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Vaccinating to Prevent Pneumonia

Clell V. Bagley DVM, Utah State University
Donald L. Synder Ph.D, Utah State University
Nyle J. Matthews MS, Utah State University


Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is a major problem for cattle and it continues to cause serious economic losses. Pneumonia is its most serious form. BRD causes increased death losses, higher medication and labor costs, and lost production. It occurs most commonly within a few weeks of weaning and is especially troublesome then. BRD is more serious in calves which are shipped long distances right after weaning and is often referred to as shipping fever. Many vaccine products and some vaccine programs have been advocated as THE way to prevent BRD. Vaccines can be of some help, but since BRD is caused by a wide variety of agents and vaccines are not even available for some of them, management must be used as the main preventive measure.