Pulmosure - Better breathing for a healthy future

3 January 2019

For calf health, it is essential to provide well-ventilated housing that gets fresh air into the calf space.  However, at present some farmers are reporting an increased health challenge of calf pneumonia.

This may be because the current unseasonably mild and still weather is resulting in some cattle accommodation becoming warm and stuffy. 

Apart from opening doors and windows (with care not to cause draughts), it is usually not very simple or quick to modify calf accommodation to increase ventilation. However, there are some nutritional solutions available to help maintain a healthy respiratory system.

 

A calf’s respiratory system is very vulnerable and why respiratory problems in calves are likely to occur.

  • Calf lungs develop relatively late in life, becoming fully mature only when the animal is 2 years old. As a result, calf lungs have very little reserve capacity
  • The airways are relatively narrow, so they get easily blocked
  • Calf lungs are heavily segmented, and each segment has only one entry point for the airways. If this entry point becomes blocked, the entire segment won’t function any more

The resulting veterinary costs, reduced growth and loss of animals have a financial impact. Unfortunately, a prevention program doesn’t always work. It’s therefore important to recognise the early signs such as coughing or a runny nose and take action.

The inner lining of the respiratory tract also contains tiny hairs, called cilia, which move the mucous layer outwards, clearing the lungs of these inhaled particles. This system is called the mucociliary clearance system. In the early stage of a respiratory problem, the mucociliary clearance system is suppressed, making the calf’s respiratory tract vulnerable.

Farm-O-San Pulmosure contains eucalyptus oil, which boosts mucociliary clearance by increasing mucous production. Once the first warning signs occur, it’s important to act fast and support the respiratory tract’s primary defence mechanism. The upper parts of the respiratory tract contain so-called goblet cells. These produce a mucous layer that covers the inner lining of the tract and traps unwanted particles inhaled by the calf.

 

When should you use Farm-O-San Pulmosure?

Before high-risk periods

At this time of year it is important to try to avoid variations in temperature and humidity as much as possible and ensure sufficient ventilation. If you expect large differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures, shave the calves properly. This reduces sweating and prevents the calves being wet the moment the temperature starts to drop.

If calves from different sources are mixed before they are brought on farm, stress is to be expected. Respiratory problems therefore often occur in the first few weeks after arrival. Use Farm-O-San Pulmosure for a period of 10-21 days after arrival.

At the first cough

When you first notice a calf with a cough or a runny nose, it’s likely that herd mates will also start coughing. Act at the first cough and use Farm-O-San Pulmosure in all calves in the herd for a period of 10-21 days.

Once all calves are coughing

It’s still useful to clear the airways as much as possible. Support your animals with Farm-O-San Pulmosure for 10-21 days. Keep in mind that if the situation gets out of control, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian.