Dead Cow

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Well-known member
Dec 4, 2006
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Central MS
Not sure what is going on....Several years ago, I'm talking maybe 15, all we ever did with our cattle was to worm them and blackleg. Never had any problems.
Now we are in a program to sell our calves that requires certain health requirements. Now we use live vaccines, along with blackleg, wormer, etc.
Problem is since we have been vaccinating like this, we are having more problems than ever before. We worked them 3 weeks ago, and right after, I noticed one of the calves wasn't looking too good, then another one didn't look good, and then we found a very healthy cow dead. I told this to another farmer that is in our program, and he is having the same problem, after comparing what was going on in our herds, we have come to the conclusion that it must be something to do with the live vaccine.
We had the same thing last year after we worked them.

Has anyone else had any problems with using the modified live?

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2004
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Central Upstate New York
Are you vaccinating the cows PRIOR to breeding than vaccinating the calves while nursing?
I've been using MLV for maybe 15+ years. Never had a problem. Calves may be a little "off" for a day or two, but that's all. Only notice it on the show calves, because they are up & being hand fed each year - and they might not clean up feed as well as normal.
Cow dieing - can't see how the vaccine affected that unless she had a reaction - but that would be right away I would think.
The main problem with vaccinating suckling calves, is if the cows aren't vaccinated properly, you could abort the cow.


Well-known member
Apr 6, 2007
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Manitoba, Canada
If you can, I would get the dead animals, and sick ones tested for BVD. ML have the possibility of bringing the disease out if it is in your herd. If you do the cows pre breeding properly the calves should be protected from the dams chances of having the disease. It would be good to know if the sick calves came from the same cows that were sick, or if the sick calves this year are from the same cows as the previous a trace back

Properly is...
...keeping the vaccine out of light
...mixing and using within a short (1/2 hour) time frame
...keeping all the vaccines in a cooler with an ice pack until they are mixed
...when buying the vaccines storing in the fridge
...pre breeding your cows and bulls (at least 3 weeks)
...buying bulls which have been on the program
...boostering the cows when required, the first year

I would also get the vet involved, and possible test the herd for BVB, IBR, etc. You might have a PI cow that is shedding the viruses. When the PI cow shedds the virus, out of every opening in the body, it increases the chance of a non protected animal getting it. When working animals, stressing them out, the virus exponentially increases, stressing all animals. Since it takes about three weeks for the antibodies to build, the virus increases the stress on the system of the animal before full protection is obtained

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