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Preparation for Weaning Part 1: How to prevent pneumonia

In the first of a two part series on planning in preparation for weaning, vet Charles Chavasse, Area Veterinary Manager with Zoetis, joins Catherine Egan on the latest episode of The Beef Edge to discuss how to prevent pneumonia.

Charles first describes how most pneumonia is caused by a mix of viruses and bacteria. Vaccines are an aid to the control of pneumonia as the vaccines reduce lung damage caused by viruses allowing antibiotics to work more effectively on bacteria. This reduces the need for antibiotics.

Charles discusses the cost of vaccines compared to the cost of a pneumonia outbreak. Preventing one severe case (or two mild cases) of pneumonia would cover the price of the vaccination of 50 calves.

As part of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme- Sucklers (BEEP-S), farmers may have selected the optional measure under Action 2 to vaccinate weanlings which they get €30 per calf weighed up to a max of 100 calves.

Charles outlines the two options that are available for the vaccination programmes. Watch a video on Vaccination for BEEP S here

Charles also warns that vaccines need careful handling and he advises to:

  1. Store the vaccines in a functioning fridge . For live vaccines, once mixed, use within 4 hours; for dead vaccines, once broached use within 10 hours
  2. Live vaccines need to be mixed – sterile needles and syringes – do NOT return to fridge
  3. Have good facilities and take your time

For further information consult your local vet. Watch a video on Vaccination - Best practice here

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge