HROC (agency) - Kubota
Farminguk
30 September 2016 | Online since 2003
Less co2 Limited


17 January 2013 15:38:14 |Animal Health,Cattle,News

Farmers 'underestimating' cost of calf pneumonia


Many farmers may be underestimated the true cost of calf pneumonia and failing to take appropriate steps to stop the disease according to Merial's veterinary advisor Fiona MacGillivray.
"Estimates of the costs vary between £43 and £84 per affected calf" she said.
"It is not just the cost of treatment, although this can account for around 40 per cent of the costs."
"However, a further 40 per cent is accounted for by the loss of production. With costs on this scale, it is more important than ever that everything possible is done to try to prevent the onset of calf pneumonia."
If calf pneumonia is severe, or left untreated, it can result in permanent damage to the lung function of the animal.
Even if the calf ‘recovers’, it can be left stunted with poor growth rates and it usually remains susceptible to infection.
Calf pneumonia is one of the primary diseases affecting young cattle. It is often a group problem, and particularly affects housed calves.
"There are a number of factors involved; these include the interaction of various infectious organisms, the level of immunity of the calf, and environmental factors" MacGillivray said.
Action to ensure that calves are not vulnerable to pneumonia starts when they are born.
Good colostrum intake is essential, as it is full of antibodies from the dam that help to provide the calf with immunity. Calves should receive good quality colostrum within the first six hours after birth.
Good housing management is also critical to pneumonia prevention. Ventilation should be sufficient and appropriate to all weather conditions to ensure good air flow through the building. This helps to prevent the build-up of ammonia, which can be an irritant, and stops the natural defence systems in the upper respiratory tract working properly. However, draughts should be prevented as they can also make calves prone to disease.
Regular cleaning and good hygiene will ensure that bedding and floors remain dry, and infectious organisms are less likely to survive and multiply. It is also important to ensure that drainage is kept clear.
Practices that can increase the likelihood of calf pneumonia occurring are overstocking and mixing animals of different ages.
"There is only so much air in a building, and if there are too many cattle in a small space the air can become warm and moist, making it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses."
"Generally older animals are more likely to have had the chance to develop immunity to circulating pneumonia pathogens yet can still act as a source of infection to younger cattle, which have not yet had the chance to build up immunity. Younger animals may also be stressed when introduced into a group of older animals, so they can be more likely to succumb to disease."
A case study published recently by UK Vet2 highlighted exactly these issues: key factors include high numbers of cattle calving in one place, calves kept too long in pens, and sick animals kept in calving pens, as likely causes of an outbreak of pneumonia.
The author also emphasised the importance of proper ventilation and good quality colostrum.
Fiona MacGillivray says: "Where antibiotic treatment is required, it is important that it starts to work quickly, and lasts long enough to ensure that damaged lung tissue is protected against re- infection during the time taken to repair, thus preventing the need for repeated handling."
The UK Vet case study says that "The single most important factor determining the success of therapy in calves with pneumonia is early onset of treatment and subsequent adequate duration of treatment."
"Early and effective treatment of calves is essential to reduce spread of infection. It also minimises the possibility of long term pulmonary damage and chronic pneumonia."

Download

1 Comment

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments


USA | 30 September 2016
Toolbox unveiled to help preserve agriculture in Utah County

Rex Larsen, a fifth-generation Utah County farmer, is facing issues that the previous generations didn’t have to worry about, namely, rapid urban development encroaching on farmland. His farm, he s...


China | 30 September 2016
Will big agriculture mergers impact smallholder farmers?

A tsunami-sized wave of corporate megamergers sweeping the agrochemical industry has the potential to reshape the landscape of global farming and food production. If approved, the multibillion doll...


USA | 30 September 2016
Morris farm works to rebound after beef recall

A Connecticut farm in the middle of a beef recall is giving refunds, and fighting to guarantee its reputation. Truelove Farms had one steer sent off to Adams Farm in Massachusetts in late July for ...


USA | 30 September 2016
Small dairy farm wins with robotic milking

Old English cheese recipes and high-tech production put Kenton County farmer on the menu. On a rainy day, Eddie Gibson sits outside his dairy barn near Walton looking out at his 130-acre farm. Surr...


Canada | 30 September 2016
Schumer continues push against harmful Canadian dairy rules

A push against Canadian protectionism harming O-AT-KA Milk and dairy entities has reached federa Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday that...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Farm subsidy payments funded by the UK taxpayer are being paid to millionai...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Labour will end the badger cull and prioritise ending bovine TB, Shadow Def...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A herd of rare White Park cattle could die out if its owners do not urgentl...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The UK government is "failing" to support farmers in the long-term accordin...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Retailer Co-op has announced that from May 2017 all of its bacon and lamb w...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Over 50 wildlife organisations have compiled a stock-take of all the UK's n...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

In the run up to the EU farm ministers meeting the agricultural sector have...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The RPA must iron out a number of problems that still exist with 2015 BPS p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Tourism businesses in the countryside are being held back due to the uncert...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A 24 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland's sheep sector after ...


closeicon
Username
Password