What’s hiding in your herd? On many beef operations, Lepto hardjo-bovis (LHB) — a primary cause of bovine leptospirosis in U.S. cow herds and a leading contributor to reproductive loss — could be quietly harming cattle and costing producers.
Cattle infected with LHB typically appear clinically normal but can shed the bacteria for months or years, putting the entire herd at risk for poor reproductive performance, early embryonic death, delayed breeding, abortions, weak or stillborn calves and unexplained infertility.2,3 Early abortions may precede pregnancy checking and be wrongly identified, leaving producers unaware of an underlying disease problem.
“There are often no obvious clinical signs for LHB infection — only decreased fertility and early embryonic death. This is what makes it so difficult to detect,” says Rich Linhart, DVM, DACT, Cattle and Equine Technical Services, Pfizer Animal Health.
The only way to help ensure a herd, and the producer’s bottom line, is protected against LHB is to utilize a complete reproductive vaccine that provides protection where it matters most — the reproductive tract. For this, producers can look to the only viral combination vaccine, BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP® 5 VL5 HB, which helps:
- Prevent establishment of LHB in the reproductive tract.
- Provide 365 days of superior protection against Lepto hardjo-bovis infections in the kidneys and shedding in the urine.
- Prevent abortions caused by infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) Types 1 and 2 persistent infections (PI) for at least 365 days.
- Prevent Campylobacter fetus (vibriosis), parainfluenza type 3 (PI3) virus and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV).
No other vaccines carry the “prevention of infection” label claim for Lepto hardjo-bovis — the highest label claim available, Dr. Linhart adds. And, BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP 5 VL5 HB is fully supported by a Fetal Protection Guarantee for BVD PI-free calves and IBR abortion.
“To help prevent LHB infection, the best time to vaccinate is early in the calf’s life,” Dr. Linhart says. “In addition to vaccinating cows, all heifers should also be vaccinated as young as possible to help prevent infection before they can pass it on to their herdmates.”
Additionally, Dr. Linhart recommends annual vaccination against LHB. According to the product’s label directions, once cattle receive their initial vaccination series, generally the preferred time to administer annual vaccinations is four to six weeks prior to breeding.
“It’s important that producers follow all label directions and indications because vaccines can’t perform as expected if the timing of these vaccinations is off,” Dr. Linhart says. “Also, cattle need to be provided with proper nutrition in order for the vaccine to be most effective.”
Producers should work with their veterinarian to develop a reproductive vaccine program that will provide optimal results desired for their operation.
“Input and cattle prices are at all-time highs, so producers can’t afford to risk losing even one calf to this preventable disease,” Dr. Linhart says. “Lepto hardjo-bovis can negatively impact the fertility of the herd, and therefore, producers should take every precaution to help reduce the threat — starting with a complete reproductive vaccination program.”