Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has launched a new cattle andsheep vaccine giving vets an additional opportunity to prescribe thebroadest protection against clostridial diseases.

Bravoxin 10 is reported to be a highly effective, low dose clostridial vaccine containing antigens for protection against C. perfringens type A, C.perfringens type B, C.perfringens type C, C.perfringens type D, C.novyi type B, C.septicum, C.tetani, C.sordellii, C.haemolyticum and C.chauvoei.

Vaccinating cattle Dosage volumes are 2ml for cattle and 1ml for sheep and the new vaccine can be used in animals from as young as two weeks old if the dam has not been previously vaccinated. A booster dose pre-calving or lambing will also deliver 8-12 weeks passive immunity in calves and lambs (apart from against C.haemolyticum).

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health ruminant veterinary adviser Rosemary Booth said that clostridial diseases continue to be responsible for a huge number of costly cattle and sheep losses on UK farms.

She said: “Clostridial bacteria take the lives of cattle and sheep on a regular basis and are the cause of a significant proportion of the sudden livestock deaths in this country. In 2007, an independent survey of over 500 UK dairy and beef farmers revealed that half the interviewees had experienced calves or adult cattle dying for no apparent reason. The reality is that many of these losses could have been due to clostridial diseases. Farmer respondents valued the livestock loss at anywhere between £505 and £1,243 per animal. Even at the lowest stock valuation, preventing the loss through broad-spectrum vaccination would pay for nearly five years of Bravoxin 10 use in a 100 cow herd.

“Now that additional clostridial pathogens such as C. sordellii and C. perfringens A have been recognised by the VLA and SAC as significant causes of deaths on both cattle and sheep farms, it makes sense to widen pathogen cover on some ruminant livestock units. Bravoxin 10 allows practitioners to prescribe the broadest possible disease protection.”

The sheep industry already understands the importance of broad-spectrum vaccination against clostridial diseases, but Iain Carrington from Intake Veterinary Services believes cattle producers should also upgrade their protection.

He said: “There was a time that clostridial disease control in cattle meant vaccinating your youngstock against blackleg at turnout, or discovering dead animals and then reacting with blackleg vaccine. But over the last few years, I have seen an increased incidence of different clostridial diseases in far from typical circumstances.

“There are also a large number of cattle deaths going undiagnosed and it is likely that many are caused by clostridial species. As a result, we are now advising many of our clients to take a broader-spectrum vaccination approach to ensure adequate protection – not only of the cows themselves – but also their calves through good colostral transfer.”

Bravoxin 10 is a prescription-only medicine (POM-V). For further information, contact the Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health Veterinary Support Group on 01908 685685.

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