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Pre-weaning Pneumonia in South Dakota Beef Herd: A Persistent Problem, Suddenly Gone

Updated June 10, 2020
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Russ Daly

Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian

Written collaboratively by: Russ Daly, DVM, MS, DACVPM and Jacob Geis, DVM

This case report describes a southeastern South Dakota cow-calf herd’s experiences with pre-weaning pneumonia. Unlike many beef herds that experience pneumonia in calves on pasture, this herd’s problems were consistent year after year: widespread calf illness was documented in each of 6 consecutive summers. Anecdotally at least, the occurrence of pre-weaning pneumonia in beef herds is more likely to be sporadic and unpredictable from year to year. This herd’s persistent problems were followed by a year in which, after a change in calf vaccination protocol (informed by herd diagnostics), very little pre-weaning pneumonia was observed.