Due to the record rainfall I would strongly encourage everyone to vaccinate for Clostridium. Most of you would know this as “black leg”, but it actually contains 6 other strains of the bacteria. Clostridial bacteria form spores so they can live a long time in the dirt. With the unprecedented increase in mud this year cattle are exposed to more Clostridial bacteria than ever before.
This vaccine is very cheap and protective. Cows and bulls need one dose a year in a normal year…this year I would recommend two doses. And calves need an initial dose, then a booster dose 3-4 weeks later. The calves should then have another dose before they are one year old.
Respiratory vaccines and dewormers are certainly very important too! I always encourage producers to try to understand why he/she vaccinated for certain diseases so that you can better protect your cattle. The take home message is Clostridium lives in the dirt; the vaccine is cheap, and the only clinical sign is typically death.
Prevention is the KEY!
The vaccine is available at your local veterinary office, Southern States and Tractor Supply Company stores. Keep wading in the mud, keep your chin up and keep your livestock protected.