Feed Lot

FEB 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

Issue link: https://feedlotmagazine.epubxp.com/i/934116

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Page 5 of 31

I t's common practice to vacci- nate newly arrived cattle com- ing in to a feedlot or back- grounding operation. These calves – especially if they are of a mixed or sale barn origin – are at high risk of infection after stressful events such as weaning, transport or going through a sale barn. It makes sense to get a vaccination program started immediately in an attempt to head off illness. Or does it? Brian Vander Ley, DVM, PhD, DACVPM, is a veterinary epidemi- ologist at the Great Plains Veteri- nary Educational Center, Universi- ty of Nebraska. He said research shows it might be time to reconsider this standard practice. "It's interesting if you read labels, the general directions on most vac- cine bottles say 'vaccination of healthy cattle recommended.' A lot of times we don't take the time to read the small print on a vaccine la- bel. Almost every vaccine we can put in cattle carry a statement like this," Vander Ley said. In other areas of medicine, par- ticularly human and small animal, practitioners go to lengths to make sure vaccine recipients are healthy before giving a vaccine. "We don't do that for cattle because we vac- cinate or process cattle in mass. The question is, are they really healthy enough to receive it?" he asked. "Stress in transport, comin- gling, weaning, exposure to pathogens, physiological stress… do these cattle fit the definition of healthy animals?" Don't misunderstand – cattle ab- solutely need to be vaccinated. A sound vaccination protocol at the ranch is preferred when stress is at a minimum and cattle experience limited exposure. When vaccines are administered correctly, that scenario sets up the best immune response from the vaccination. "Let's consider our expectations o f a v a c c i n e . Va c c i n a t i o n i s i n preparation for the body dealing with an infection. It's like insur- ance. It's used as a tool for an in- fection a calf might encounter in the future," Vander Ley said. "But on arrival, the calf has already been exposed to a lot of pathogens, and then add stress." The question then becomes is an animal, on arrival, too stressed for the vaccine to work to its poten- tial? Vaccines need time to build an immune response, and if adminis- tered during a stressful time, is the immune response adequate? Van- der Ley said the assumption is vac- cination is, at worst, the loss of dol- lars used to purchase the vaccine. A study conducted at the Uni- versity of Arkansas looked at on- arrival vaccination and vaccination delayed until 14 days after arrival on 528 highly comingled, high risk calves. No metaphylaxis was ad- ministered. Average daily gain in the first 14 days in the delayed cat- tle was 1.16 pounds compared to 6 FEED•LOT  February 2018 In high risk calves, research shows delayed vaccination strategies could trigger an improved immune response with no increase in morbidity FEEDLOT FOCUS By JILL J. DUNKEL On-Arrival Vaccination vs Delayed Vaccination

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