Why do we vaccinate our cows?

Vaccinating a cow

In one simple statement, we vaccinate our cattle to prevent disease.


But let me elaborate…


Many diseases that cattle can contract can have the potential to wipe out an entire herd if left undiagnosed.  Not only that, but treating diseases are costly and time consuming.


With most cattle diseases, animals sometimes show symptoms.  Sometimes when the symptoms appear, it may be too late and a few will get very sick and die before you even know there is a serious problem.


Many times a veterinarian is needed to be called to the farm to help get an exact diagnosis of what the producer is dealing with in their cattle herd.  The veterinarian will conduct a post mortem on a recently dead animal and submit pathology tests to a lab.  It usually takes a few days to get lab results back.  In the meantime, more animals could be lost if the disease is really severe.  All of this comes at a cost to the producer.


Once the lab results are in, the veterinarian will recommend a course of medication.  The number of animals dosed depends what the producer is dealing with.  Doctoring sick animals takes time and some medications to treat sick animals are not cheap.


As the old saying goes: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Stay tuned as next I will discuss what diseases we vaccinate our cattle for!