MUGGY wet weather is causing pneumonia in housed stock across the country, says vet Tony Andrews.
"All regions have seen quite bad outbreaks." At the first sign of the disease contact your vet and establish what is triggering the outbreak to prevent further cases.
"Often, the main causes are poor ventilation, damp, overcrowding, not enough bedding and mixing cattle of different ages. Dampness and poor ventilation let bugs survive and spread between animals through aerosol and grooming.
"In the right conditions bugs will live for 15-30 minutes. So where an animal is infected separate it from the rest of the group to help it recover and provide it with undisturbed access to feed."
An early diagnosis as to what strain of pneumonia it is can allow effective vaccination in face of an outbreak, he advises.
Pfizer Animal Health says vaccination before housing may be cost effective. A recent company study shows the hidden costs from calf-pneumonia amount to £143.50 in reduced growth rates, which is 61% of the total costs of the outbreak.
But in some cases antibiotics will be needed to treat sick animals. Elanco Animal Health says using more expensive antibiotics will result in an 8-10% lower death rate and higher daily liveweight gains compared with oxytetracycline products. *