Summer Pneumonia

By Barry Whitworth, DVM / Area Food/Animal Quality and Health Specialist for Eastern Oklahoma

Summer is usually hot and dry for most of Texas and Oklahoma. This type of weather is great for baling and hauling hay, but unfortunately, this type of weather is not great for animals. A disease that thrives in these conditions is summer pneumonia in nursing calves.


Summer pneumonia is the name given to bovine respiratory disease in young cattle still with their mothers on pastures. According to the National Animal Health Monitoring System 2007-2008 Beef Cow/Calf Study, the number one cause of death in calves three weeks of age to weaning is bovine respiratory disease. The disease tends to strike with no warning and has been seen more frequently in recent years.

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