The first immune restorative for dairy cows in Ireland was launched recently.
Developed by Elanco, the new product, Imrestor, aids in restoring the cow’s natural defences by increasing the number and restoring function of the primary type of white blood cell that recognises and kills harmful bacteria.
Vets will be able to use it to address immune suppression during the transition period,
At the launch, John Cook, MRCVS, Technical Vet at Elanco, said: “During the vital 90 days, 60 days before to 30 days after calving, dairy cows experience a dip in their natural immunity, leaving them especially vulnerable to important diseases such as mastitis, metritis, and retained placenta.
“With serious cost consequences and implications for cow welfare and productivity, this makes the transition period one of the most challenging yet vital periods for vets and dairy farmers to manage.
“It’s no secret that a successful transition period is vital for maximising productivity in the next lactation, yet we are still firefighting common transition diseases like mastitis, rather than focusing on their true cause.
“Vets and farmers are under increasing pressure to adopt a more proactive approach, not least to reduce the use of antibiotics.
“This can be challenging in dairy herds, particularly around calving when cows are susceptible to multiple disease challenges, while their defences are low.
“This new treatment helps to restore a cow’s own natural immunity and strengthens her ability to defend against infection by a range of mastitis causing pathogens, thus helping to protect the cow against mastitis, when she needs it most,” he said.
At the launch of Imrestor, Prof Dirk Werling of the Royal Veterinary College, London, said stress in dairy cows during the parturition phase increases the levels of cortisol, the hormone that affects immune response, because it suppresses the immune function.
“Stress in cows makes them more susceptible to infection,” he said.
“Consequently, we need to find new ways to help them develop an effective immune response, because old approaches to mastitis treatment are becoming less effective, and people are becoming more and more worried about antibiotic residues in food products.
“The solution, therefore, is to use what’s there, the cow’s innate immune system, by increasing the number and restoring function of neutrophils, the primary type of white blood cell that kills harmful bacteria. Elanco has launched a new product that prevents the dip in neutrophils during parturition.”
Imrestor is a prescription only medicine with a zero withdrawal period.
Further advice should be sought from a veterinary professional.
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