.

For full protection, calves should be vaccinated with a 5 ml injection under the skin, from two weeks of age and given their booster dose four weeks later. The correct use and timing of vaccination are vital to their success and always read the manufacturers recommendations.

When vaccinating, it is recommended to vaccinate all animals in the group to minimise the infectious potential. As the disease status on every farm is different, vaccination protocols will vary. Speak to your local vet about the right strategy for your farm.

Compatible with Bovilis IBR Marker Live

Bovipast RSP can also be administered at the same time as Bovilis IBR Marker Live from three weeks of age. Vaccination with Bovilis IBR Marker Live may be required where IBR has been detected on a farm or where the risk of introduction of the disease is high i.e. purchasing stock or animals returning from shows or sales.

For more information, talk to your veterinary practitioner


Leptospirosis Vaccination: Overcoming milk drop in Co. Kilkenny

Leptospirosis is one of the most common causes of abortion in dairy and beef herds in Ireland and according to Richard Ryan from Ormonde Veterinary Hospital, now is the ideal time to take control of the disease through an effective vaccination programme.

“With the breeding season just around the corner, we have to watch out for key diseases that are going to impact herd fertility. Leptospirosis can be detrimental to fertility as it can contribute to decreased conception rates as well as abortions weeks after the initial infection.”

Patrick Darmody explains how he protects his herd against leptospirosis while local vet Richard Ryan gives some pre-breeding advice

One farmer who has seen the benefits of implementing a vaccination programme against Leptospirosis is Kilkenny farmer, Patrick Darmondy. A fourth-generation farmer, Patrick runs a dairy and beef enterprise alongside his mother and wife.

Achieving optimum herd health, fertility and survival are key priorities for Patrick. His herd is made up of 50% Holstein Friesian, British Friesian crosses to promote hybrid vigour and 100% AI is carried out on the farm in order to maintain a closed herd policy. 

Clinical signs of Leptospirosis

The first step in protecting against any animal disease is identifying the cause of the problem. There are two serovars of Leptospirosis commonly found in cattle in Ireland – Leptospira interrogans hardjo and Leptospira borgpetersenii hardjo. Leptospirosis circulates in a herd by direct transmission from infected animals (new infections or carrier animals) or by indirect transmission through urine, birth fluids, milk, contaminated water, or other species.

According to Richard, Leptospirosis can affect cows in a variety of ways. “Similar to what was happening on Patrick’s farm, your herd may experience milk drop syndrome. However, one of the biggest problems we see on farm is decreased conception rates and also abortions, which can typically occur 6-12 weeks after the initial infection.”

Diagnosing Leptospirosis

Diagnosis of the disease is based on blood sampling and looking for high antibody levels in affected animals, however this can prove difficult. Often the infection is present 6-to-12 weeks before clinical signs become apparent (e.g. low pregnancy rates picked up at scanning).

It can also be based on the culturing of urine samples. In addition, leptospiral abortion diagnosis is best based on the identification of bacteria in the foetus.

Failure to control the disease can not only have a detrimental effect on the health and production of the herd, but it can affect people too as it is a zoonotic disease – it can cause disease in humans. Common forms of transmission include contact with urine, afterbirth or the aborted foetus of an infected animal.

Vaccination is the number one control strategy

Vaccination is the most reliable way of protecting your herd from Leptospirosis and according to Richard, “We vaccinate to protect your herd but also to help to protect you.”

It is essential to vaccinate heifers before their first pregnancy. The primary vaccination course consists of 2 injections 4-6 weeks apart, and thereafter, an annual booster before turnout and at least 2 weeks before breeding.  It is a 2 ml dose, given under the skin to all cattle greater than one month of age. The correct use and timing of vaccination are vital to their success and always read the manufacturers recommendations.

Why vaccinate with Bovilis Leptavoid-H?

Vaccination is a crucial part in controlling this highly infectious disease, however to provide full protection, it is vital to vaccinate against both strains of bacteria that cause the disease.

Bovilis Leptavoid-H is unique in the fact that it is the only vaccine licensed to protect against both strains of Leptospira hardjo. It is also the only vaccine that is licensed to improve conception rates where Leptospirosis has been diagnosed as a cause of infertility. Another additional benefit of Bovilis Leptavoid-H is that it can be used on the same day as Bovilis BVD (to cattle greater than eight months of age).

According to Patrick, “Since vaccinating with Bovilis Leptavoid-H, there has been no going back. I know the vaccine works; fertility has improved, we have had no milk drops and with Leptospirosis being a zoonotic disease, there is reduced risk to anyone working here on the farm.

“We also find it extremely convenient that we can vaccinate with Bovilis Leptavoid-H at the same time as vaccinating against BVD using Bovilis BVD.”


BVD eradication – Update and control measures

The incidence of BVD among Irish herds has declined dramatically since the introduction of the eradication programme in 2013. In 2013, there was 16,194 cattle identified as positive for BVD. In 2020, there was 804 cattle identified positive for BVD. As of week 9 2021 there has been 159 animals identified as positive for BVD in comparison to 168 for the same period in 2020. While these results indicate great progress has been achieved in eradicating this disease, these figures show that the virus still circulates in our national herd. To ensure this disease is eradicated we must continue our approach, as outlined below, at farm level since the introduction of the eradication programme.

How does BVD spread?

This mainly occurs by nose-to-nose contact between infected cattle within the herd. Introduction of infected animals (either transiently or persistently) to the herd provides the greatest risk. Contact with infected animals from neighbouring farms, at marts or shows and during transport facilitates spread of disease. Animals can be infected by exposure to contaminated equipment, other species including sheep or by visitors to the farm.

What is a transiently infected (TI) animal?

Acute or transient infection occurs when an animal becomes infected for the first time at any point in its life after it is born. The animal may scour and occasionally it can result in death of the affected individual but often this infection is not associated with any obvious signs. When animals are transiently infected with BVD their immune system recognises the disease and responds by producing antibodies to protect against the effects of BVD.
Transiently infected (TI) animals test virus positive at the time of infection but become virus negative within 3 weeks after infection. Once TI animals become clear of BVD virus they are no longer a threat to the rest of the herd. The majority of PI animals are born to cows which were transiently infected in the first 4 months of pregnancy.

Why do I need to vaccinate if I am testing all calves and removing PI’s?

Removal of PI animals will decrease the amount of virus circulating within the herd. However, if cows are not protected during pregnancy, transient infection during the first 4 months of pregnancy can result in the birth of future PI calves. The most effective approach to BVD control within the herd is to test and eradicate PI carriers, vaccinate to protect pregnant cows and be vigilant regarding biosecurity. On-going monitoring to ensure the herd control measures are working, form the last critical aspect of a comprehensive control plan.

Bovilis BVD Vaccination Protocol


8 CRITICAL POINTS RELATING TO BVD ERADICATION

  1. Tissue tag testing remains compulsory in 2020.
  2. Take tissue tag samples from all calves as soon as possible after birth.
  3. Submit samples to a designated laboratory.
  4. Tissue tag and test all calves born including still births.
  5. Carry out all necessary follow up testing once a PI is identified e.g. test dam of PI. If the dam is also positive all her other offspring must be tested. Where a decision is taken, based on veterinary advice, to re-test the calf, this must be done by means of a blood sample only (this also applies to testing of dams). DAFM will meet the costs of the visit by the herd’s veterinary practitioner and of testing the calf (and dam
    if sampled at the same time).
  6. A PI animal should not be sold but should be isolated and culled at the earliest opportunity. DAFM will automatically restrict movements into and out of herds that retain PI animals for more than 21 days after the date of the initial test (in the absence of a recorded date of death on AIM). DAFM supports for removal of PI calves remain at the following rates:
    BEEF HERDS:
    i. €220 for beef breed animals removed with a registered date of death on AIM within 10 days of the initial test, reducing to €30
    if removed between 11 and 21 days after the initial test.
    DAIRY HERDS:
    i. Dairy heifers and dairy cross calves: €160 if removed within 10 days of the initial test, reducing to €30 if removed between 11
    and 21 days after the initial test.
    ii. €30 for removal of bull calves within 14 days of the initial test.
    It is anticipated that from 1st April 2020, there will be a legal requirement to test pre-2013 born animals.
  7. Vaccinate all breeding animals before service each year to protect against infection.
  8. Maintain high level biosecurity and continue monitoring to ensure freedom from disease.

To find out more about BVD vaccination, please contact your veterinary practice.

Use Medicines Responsibly
Bovilis® BVD Suspension for injection for cattle vaccine contains inactivated antigen of cytopathogenic
BVD virus strain C-86.
Legal categories: ROI: POM (E) . NI: POM-V . Withdrawal period: zero days.
For further information please contact your vetinary practioner or MSD Animal Health Technical Team,
MSD Animal Health, Red Oak North, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland.
Tel: +353(1) 2970220. E-Mail: vet-support.ie@merck.com
Web: www.msd-animal-health.ie


Kieran Flatley – All Set For Spring

Kieran Flatley gives us an insight to how he prepared for calving this spring

For more information on any of the products or diseases Kieran mentioned in this video, check out the links below. Alternatively, speak to your vet on how these products can be used within your herd.

Bovipast RSP & Bovilis IBR Marker Live

Scour vaccine & crypto control


In Control – Dairy Farmer Shares His Experience Tackling Calf Scour

We caught up with Michael Clarke to see how he got on tackling cryptosporidium on his dairy farm during the spring of 2020.

“We got great results with little or no sick days. We went 100% by the book and did what we were meant to. Last Spring, we gave it to calves from the first day of the calving season, on day one of the calf’s life. We continued giving it to the calf for the full 7 days after feeding and that’s the reason we got such good results” said Michael

Filmed in Spring 2019

The Westmeath dairy farmer had a bad run with cryptosporidium some years ago. “It was a nightmare. It involved shocking work over two to three weeks, keeping calves alive through feeding electrolytes and water – not to mention the cost of treatment and the loss of a few calves.”

Lynn and Michael Clarke.  All calves are being treated with the oral solution for the treatment and prevention of diarrhoea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum 

Cryptosporidiosis is one of the main causes of scour in calves less than two weeks of age. Caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum, it results in acute scour and abdominal pain.

“We had the first outbreak in 2018. It didn’t hit until around the 7th of March when most of the cows had calved.

“In 2019, it came much earlier – around the 22nd of February. This was right in the middle of calving. Intervention came too late” said Michael.

At one stage, his vet John Moore had to put eight calves on a drip. Four of them died. “The labour and the cost was horrendous” said Michael

It was after this episode that Michael decided, following the advice of John Moore, that to get on top of cryptosporidiosis all calves must receive the oral solution from birth.

Oral solution

As soon as cryptosporidiosis was diagnosed in 2018, John Moore prescribed the oral solution which is licensed for the treatment and prevention of diarrhoea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum. Containing the active ingredient Halofuginone lactate, it is available only on veterinary prescription.

  • As a treatment, it should be given to calves within 24 hours after the onset of diarrhoea, once a day for seven consecutive days. Make sure calves are fully hydrated before treating them with the oral solution.
  • As a prevention, it should be given to every calf 24 to 48 hours after birth, once a day after milk feeding for seven consecutive days.

Learning From The Past

Michael Clarke administered the oral solution in 2018 and 2019, only after the first calves were diagnosed with cryptosporidium in each of these years.

“Last year, we didn’t wait for the disease to hit. Instead, we started the programme at the beginning of the calving season. Calves received their first dose the day after birth for seven days.”

The Clarkes are very diligent in their calf rearing practices. Calves are given plenty of colostrum within a few hours of birth and close attention is paid to nutrition levels and to bedding, hygiene and ventilation. This demonstrates that even with good management, cryptosporidiosis is an ever–present risk.

“It’s a must to have your sheds properly power washed and disinfected before calving starts. Previous years, I wasn’t using the product correctly either. I wouldn’t have finished the treatment course and then problems start arising. Three to four weeks into calving, the disease pressure is at its highest and there’re a lot of calves on the ground. So last year, we cleaned out the calf shed every 10 days but didn’t power wash or disinfect as we didn’t have time to let the sheds dry. That, along with the treatment and good management was effective at keeping the disease at bay” said Michael

Michael saw fantastic results in controlling cryptosporidiosis however some calves started to show positive signs of rotavirus around 4 weeks into the calving season.

“When the calves got a heavy infection of cryptosporidium in 2019, I decided to drop the scour vaccine last year. This resulted in the calves getting a touch of rotavirus at around day 18 of the calving season. I talked to John (vet) and we decided that we would vaccinate the cows with the scour vaccine again this year and protect the calves against cryptosporidium from the start of calving season. I get great peace of mind with this broad range of cover” said Michael

Veterinary practitioner John Moore.

Disease Can Get Out of Control

Veterinary practitioner John Moore said where cryptosporidiosis is a problem on a farm the use of the oral solution should be a critical component of the prevention programme. “All calves should be treated daily from 24 to 48 hours old for seven consecutive days.

“Because the disease hits so fast, it can get out of control before the farmer has time to take action. Mortality can be high and even when calves survive, thrive can be severely affected.”

“While the oral solution is not cheap, its use as a prevention is a more economical option than the massive labour, stress and cost involved in treating sick calves as well as the potential losses from dead calves and poor thrive in those that survive,” he stressed.

He highlighted the importance of strictly following the instructions on the use of the oral solution. “Dosage levels should correspond to the weight of the calf and when used as a treatment, make sure the calf is fully hydrated and bright before use.”

Millions of Oocysts

As part of its life cycle, Cryptosporidium parvum produces huge numbers of encysted eggs, or oocysts, which are shed in the faeces of infected calves, cows or other animals.

At peak shedding there may be as many as 10 million oocysts per gram or faeces. It takes as few as 20 of these to cause disease in young, susceptible calves.

Typically, clinical signs appear in calves from 5 to 14 days old. These can vary greatly – from mild diarrhoea to severe, watery scours and eventually death. Calves become rapidly dehydrated and suffer loss of appetite.

Period of rapid expansion

The Clarkes converted to dairying in 2010. They ran a suckler herd of 100 cows and bought in around 140 weanling bulls. There was also a flock of 100 ewes.

They bought 200,000l of quota under the new entrant scheme and started off milking 48 heifers.

Last year, they milked 270 cows. This year, they will calve 280 cows and plan to milk around 260. The remainder are being sold as in-calf heifers.

“Our plan was to milk 120 cows. But a neighboring farm of 114 acres came up for lease and we decided to go for it. An additional 50 acres also became available and we leased that too,” said Michael.


Teagasc Masters Walsh Scholarship Opportunity

An exciting opportunity has emerged for one candidate to apply for a two year Masters program. Please see full spec of the Masters in the below document. The study is titled; Multivacc: Demonstration of safety and sero-conversion post concurrent administration of RSP Live & IBR Marker Live vaccines in calves.

Please send CVs to emer.kennedy@teagasc.ie or catherine.mcaloon@ucd.ie. Closing date for application is this week with interviews to follow soon after. Start date is immediate.