Representatives from Novartis Animal Health were talking total herd health with dairy producers at World Dairy Expo this year, something that includes an effective vaccine protocol.
Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Doug Scholz says a good vaccine program helps manage the animals better. “Obviously, if animals are ill, they are not producing to their maximum potential and if we have diseases like respiratory diseases or scours in young calves, that’s an economic drain on the dairy,” he told me. “If we can put programs in place to prevent disease, it’s beneficial from the standpoint that we have lower treatment costs in those animals and they’ll perform better.”
Novartis’ Vira Shield is a vaccine that prevents a broad spectrum of respiratory and reproductive diseases of beef and dairy cattle that has been on the market for several years, but continually is being updated, according to Dr. Scholz. “Within the last 3-4 years, we’ve updated it with another BVD strain, with Lepto hardjo-bovis, and if we look 4 or 5 years down the road, we’ll make sure we keep that product current because the disease organisms we are fighting do change over time.”
Despite the economic situation that dairy producers have been facing the past couple of years, Dr. Scholz says producers are not trying to save money by cutting back on their animal health programs. “Most of the producers have really stayed current on their vaccine programs and realize that’s a cost that’s very difficult to cut because leaving their herd unprotected can have some pretty dire consequences.”
Listen to my interview with Doug from World Dairy Expo here. Doug Scholz Interview