6.02 - Cattle disease vaccines and strategies

Note: The information contained in these pages is intended as a general guide only. Always obtain professional advice about your specific situation.

Disease Vaccinations Vaccination strategy
Clostridial vaccine
  • Tetanus
  • Black leg
  • Black disease
  • Malignant oedema
  • Pulpy kidney
  • Ultravac 5 in 1™
  • Websters 5 in 1 vaccine for cattle and sheep™
  • Websters 5 in 1 vaccine with vitamin B12 for cattle and sheep™
  • Websters low volume 5 in 1 vaccine for cattle and sheep™
  • Tasvax 5 in 1™
  • Tasvax 8 in 1™ which include additional strains of C. perfrinengens and C. haemolyticum
For maximum protection of young calves:
  • vaccinate cow 2–6 weeks before calving.
For protection of calves from unvaccinated cows:
  • vaccinate early and a booster 4–8 weeks later.
For protection of calves from vaccinated cows:
  • vaccinate calves at 6–8 months and booster 4–8 weeks later.
For older stock:
  • give an annual booster timed before high-risk period, or more frequently in high-risk situations, such as grain feeding in drought.
For new stock:
  • implement vaccination procedures as for normal stock. If history of vaccination known, implement herd program. If vaccination history not known, give a sensitising dose then booster 4–8 weeks later.
With all clostridial disease, consider the local risk based on previous local district history and if available property history. Intensification is likely to increase risk of clostridial diseases, such as blackleg or pulpy kidney.

 Clostridial vaccine

  • Botulism
  • Ultravac Botulinum Vaccine
  • Singvac 3 Year single shot bivalent botulinum vaccine for cattle
  • Longrange botulinum vaccine
  • Websters low volume bivalent botulinum vaccine for sheep and cattle
  • Singvac 1 Year single shot bivalent botulinum vaccine for cattle
  • Botulinum vaccine bivalent
  • Websters bivalent botulinum vaccine for sheep and cattle

 For maximum protection, follow these guidelines:
  • Especially on properties where deaths due to Botulism have occurred in the past, animals ought to be vaccinated.
  • The standard routine is for a first vaccination (at any age), followed by a booster after 4 – 6 weeks and then once a year.
  • SingVac 3 requires the follow-up booster only once every 3 years.
Vibriosis Vibriovax™ For bulls:
  • Initially two doses at least 4 weeks apart when bulls first introduced onto property and then an annual booster.
For females:
  • Not routinely, use only if presence of infection confirmed by your veterinarian.
  • Cattlevax LC 7 in 1™
  • Leptoshield™
  • Leptovax™
  • Ultravac 7 in 1™
  • Websters Clepto-7™
For calves:
  • give a priming dose administered at a minimum of 4 weeks of age
  • give a booster dose 4–6 weeks later.
For older stock:
  • give an annual booster timed prior to season of greatest risk (eg when conditions are wet), or cows 4–6 weeks before calving.
For new stock:
  • consider risk of introducing infection. Implement herd vaccination program if new stock have previously been vaccinated. If history not known, give a priming dose then a booster 4–6 weeks later.
Leptospirosis vaccine is usually given with clostridial vaccines.
Mucosal disease (bovine pestivirus or BVDV, bovine viral diarrhoea virus) Pestigard Vaccine™ For bulls:
  • give two doses 4–6 weeks apart with annual boosters thereafter. Must be given before breeding. 
  • For females:
  • give two doses 4–>6 weeks apart with annual boosters thereafter. Must be given before breeding for foetal protection to occur.
  • identify persistently infected cattle in conjunction with your veterinarian and remove from herd.
Minimise risk of exposure (avoid exposing breeding herd to outside cattle – see Procedure 4 for guidelines for preventing the introduction of infectious diseases). Also used in some cattle feedlots to minimise respiratory disease.
Pinkeye Coopers Piliguard™ For calves:
  • At risk calves should be vaccinated with a single dose of vaccine (Pilliguard™) about four weeks prior to the onset of conditions conducive to the spread and development of disease with the onset of warm dusty conditions where calves are likely to be in close contact.
  • avoid close contact of young calves, especially in hot dusty conditions with intensive feeding in the face of an outbreak. Quarantine mobs with active pinkeye from mobs with no pinkeye.
  • control fly activity when intensive feeding such as in drought or with yard weaning when spread is more likely.
Treat cattle affected with pinkeye to speed recovery time and reduce animal discomfort.

Other vaccines less commonly used or used in special circumstances include Bovilus S™ for salmonellosis, Bovilus E for E. coli K99™ strain for neonatal calf diarrhoea, Bovilus MH™ for Mannheimia haemolytica and Bovilus MH+IBR™ mostly used in feedlots, a variety of botulism vaccines mostly used in northern Australia and vaccines for ephemeral fever and anthrax.

Important considerations when vaccinating cattle:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Store and handle vaccines correctly to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine is not reduced.
  • Carefully adhere to safety precautions for workers handling vaccines and associated equipment.
  • Dispose of used equipment safely, avoiding environmental contamination.
  • To optimise the immunity gained ensure animals are in good health.
  • Full protection does not occur until up to four weeks after the initial doses of the vaccine.