Blackleg Vaccine For Calves

Blackleg is a fatal disease of young cattle. It produces an acute local infection, and the resulting blood poisoning leads to rapid death. The name ‘blackleg’ derives from the fact that the site of infection is often a leg muscle, and that the affected muscle is dark in colour. Although the disease is widely distributed in New South Wales, most losses from blackleg occur in the eastern half of the state. In some areas the disease may appear on several properties, while in other areas only isolated farms are affected. Sometimes, only part of a property is affected.

Although blackleg has been found in cattle as young as 2 months old, most losses occur in cattle between 6 months and 2 years of age. Occasionally, losses are seen in adult cattle. Generally, the best conditioned animals are affected, with most losses occurring where there is an abundance of feed. Blackleg can occur at any time of the year, though more losses are seen during hot, humid weather or following the sudden onset of cold periods.


Blackleg has been recognized as a livestock disease since before medieval times, and today we often use the term loosely to describe several diseases caused by organisms in the Clostridium class of bacteria. However, there are more than 60 different types of Clostridium bacteria, and not all cause disease. What we commonly call blackleg is a highly fatal infection caused by Clostridium chauvoei, resulting in a gas gangrene in the muscle of young cattle, usually occurring between 4 months and 2 years of age. Blackleg seldom affects cattle older than 2 years of age, most likely due to immunity induced by vaccines or natural exposure.

Blackleg is a clostridial disease that primarily affects young cattle raised on pasture. A clostridial disease is one caused by anaerobic bacteria in the soil. These bacteria have protective coverings known as spores and are often fatal to the animals they infect. More than 60 types of clostridial bacteria exist, though not all of them have the potential to cause disease. Black disease, malignant edema, tetanus and botulism are examples of other serious clostridial diseases. Blackleg is primarily caused by the clostridial bacterium known as Clostridium chauvoei. Its spores are incredibly widespread — they are found virtually everywhere in the environment. The disease is also known as clostridial myositis.


Helps protect against diseases caused by the clostridial agents Clostridium chauvoei; Cl. septicum; Cl. novyi; Cl. sordellii;and Cl. perfringens Types B, C and D; and bovine pneumonia caused by M. haemolytica Type A1.

Causes of Blackleg

Blackleg is produced by spore-forming bacteria. The organisms most commonly responsible are Clostridium chauvoei and, less frequently, C. septicum. Spores produced by the clostridia can lie dormant in the soil for years without losing their potency.

Mode of action

The freeze-dried component is a preparation of inactivated whole cultures of M. haemolytica propagated to increase the production of leukotoxin and capsular and cell-associated antigens. The liquid component consists of killed, standardized cultures of Cl. chauvoei, Cl. septicum, Cl. novyi, Cl. sordellii, and Cl. perfringens types C and D, with a special, water-soluble adjuvant (Stimugen®) to enhance the immune response.

Dosage & Administration

The vaccine should be administered by subcutaneous injection in the lateral side of the upper neck observing aseptic precautions.

Cattle and sheep: 2 ml/dose.


  • Two injections separated by an interval of 3-4 weeks to animals from 3 months of age onwards.
  • Immunisation to be completed 2-3 weeks before the period of risk.
  • Revaccination with a single booster injection 2-3 weeks before the period of risk.
  • The interval for booster injections should be no more than 12 months.


  • Two injections should be given, preferably separated by an interval of at least 6 weeks, with the second vaccination being given 3-4 weeks before lambing.
  • ubsequent pregnancies: a single booster injection 3-4 weeks before lambing.
  • Ewes can be vaccinated during late pregnancy.
  • Lambs may be vaccinated from 3 weeks of age onwards: two injections with an interval of 3-4 weeks to be completed 2-3 weeks before the period of risk.

Prices of Blackleg Vaccine For Calves

$12.79 – $50.00

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