Why do we need to vaccinate ewes pre-lambing?
Pre-lamb vaccination of ewes with Ultravac 5 in 1 is a very wise investment.
The main 5 clostridial diseases are tetanus, pulpy kidney (enterotoxaemia), black leg, black disease and malignant oedema. These are a constant threat to all sheep and cattle. Clostridial spores can last in the soil for decades and are found through all soil types. Often the first sign of disease is sudden death of large numbers of animals, and usually the best grown animals are affected.
The only effective form of prevention is vaccination; all ewes should receive 2 doses 4-6 weeks apart as a young animal and this is then followed by an annual booster within 2-4 weeks of lambing. This will provide good colostral antibodies which will protect the lamb for up to 12 weeks. We recommend all lambs receive a 5 in 1 vaccination at tailing with a booster 4-6 weeks later to minimize the time between the waning of maternal antibody protection and the development of the lambs own immune response.
Here at VetCare Kaikoura we feel that this is one area that we really want to focus on, as for a small investment the returns from fewer deaths are substantial.
The same program should be in place for beef cows – an annual booster a month pre-calving, which will maximize protection for the calf until it starts it’s own course at 1 – 3 months of age.
Which product to use?
There are a variety of products with which you can vaccinate with:
- Ultravac 5 in 1
- Ultravac 5 in 1 with Selenium
- Ultravac 6 in 1
- Covexin 10
Covexin 10 has 10 different antigens against clostridial diseases, as opposed to the 5 that is found in Ultravac 5 in 1. Covexin is ideal for properties that are having major unexplained losses.
Please call us at this clinic to discuss a vaccination programme for your farm.