Black Leg

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Bonsman

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I am getting ready to move some cows/calves and heifers into a pasture I recently purchased. I was informed that the previous owner had two or three cows die about six months ago. He sold his herd shortly after their deaths. There has not been any cattle on the property since November. They do not know why the cows died; but they suspect black leg. We have not had any rain, none, nada, not a drop since he sold his cattle. My cows have had all their shots; the spring calves have not had any shots.

If his cows had black leg, does anybody know how if it will stay in the pastures? If so, does anybody know how long? I really need the grass; but I am now scared to move anything in the pasture until I figure out why his cows died and what I can do to protect my animals. Given we do not know exactly why the animals died, does anybody have any suggestions that would help me protect my animals before I move them to the new land? Should I wait on a good rain?

I am at a loss and very concerned, any help is greatly appreciated.












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kenny thomas

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We do have it here and I have been told by most vets that it will stay in the ground for 18-20 years. Very effective and cheap to vaccinate for though.
 

KNERSIE

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Make sure you cover all the clostridial strains possible, give boosters 4 weeks later if any strains are vaccinated against for the first time. Make sure botulism and anthrax vacs are up to date and then there isn't much more you can do. If it was mature cows 3 and older the chances of blackleg is slim to none.
 

Lucky_P

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Hmm. Don't know where the response I wrote early this morning went.

The Clostridium organisms that cause the Blackleg/Malignant Edema complex of diseases are ubiquitous(they're EVERYWHERE - and, yes, Jeanne, they are present in NY) spore-forming organisms that can remain dormant and viable in the soil for years, decades - possibly even centuries - on a premises.

The bacterins produced for vaccination against the clostridial organisms are about as close to 100% effective as any vaccine ever produced for man or beast, if administered correctly, and they are very inexpensive. Producers who do not vaccinate against the clostridial diseases are 'rolling the dice' - they may get away without any losses for years, but eventually, the odds will catch up with them - and for most producers, the loss of one calf to blackleg will cost more than all the clostridial bacterin you might have purchased in a lifetime. And, unfortunately, in most cases, when there's an 'outbreak' in an unvaccinated herd, you don't come away with just one dead calf. Most of the time, when I diagnose blackleg, the producer has already lost 3, 4, 6 or more animals over a few day's time - and losses may continue for 10-14 days or more after the producer begins a vaccination program in the face of an outbreak.
When I was a kid, my dad & uncle never vaccinated; but, one year, we lost over half the entire calf crop to blackleg one year - and we never skipped vaccinating after that - it was too costly.

I used to be of the opinion that if a calf had received at least one dose of clostridial bacterin after they were 3-4 months of age, that they were protected for life. But, I've subsequently seen enough cases of blackleg in adult cows that had reliable histories of having been properly vaccinated as calves, that I routinely 'booster' the clostridial bacterins on my adult cowherd every 3 years or so. It's just good, cheap 'insurance'. It's unusual to see blackleg in adult animals, but it does occur.
 

hillbillycwo

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Our VET also recommended we vaccinate our cows against blackleg. I did them and the calves and then did them again 4 weeks later. Cheap insurance.
 
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Bonsman

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The answers to my OP are why I really like this board. All my animals get a blackleg shot at weaning; but no boosters as adult cows or bulls. Now, however, I am going to change and follow the three-year booster program. It makes sense to me. I have never lost an animal to blackleg and I am not going to start now. That is also good information about the time it spends in the ground. I had heard 6-12 months which is obviously wrong. I will give shots and wait two weeks before I move any animals to the newly purchased land. As stated, it is very cheap insurance.

Thanks everyone.
 

jcarkie

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where i live now one of my neighbors said there is tetnus and blackleg here. i vaccinate and i have never had a problem. i give my bred cows a shot of 7way when i work them,and then do the calves at 3 months. i had a case of tetnus from a callicrate banded calf(600 lbs) that only had a 7 way when he was banded not my doing. i believe in vaccinations on a regular basis.
 

kenny thomas

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Bonsman":19erbxoz said:
The answers to my OP are why I really like this board. All my animals get a blackleg shot at weaning; but no boosters as adult cows or bulls. Now, however, I am going to change and follow the three-year booster program. It makes sense to me. I have never lost an animal to blackleg and I am not going to start now. That is also good information about the time it spends in the ground. I had heard 6-12 months which is obviously wrong. I will give shots and wait two weeks before I move any animals to the newly purchased land. As stated, it is very cheap insurance.

Thanks everyone.

I would not wait until weaning either for the calves. I started last year giving the cows a 7-way. My plan is to give it to the cows every 2 years now. I had never given any before to anything over about 2 1/2 years old. Cheap prevention and there are some other things in there that could help transfer some immumity to the calf when it is born.
 

dun

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kenny thomas":1cukdjsf said:
My plan is to give it to the cows every 2 years now. I had never given any before to anything over about 2 1/2 years old. Cheap prevention and there are some other things in there that could help transfer some immumity to the calf when it is born.
That's what we do. All the calves get their shot and booster at weaning then the retained heifers/bulls and freezer steeer get it again in the spring.
 
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Bonsman

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kenny thomas":2sgbdzup said:
Bonsman":2sgbdzup said:
The answers to my OP are why I really like this board. All my animals get a blackleg shot at weaning; but no boosters as adult cows or bulls. Now, however, I am going to change and follow the three-year booster program. It makes sense to me. I have never lost an animal to blackleg and I am not going to start now. That is also good information about the time it spends in the ground. I had heard 6-12 months which is obviously wrong. I will give shots and wait two weeks before I move any animals to the newly purchased land. As stated, it is very cheap insurance.

Thanks everyone.

I would not wait until weaning either for the calves. I started last year giving the cows a 7-way. My plan is to give it to the cows every 2 years now. I had never given any before to anything over about 2 1/2 years old. Cheap prevention and there are some other things in there that could help transfer some immumity to the calf when it is born.


Kenny,

At what age do you first give your calves shots?

After considering all the post on this topic I am changing my future practices with respect to the cows and calves. In the past I only gave the 7-way one time. I have not had any problems, yet. That said, I am opting for the cheap prevention method going forwards.

I need to completely re-think my vaccination program--or lack thereof.
 

dun

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Bonsman":3u4j2fl4 said:
kenny thomas":3u4j2fl4 said:
Bonsman":3u4j2fl4 said:
The answers to my OP are why I really like this board. All my animals get a blackleg shot at weaning; but no boosters as adult cows or bulls. Now, however, I am going to change and follow the three-year booster program. It makes sense to me. I have never lost an animal to blackleg and I am not going to start now. That is also good information about the time it spends in the ground. I had heard 6-12 months which is obviously wrong. I will give shots and wait two weeks before I move any animals to the newly purchased land. As stated, it is very cheap insurance.

Thanks everyone.

I would not wait until weaning either for the calves. I started last year giving the cows a 7-way. My plan is to give it to the cows every 2 years now. I had never given any before to anything over about 2 1/2 years old. Cheap prevention and there are some other things in there that could help transfer some immumity to the calf when it is born.


Kenny,

At what age do you first give your calves shots?

After considering all the post on this topic I am changing my future practices with respect to the cows and calves. In the past I only gave the 7-way one time. I have not had any problems, yet. That said, I am opting for the cheap prevention method going forwards.

I need to completely re-think my vaccination program--or lack thereof.
Not Kenny, but...........
Our little calves get one shot of blackleg at spring workup @ a week to a month or so of age. Then they get another shot at weaning with a booster a couple of weeks later. Anything that stays on the place past weaning will get another shot in the spring as a yealring. Cows will also get one every other year. This is the program that our vet recommended. We've never had blackleg but the putz that owned the place before did in dairy heifers (a lot). The vet came up with this plan after having a blackleg problem with another herd for a ocuple of years running. After they implimented this program they have had none. Could be like the elephant repellent, but we'll stick with it.
 

kenny thomas

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I do as Dun says. Most of mine will be at 1-2 months at first working and then at weaning and again at turnout the next spring if I keep them. I have three farms leased that have had blackleg in the past and found out about one of them the hard way. Only lost one calf but that was enough. Don't take any chances now.
 

pdfangus

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Kenny Thomas Wrote
I would not wait until weaning either for the calves. I started last year giving the cows a 7-way. My plan is to give it to the cows every 2 years now. I had never given any before to anything over about 2 1/2 years old. Cheap prevention and there are some other things in there that could help transfer some immumity to the calf when it is born.

I would urge you to consider some reproductive vaccines annually as well.
I give 5 way lepto, IBR, BVD and PI 3 to every animal twice a year.
I give it in the fall prebreeding becasue that is the way we did it in the old days.
lately I do the cows again when we preg check and when we do the calves in the spring. (I fall calve)
I also have just started boostering the 7 way on older animals.
 

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