BVD CONSULT A New Tool for Managing a Challenging Disease
gt;gt; Maintaining and managing the health ofany type of herd animal can present some daunting challenges for producers and veterinarians,when considering diseases such as bovine viral diarrhea, or BVD, in cowcalf operations.Now, those trying to develop strategies to control BVD can rely on a new Internetbasedtool developed at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine called BVDCONSULT. This BVD management aid was created after Drs. Bob Larson and Brad White decidedthat there was need for the results of BVD research to be more accessible. gt;gt; DR. BOB LARSON: There's been a lot ofwork done on, about BVD itself. It's a virus,
we know a lot about the virus. We know aboutthe diseases that it can cause in cattle and we even know good ways to try to minimizethe impact of that disease in cattle herds. One of the struggles that we have is how doyou implement that in the different types of herd situations that you run into in thereal world. And so we wanted to develop a tool that takes a lot of the works that'sbeen done by scientists all over the world, really, and make that into a decision aidso that producers and their veterinarians can come up with the best specific protocolfor them. gt;gt; Drs. Larson and White worked with facultyfrom the University of Nebraska, Mississippi
State University and Auburn University anddeveloped a basic structure for the program. Envisioning the tool to mimic a conversationbetween a veterinarian and a client, KState veterinary graduate Sherri Merrill washired to help guide the development of the final program. gt;gt; DR. SHERRI MERRILL: It's set up as aseries of questions asking whether or not you have BVD in your herd and then it asksabout different management practices that you can use to either get rid of BVD if youhave it in your herd or keep it out if you don't have it in your herd. And then theproducer has to decide whether or not they
can implement that management practice orcontinue to do so if they've already been doing it. Then they just select, yes, I cando that, or no, I can not. And they'll receive a response based on that question. Then they'llreceive another, move on to the next recommended management practice. gt;gt; DR. BOB LARSON: It is very interactiveand the types of questions are exactly the types of questions that a veterinarian islikely to ask their client. Such as, what is your plan for bringing new animals on thefarmé Are you able to quarantine them and test themé Yes or noé What kind of fencelinecontact do you have with other animalsé A
little, a lot or noneé And then it answersbased on that type of contact what may be the best protocols to protect your herd. gt;gt; While the online tool is meant to be usedwith veterinarian input, it can also be accessed by anyone who has questions related to BVDmanagement. gt;gt; DR. SHERRI MERRILL: On the producer side,I also can see if producers have those questions and maybe they don't have that relationshipwith their veterinarian or they're just wondering about it and are looking for informationon the Internet, then I think they may come across this program and be able to work throughit. Of course, we encourage them to go through
it with their veterinarian and it specificallysays on there, to work closely with your veterinarian and make sure they're involved. gt;gt; Depending on how much interest BVD CONSULTreceives, similar decision tools could be developed for other diseases. gt;gt; DR. BOB LARSON: We think this type of toolcan be really be valuable for a number of different diseases, kind of helping producersand veterinarians ask a series of questions that help them design the best program forthat particular farm. So we would like to take this tool and add other disease to itand maybe trichomoniasis CONSULT or a calf
Enoch Bergman BVD in beef and dairy
BVD is very interesting in that if an animalis a carrier for BVD and it meets in that PI, persistentlyinfected animal, meets ananimal, an animal that it meets will most likely contract BVD, Bovine Pestivirus. The animal will develop an immune responseto it, it will be a little bit sick and it will get over it, it's immune system willbe a little bit suppressed and that's one of the downsides, and if that animal is tryingto get pregnant or is already pregnant, it may either fail to get pregnant or lose theconceptus. BVD is transmitted in a unique fashion inthat in an animal that gets exposed whilst
it's gestating in it's mother, so a littlebaby calf, it's inside it's mother, if it's mother gets exposed to the virus, Bovine Pestivirusor BVD, the virus will cross the placenta and infect that calf. But if the calf survives the infection, andthe infection happened between 1 and 4 months, that calf will go on believing that BVD isnormal. So when that calf hits the ground, it is persistentlyinfectedwith BVD, meaning it can't get rid of the virus. These guys are the animals that shed the virusand maintain it in populations.
To control BVD, mostly what you want to dois try to find animals without immunity, that's to identify the risk of a management group,and if they don't have immunity, let's give them immunity, and that's vaccine. So vaccination, that's pestiguard. THe other side of the coin, is we want totry and find these carriers and get rid of them before they have a chance to meet othercows. Without systematic control, without goingabout it intelligently, you'll get groups of animals come through without immunity andif they get to breeding age, and they come
in contact with a PI when they're trying tobe pregnant, or are pregnant, that's when BVD becomes very expensive. By screening the heifers each year, that'swhat I want these guys to do, is screen those heifers every year. It's only $1 per head, we have got tools againthat the producer can use, clips on their ear that collects a blood sample, you go throughyour veterinarian, it comes to us, we can tell whether or not an animal has immunityto BVD. The first step towards working out whether or
not you have a BVD problem is doing serology,blood testing. So whether inititially the vet may come outand take some blood tubes, the traditional means, or getting some of these devices thatclip on the ear to take blood samples that way. But the first port of call is your veterinarian.