After a Tough Winter, Have Fewer BRD Treatment Failures

With winter finally in the rearview mirror, now is an ideal time to reevaluate bovine respiratory disease (BRD) protocols so your health program can keep you prepared for treatment success when fall returns.

Existing research offers insight as you seek fewer re-treatments and trips through the chute that stress cattle and increase costs. In making treatment decisions, consider research that supports a consistent reduction in BRD re-treatments: metaphylaxis treatment with DRAXXIN® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution and first treatment with EXCEDE® (ceftiofur crystalline free acid) Sterile Suspension.1-3

Treating BRD is expensive, and it can get more expensive if BRD treatment is ineffective. Treatment costs vary, but the average cost of treatment for a single case of respiratory disease is $23.60.*,4 Between 50% and 70% of feedlot cattle deaths annually come from BRD.5 And with every mortality, you lose more than just purchase price. There are expenses before death, including treatment and re-treatment, the labor costs of pulling and re-treating, plus feed and opportunity costs. It is crucial to minimize the risks associated with these issues, especially if Mother Nature creates more frigid conditions like the ones earlier this year that stressed feedlots and stockers from Texas to Tennessee.

Fortunately, there are multiple studies examining first-treatment efficacy, how often re-treatments are needed and whether product duration has been proven and what the long-term costs are, said John Pollreisz, DVM, managing veterinarian, Beef Technical Services, Zoetis.

“These kinds of results provide a good indication of how antimicrobials work in real-life situations and can help you select the best one for your operation,” Pollreisz said.

In a retrospective review of studies with approximately 5,600 head of cattle, EXCEDE following DRAXXIN on arrival was the most successful protocol for BRD versus other metaphylactic antibiotics.**,1-3 Up to 13% more first pulls responded to DRAXXIN on arrival and EXCEDE at first treatment compared with first pulls treated with other metaphylaxis antimicrobials followed by EXCEDE.**,1,2 Even more, in an ongoing surveillance program, EXCEDE has shown no in vitro resistance to BRD pathogens.***,6 

“With your BRD treatment strategy, you’re not only protecting your profits but also the life of your cattle,” said Ralph Cleale, PhD, Outcomes Research, Zoetis. “Starting with a more effective treatment can help you make fewer antibiotic treatment courses and decrease the significant impact deads and chronics have on your operation before it’s too late.”

Zoetis offers a useful tool for estimating the risks BRD poses for your operation. This BRD cost calculator allows you to enter information specific to your herd and operation and then calculates your costs for treating or controlling BRD. Understanding your unique risks from BRD will help you make informed management, prevention and treatment decisions.

Minimizing BRD risk cannot be accomplished merely by selecting the least expensive treatment, as the research shows. And as we saw with the long-lasting cold from this past winter, costs to your operation can multiply if unpredictable conditions don’t go your way.

For more tips on dealing with BRD, register now for BRD Solutions Insights.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR DRAXXIN: DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days in cattle. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product. See full Prescribing Information.


IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR EXCEDE: People with known hypersensitivity to penicillin or cephalosporins should avoid exposure to EXCEDE. EXCEDE is contraindicated in animals with known allergy to ceftiofur or to the ß-lactam group (penicillins and cephalosporins) of antimicrobials. Inadvertent intra-arterial injection is possible and fatal. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Pre-slaughter withdrawal time is 13 days following the last dose. See full Prescribing Information.

*According to U. S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service data from 2013.4
**In a retrospective review of three studies, DRAXXIN on arrival followed by EXCEDE resulted in up to 13% fewer pulls versus Micotil® (tilmicosin injection) on arrival and EXCEDE at first treatment, up to 6.1% fewer pulls versus Zactran® (gamithromycin) on arrival and EXCEDE at first treatment, and up to 8% fewer pulls versus Zuprevo (tildipirosin) on arrival and EXCEDE at first treatment.1,2
***Clinical relevance of in vitro data has not been established.

1 Sturgess KL, Renter, DG. Comparison of tulathromycin, tildipirosin, and tilmicosin for control of bovine respiratory disease in steers purchased from auction markets and fed in a Texas Feedlot. Bov Pract. 2017;51(1);17-24.
2 Data on file, Study Report No. 11RGDRA01, Zoetis Inc.
3 Data on file, Study Report No. 1133R-60-09-749, Zoetis Inc.
4 U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Types and Costs of Respiratory Disease Treatments in U.S. Feedlots. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/feedlot/downloads/feedlot2011/Feed11_is_RespDis.pdf. Published April 2013. Accessed March 8, 2019.
5 Brooks KR, Raper KC, Ward CE, Holland BP, Krehbiel, CR, Step DL. Economic Effects of Bovine Respiratory Disease on Feedlot Cattle During Backgrounding and Finishing Phases. http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6830/P-1027%20Economic%20Effect%20of%20BRD1.pdf. Accessed March 8, 2019.
6 Data on file, Study Report No. A671Z-US-17-144, Zoetis Inc.

Protect your investment with Zoetis BRD Solutions.
Learn More