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A Survey of Recommended Practices Made By Veterinary Practitioners to Cow-Calf Operationsin the U.S. & Canada

Veterinary practitioners provide constant advice and recommendations to beef cow-calf operations across the United States and Canada regarding health, well-being, and production practices to gain satisfactory health status and optimum herd performance. Practicing veterinarians (n = 148) who service commercial beef cow-calf herds responded to a survey describing general recommendations made to their clients in terms of vaccine protocol, health, and production practices. Responding veterinarians represented 35 states in the United States and 3 provinces in Canada. More than 50% of responding veterinarians devote over 50% of their practice to service commercial cow-calf producers. The largest group (33%) of veterinarians have been in practice for over 30 years. Thirty-nine percent of responding veterinarians serviced more than 10,000 cows. Responses included:

  • Genetic advice is provided by 54% of practicing veterinarians.
  • When vaccinating at branding, the most common recommended vaccines are clostridial (96%), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR; 94%), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV; 91%), parainfluenza-3 (PI-3; 90%), and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) Types 1 and 2 (78 and 77%, respectively).
  • When vaccinating before weaning, the most common recommended vaccines are IBR (99%), BRSV (98%), BVD Types 1 and 2 (96%), PI-3 (93%), clostridial (77%), and Mannheimia haemolytica (77%).
  • When vaccinating after weaning, the most common recommended vaccines are BVD Type 2 (97%), IBR (97%), BVD Type 1 (96%), BRSV (96%), and PI-3 (91%).
  • Over 60% of responding veterinarians recommended that the last preventative vaccine should be administered to cattle 7 to 21 d before shipping.
  • The largest number of respondents (38%) recommended that the earliest age their clients should wean their calves is 90 to 120 days.
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