I’m not even sure I’ll change my protocol after this. It obviously didn’t show up just this year, at my place.I vaccinate at around 3 months of age and would be shocked if we lost a calf to blackleg in those first few months of life. And yes, we have blackleg in our soil. We were late vaccinating some years ago and lost 6 or 7 calves.
opposite, it's wet. I hear either climate can cause it.Is it dry where you are? My vet told me its all over the ground and that when its dry and grass is grazed down, they can pick it up. We had one get it in a drought year right outside our windows. We were sitting eating lunch and saw a calf, too young really for the vaccine, fall down. We took it to the vet because it seemed really weird and came on fast. Vet did some major antibiotic infusions, shots, IV, oral..... he saved the calf and told us its very rare to save one but since we saw the calf as it was getting sick, that helped.....
One way to tell is the animal will have bubbles under the skin-best to give everyone in that pen a shot of penicillin. I had one die from it when I first started farming and that is what our vet did.Cruising for an internet beatdown here, but places like this are for people to learn.
I always vaccinate. Here's my normal protocol......When I get 2/3rd done calving, I give the first round. When I get done calving, I give those their second, and the late borns their first. Then, I catch em all again, worm again, and give the late borns their last dose.
Couple Saturdays ago, I worked the calves. Wasn't a blackleg shot in this town, and the vet closed at noon. (I know failure to plan ahead does not constitute an emergency) . I ordered some, and went ahead with everything else. Went with individual tetanus shots (I also know I should wait a couple weeks).
With the blackleg vaccine in my fridge, they start dropping. I've never lost one to blackleg, but I have my suspicions (take one to the lab). While waiting for results, I vaccinate. Personally never heard of 2 month old calves getting it, but that don't mean it won't happen.
Could I have managed the situation better? Was it avoidable? Takes a bunch of "ifs" to answer those questions. I know "if" frogs had pockets, they'd carry guns and shoot snakes. I do find great solice in that.
Pretty much every vaccine I've seen from 8 way to BVD says to give a booster annually, and you need to time it to where the calves are bred at the time to give passive immunity.I used to think that cows that had been properly vaccinated as calves were good for life. But... I've seen cows with good calfhood vaccination histories die with classic blackleg lesions ... and almost all were in an estrus synch program. Seen enough of them, that we started boostering adult cows in our herd every 3 years or so... it's cheap insurance.
Not all cases will have crepitance (bubbles) that you can feel under skin or in deep muscle tissues. I've posted a bunch that had lesions only in the heart or diaphragm. Even if you cut into big muscle masses in the limbs, you could miss the diagnosis... most will have lesions in big muscle masses - with the characteristic dry, red-black appearance and separation of muscle fibers by gas bubbles, with a characteristic 'rancid butter' smell... but not all... if you don't look at heart, diaphragm, tongue, on those, you may miss it.
Why do you think we see black leg in some, but not all, animals in the same program and the same environment ?It's everywhere. If you've never had a case... your time is coming, eventually.
Typically, we see it worst here (I live in the same county as Bigfoot) when it gets hot and dry, but heavy rains and temporary inundations may also increase exposure due to coating forages with silt/soil.
Was it a test?Back when i was 15, i saw my first dead calf. I had just started dating my now husband. When i got to his house, they had just found a big dead steer.. My husband worked for a vet and said it was blackleg. He showed me how to feel bubbles under the skin. I still remember that like it was yesterday.