Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) can have a negative impact on cattle feeding and stocker operations, especially if not managed correctly. “BRD management is not a ‘one size fits all’ strategy,” says Dr. Brad Williams, DVM, MBA, technical consultant for Elanco, “as several variables need to be considered.”

BRD treatments require a significant investment by the producer, so veterinarians work hard to recommend the most cost-effective disease control programs. “As veterinarians, we know that by the time an animal exhibits physical signs of distress, it’s already sick and it’s much harder for that calf to recover,” says Williams. “At this point, antibiotic use is still warranted for the treatment of the disease, but the outcome may not be as successful as if we had been able to treat the calf earlier. That’s why metaphylaxis is very commonly used: You’re getting antibiotic to the calf before it shows clinical signs of the disease or right at the start of disease onset.”

As part of BRD risk assessment and treatment recommendations, both the correct dose for the animal’s weight and its health status need to be considered.

“As veterinarians, we see large groups of cattle that aren’t the same shape or size,” says Williams. “Let’s say I have an incoming group of 100 calves that averages 500 pounds. That’s the average weight; there might be a few calves that weigh 350 pounds, while the majority range from 450 pounds to 550 pounds”

“In most production settings, a metaphylaxis treatment dose is set according to the average weight off the truck, because it isn’t feasible to weigh and treat each calf individually during processing,” says Williams. “However, this means that the heavier cattle are under-dosed. That can be costly.”

The level of risk also varies between and within groups of cattle.1 This variability in disease incidence, coupled with differences in severity, is very common; even in calves sourced from the same location.

“When high-risk calves come in, we want to use the most cost-effective drugs at the right dosage to match the degree of disease risk,” continues Williams. “That’s why Micotil® (tilmicosin injection) Flex Dose (10 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg) offers considerable management benefits. It’s the only antibiotic approved for metaphylaxis that allows for a flexible dosing range. Micotil allows veterinarians the flexibility to use the product at the dosage needed, based on the weight and risk of animals coming into the feeding or stocker operation.”

“Safety is also a consideration,” adds Williams. Elanco offers the Flex Dose syringe, which provides an enhanced degree of safety when administering Micotil. It offers a two-stage activated trigger to help users avoid accidental exposure and delivers an adjustable dose range. In addition, the syringe is designed for a one-handed, self tenting, subcutaneous injection, leaving the user’s opposing hand free.

“Safety is a high priority for Elanco,” asserts Williams. “We offer a very comprehensive Safe Handling and Use training program. And, it’s not only about the safe use of Micotil — it’s about animal and worker safety, and the safe use of all injectable products. These trainings help ensure a safe, wholesome product goes into the food chain.”

Learn more about truckload variation.

Important Safety Information

See label for complete use information, including boxed human warnings and non-target species safety information. Micotil is to be used by, or on the order of, a licensed veterinarian. For cattle or sheep, inject subcutaneously. Intravenous use in cattle or sheep will be fatal. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Use in lactating dairy cattle or sheep may cause milk residues. The following adverse reactions have been reported: in cattle: injection site swelling and inflammation, lameness, collapse, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions, decreased food and water consumption, and death; in sheep: dyspnea and death. Always use proper drug handling procedures to avoid accidental self-injection. Do not use in automatically powered syringes. Consult your veterinarian on the safe handling and use of all injectable products prior to administration. Micotil has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 42 days.

1Micotil (tilmicosin injection) Research Brief 3. 2011. Variability in Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Morbidity and Mortality Associated with Arrival Truckload. Elanco Study Number: T5CB39905.

Micotil® is a trademark for Elanco’s brand of tilmicosin injection.
©2012 Elanco Animal Health.
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