Reader Asks: Should You Vaccinate during Breeding Season?

Published on: 11:51AM May 28, 2010

By Dan Goehl, DVM

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A reader asks:

Would you recommend vaccinating cattle when the breeding season has been going on for approximately two months?

Dan's response:

Vaccinating two months into the breeding system is not the ideal time for vaccination, in my mind. If this is the only option for vaccine, then it can be worked with. 

Ideally, we would like to vaccinate the cows a few weeks prior to breeding. I like to vaccinate the calves at this time also. 

By administering the vaccine at this time, we can use modified live vaccine without any concerns for adverse events. Some modified live vaccines are labeled for administration during pregnancy but only if the cows have had the vaccine previously according to label. If the cows have not had modified live previously, killed vaccine can be given safely to the pregnant cows. 

I would probably not handle the cows for the sole reason of vaccinating them at 60 days into your breeding season. At this point, I would wait until you pregnancy check and vaccinate at that time.

Dan Goehl, DVM, and his wife own and operate Canton Veterinary Clinic in Canton, Mo., where Dan works primarily with stocker and cow-calf beef operations. Dan is also partner in Professional Beef Services, LLC, which offers herd consultation and helps in data management and marketing of beef cattle.

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