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New Calves and Green Grass: That's Not All Spring is About

Pre-breeding vaccinations are a critical step this spring to prevent reproductive disease from hurting next year’s profits.

Cattle producers look forward to spring with arrival of a new calf crop, warmer temperatures, green grass and making plans for starting the cycle all over again. Part of that planning is getting the cowherd ready for the breeding season. According to Dr. Joe Campbell, Professional Services Veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., pre-breeding preparations, including vaccination with products like Express® FP and TrichGuard®, are critical to getting the best performance from the cowherd.

Disease risk not only affects the dam, but also the developing fetus. “Proper vaccination of the cow pre-breeding maximizes the level of immunity of the cow and her soon-to-be-developing fetus better than any other time in the cycle,” he says.

For replacement heifers, initial vaccinations need to start six to eight weeks prior to the start of breeding with a dose that covers modified-live virals, leptospirosis, campylobacter (vibrio) and trichomoniasis. Boosters, when needed, can be given two to four weeks later, which would be approximately 30 days prior to breeding.

If the cowherd is already on a modified-live viral vaccination program, then cows should be vaccinated approximately 30 days prior to breeding. If a producer is beginning a vaccination program for the first time in a cowherd, he or she should follow the same protocol as for the heifers, with initial vaccinations six to eight weeks prior to the breeding season, followed by a booster two to four weeks later.

When you are considering which vaccines to incorporate into your pre-breeding protocol, Dr. Campbell recommends using both TrichGuard, the only vaccine available to reduce the damaging effects of trichomoniasis, and the Express FP family of vaccines. The expanded Express FP labels being introduced this spring offer 12-month duration-of-immunity protection against persistently infected calves caused by BVD Types 1 and 2 and against BVD abortions, as well as aid in prevention of abortion due to IBR virus.

“Taking the time to put together a good health program and putting it into practice at the right time can result in greater returns and protect your investment of both time and money,” Dr. Campbell concludes.

To learn more about Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.’s new approach to cattle health, Prevention Works, visit For more information on TrichGuard and Express FP products, contact your herd veterinarian, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. representative or visit

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