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Lungworm Vaccine In Replacement Heifers

16 March 2017

Timing of lungworm can be unpredictable so it is difficult to know when to target worming treatments.  If outbreaks are not caught early, significant lung damage and secondary bacterial infection can occur and deaths are not uncommon.  In surviving animals lung damage can reduce productivity and may predispose the future episodes of pneumonia.


Vaccination is an effective way to reduce the risk of lungworm particularly for heifer replacements to ensure they make it into the adult herd without damage to their lungs.  2 doses of the vaccine should be given 4 weeks apart and the course completed at least 2 weeks prior to turnout.  Where there is insufficient time to vaccinate replacements as young calves eg they are turned out as soon as possible post calving another option is to vaccinate them a year later prior to being turned out to grass for their second summer.  This is likely to be an extremely cost effective option to help ensure a long, profitable herd life.  It is certainly worth a discussion with your local vet to get their thoughts.

Katrina Henderson,

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