New Web site helps producers prevent the biggest cause of calf deaths


ROSELAND, N.J. — Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has launched its new Guardian vaccine Web site,, which provides the latest information to help producers and veterinarians prevent and manage neonatal diarrhea, commonly known as scours, in their cattle herds.

“Neonatal diarrhea is the number one killer of beef and dairy calves less than 60 days old, costing producers an estimated $100 million in annual losses each year,” said Kevin Hill, Technical Services veterinarian for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health1.

“The economic impact is even greater when one considers the effect this disease complex has on infected calves that survive, causing increased treatment costs, increased labor and care for sick calves, decreased performance and the potential for a lifetime of production losses.”

Comprehensive information

Beef and dairy producers, as well as veterinarians, can direct their Web browsers to the site for comprehensive information on the cause of calf scours, how best to manage the problem and the economic benefits of vaccinating cows and heifers with Guardian prior to calving.

Visitors to the site can utilize the online calculator to determine the cost savings that can be achieved by vaccinating with Guardian each year.

The interactive tool, which includes beef and dairy adaptations, allows users to apply specific herd information to determine the return on investment Guardian vaccine can provide. Visitors can submit questions to animal-health specialists about calf-scours management.

Most complete protection

According to veterinary experts, successful calf-scours prevention relies on two key strategies: minimizing calf exposure to disease-causing pathogens and maximizing the calf’s immune response by improving the dam’s antibody production in colostrum.

A comprehensive scours vaccine administered to the cow or heifer 12 weeks prior to calving followed by a booster three weeks to six weeks later, enables these females to transfer scours protection to their calves via their antibody-rich colostrum.

After the first year of vaccination, cows need only a single shot of Guardian as an annual booster. Vaccinating cows and heifers with Guardian can result in peace of mind, reduced labor during calving season and a healthier calf crop.

Guardian offers the broadest coverage available in a scours vaccine, protecting against more relevant causes of neonatal diarrhea than any other vaccine.

Aid in the prevention

It is labeled as an aid in the prevention of neonatal calf diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli pilus type K99, bovine Group A Serotype G6 rotaviruses, enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D and as an aid in the control of neonatal calf diarrhea caused by two different types of bovine coronaviruses.

In August 2009, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health announced it had received U.S. Department of Agriculture approval of an important label extension for the Guardian scours-prevention vaccine.

The new label approval affirms Guardian provides E. coli protection to the newborn calf following vaccination of pregnant heifers or cows up to six months prior to calving.

Safe immune response

Guardian utilizes a unique manufacturing process that produces a more precise and targeted immune response with low reactivity. Protection against E. coli scours requires a vaccine that contains a specific antigenic component of E. coli bacteria.

However, older vaccines that contain whole-cell E. coli bacteria can be highly reactive in the animal and more likely to cause injection-site lumps and bumps, abortion or even death. Vaccines like Guardian that contain sub-unit K99 pilus antigen provide a high degree of safety.

Producers are encouraged to work with their veterinarians to design a calf-scours management program appropriate for their herds. Guardian is available through veterinarians or animal-health suppliers.

More information

For more information about Guardian, or to learn more about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health’s full line of innovative, high-quality cattle health products, visit or


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