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Vet Cows Carlisle

Bleeding calf syndrome

Bleeding Calf Syndrome, now also called BNP, was first recognised in the United Kingdom in May 2009. The disease is far from fully understood though research is on-going.

Pfizer’s Pregsure vaccine was withdrawn from sale in September 2010 in connection with the disease but a definite link remains to be proven.

Two other vaccines are still available to help control BVD infection, both of which have been used for years and are believed to be safe.

There is evidence from Germany, where the disease has been recognised for longer than in the UK, that cows producing an affected calf may produce others at subsequent calvings. It is thought that to prevent subsequent cases calves must be removed from their dams before they have taken colostrum. They should be fed colostrum from another cow, ideally from a farm that has not had cases of ‘bleeding calf’.

In the case of sucker herds there is no absolute evidence as to how long calves should be kept off their dam, but the condition appears to be linked to colostrum, so allowing them back with their mothers once the colostrum has gone should be safe.

The VLA no longer preform free post-mortems for suspect cases of bleeding calf syndrome.