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Goodbye Summer….Hello Fall

Cow calf pair

As we finish the next few days of summer, and we head into fall I wanted to discuss Colostrum and the mode of various transmitted diseases/pathogens.

There are 5 ways of transmission: Lets touch on these ways briefly.




Mycoplasma Bovis

Infectious Mastitis

Lets break this down with some added bullet points.

JOHNES: Calves most susceptible to infection
Clinical signs will not appear for 2-5 years (they can be shedding anytime)
 ’96, at least 22% of all dairy herds are infected
Estimated cost to a heavily infected herd (>10% or greater of cull cows show clinical signs) $23,000. due to lost milk production & replacement cost

SALMONELLA: Severe scour, potentially fatal
Estimated that at least 28% of dairy herds have 1 or more cows shedding the organism at any one time.

BVD: Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD)
If exposed in utero, the calf may be persistently infected (PI)
Causes malignant lymphoma in 1.5% of infected cattle & is invariably deadly.

MYCOPLASMA BOVIS: Leads to pneumonia, swollen joints, Inner ear infections, can be just one or can show signs of all these symptoms. This one is not a fun event by any means

INFECTIOUS MASTITIS: from mycoplasma, staph aureus or strep ag
Heifers can freshen with mastitis, potential for lost milk production.

The easiest way to avoid any or all these diseases or pathogens is to maintain a healthy herd of mature cows. Making sure that they are vaccinated appropriating for events on your farm. The other way to avoid transmission is cleanliness. One of the 5C’s of raising calves. This starts with a clean udder at freshening and moving through the harvesting of clean colostrum and pasteurizing colostrum to decrease any potential harmful organism in the colostrum.

Let’s step up our game to HIT a HOME RUN on achieving clean colostrum to our newborn calves!

Minnie Ward


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