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Thanks to

Holly Jentsch

C & H Livestock
Quality Assurance and Vaccines
Source: http://danr.ucop.edu/uccelr/vet08.htm
      Fact Sheet No. 8:
      By John Maas, DVM, MS
      Diplomate, ACVN & ACVIM
      Extension Veterinarian
      School of Veterinary Medicine
      University of California-Davis


Introduction
For those beef cattle producers who have been certified by the California
Beef Cow/Calf Quality Assurance Program, the fact that vaccine selection and
vaccine use can have a major impact on animal health and carcass quality
comes as no surprise. There are two important categories of problems that
can occur subsequent to vaccine use:

  a.. the vaccine(s) fail to protect against disease (fail to create
adequate immunity to the disease),
  b.. and the vaccine(s) cause tissue damage at the injection site when
administered.
The failure to protect against disease results in animals that become ill
later and require treatment. Both the illness and the treatment are
expensive. Also, tissue damage can result from the drugs used for treatment
and this results in further losses and decreased carcass quality. Vaccines
can also result in tissue damage at the site of injection due to a number of
common reasons that are addressed below.

Cattle can fail to develop immunity and therefore not be protected against
disease for a number of common reasons:

Common Reasons for Vaccine Failure in Cattle
  a.. Time (not enough)
  b.. Malnutrition
  c.. Immune Status
  d.. Parasites
  e.. Vaccine Selection & Quality
  f.. Vaccine Handling
  g.. Stress
  Time:
  From the time an animal is vaccinated until the immune system begins to
protect the animal is a minimum of 2-3 weeks. This is the time required for
the cells of the immune system to produce the antibodies, other proteins,
and immune cells necessary to protect against the disease organism(s)
contained in the vaccine. Protection with some vaccines require a booster
vaccination and more time than 3 weeks, with some as much as 6 weeks before
the animals are protected. If the animals are exposed before adequate time
they will not be protected.
  Malnutrition:
  Animals on diets low in energy and/or protein that cause weight loss do
not respond normally to vaccines and will not develop immunity in a normal
manner. Also, a number of trace nutrients and vitamin deficiencies will
cause the cattles' immune system to be unable to respond to vaccines in a
normal manner. These nutrient deficiencies that damage the immune system
include copper, selenium, zinc, and vitamin E, to mention a few.
  Immune Status:
  The immune system of young animals, particularly calves less than 3 months
of age, is not fully developed and responses to vaccines can be less than
necessary. The antibodies that calves have from their mothers can interfere
with vaccination responses, also. Some viral infections, such as BVD virus
(Bovine Virus Diarrhea) alter the immune system and decrease the animal's
ability to respond to vaccines adequately. Also, parasites decrease the
immune function and parasite control is important for adequate immune
response.
  Vaccine Selection & Quality:
  Be sure vaccines selected for your cattle will give protection against
disease to which your cattle will be exposed. If Trichomoniasis or
Anaplasmosis are not problems in your herd, there is no need to vaccinate
against these agents. Use top quality vaccines to insure that your animals
will receive the level of protection they need. For example, the older
Pasteurella bacterins did not give good protection, while it is hoped that
the newer modified live Pasteurella vaccines that are given as intradermal
injections will be more effective. Talk at length with your veterinarian to
be sure that the vaccines selected for your cattle will be the ones that
really will do the job for you.
  Vaccine Handling:
  Shipping and storage of the vaccines to be used on your cattle should be
done to be sure that the products will be effective when administered.
Vaccines that arrive to you on a hot day in the summer without frozen ice
packs should be sent back. Heat, sunlight, and freezing destroys almost all
vaccines. Read the label and follow all instruction regarding storage,
mixing and handling of vaccines. Vaccines that are mishandled are not
effective and are a waste of time to administer. When using vaccines at the
chute, keep the vaccines out of the sun, refrigerated and prevent freezing
(winter). An insulated ice chest does very well in this regard and also
keeps the dust off the vaccine vials.
  Stress:
  Animals that are stressed (weaning, parasitism, shipping salesyards, etc)
simply do not handle vaccination well. Animals should be vaccinated prior to
stressful events or after they have had time to adjust to new conditions.
Stress is a relative phenomenon and your veterinarian can give you good
advise regarding the trade-offs between vaccinating newly arrived cattle and
waiting until they acclimate.
A number of procedures can result in tissue damage at the injection sight
when vaccines are given to cattle. Always be sure to read the label
carefully as each vaccine product requires different procedures to be used
effectively. Never mix different vaccine products in the same syringe. This
could inactivate both vaccines and cause tissue damage to the animals that
could lead to abscess formation. Try to use vaccine products that are
administered subcutaneously (sub-Q) instead of intramuscularly (IM). Some of
the modified live virus vaccines are given intranasally and where applicable
could be used in place of either a sub-Q vaccine or an IM vaccine. However,
never give a vaccine meant to go sub-Q or IM, intranasally as it will not be
effective. Keep all needles clean and use disinfectant and new needles as
needed. Do not use disinfectant when using modified live virus vaccines,
however.

Inject only into clean areas of the skin. If you drag dirt or manure into
the vaccine site it will cause an abscess or infection which will lead to
damage of the tissues. Be vary cautious about using vaccines in an off-label
or extra-label manner, these products have not been proven to be safe or
effective and tissue damage is more common with uses of this type. Be
particulary cautious of "autogenous" vaccines as they can be extremely
irritating to tissues and can associated with severe injection site
reactions.

Discuss any vaccine decisions with your veternarian to be sure that you are
using the most appropriate products for your herd and you are giving them in
the best possible manner to prevent injection site reactions. The
precautions discussed above are some of the more important common ones;
however, as you know, quality assurance really is a matter of paying
attention to all the details.

prepared and edited by John M. Harper and John Maas


 

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