What should veterinarians consider when selecting a BRD therapy?

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When selecting a Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) therapy for the hospital pen, Marilyn Corbin, DVM, Ph.D. and Elanco technical consultant says to “Let the data speak for itself.” Corbin believes veterinarians can help producers make the best decisions when relevant research is close at hand. 

A recent Elanco study¹ compared Micotil® (tilmicosin injection) at 15 mg/kg to Draxxin® (tulathromycin) at 2.5 mg/kg body weight. The study showed no statistical difference in the treatment success rate between the two antibiotics.

Corbin notes the study not only showed similar treatment success rates, but also no difference in mortality.

“The study did reveal a significant difference in overall first-line treatment and retreat costs of the two therapy products,” says Corbin. “This economic differential will impact the total health program cost.”

Corbin provides a scenario assuming a producer pulls 20 percent of a 100-head-pen for treatment. Using data from this study, Micotil’s treatment cost would be around $5 less than Draxxin, which equates to $100 difference or approximately $1 per head.

While Micotil is cost effective, it also offers a flexible dose range (10 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg) for both metaphylaxis and individual pull-and-treat therapy. Corbin says Micotil’s flexible dose range provides veterinarians with a more effective tool in managing disease variation.

“Micotil flex-dose gives you and your producers the ability to choose the appropriate dose based on disease severity. This particular therapy study was done at 2.25 mL/cwt, but we’re not saying that’s the appropriate dose for every set of cattle. We selected this dose based on the disease severity of these cattle.”

Micotil is the only antibiotic approved for metaphylaxis with a flexible dosing range. When evaluating calves for metaphylaxis, Corbin advises to assess the risk of the calves — items such as the calves’ background including the origin of the cattle and any known information about their management. Additionally, weather changes, commingling or any other factors adding stress to calves should be considered.

Micotil’s flexible dosing allows producers to optimize the antibiotic’s value, by providing the opportunity to:

  • Adjust the dose of Micotil upward, if needed, due to increased BRD risk
  • Provide more flexibility to increase the effectiveness of the BRD treatment, optimizing a producer’s investment2
  • Better manage variation associated with the risk of cattle developing BRD2

In assessing the success of a pull-and-treat or metaphylaxis program, Corbin says the only way to truly evaluate it is to analyze the data.

“We have to look at the records and let the data tell us how efficacious and cost effective our health program is. It’s important to evaluate data such as number of repulls, case fatality rates, treatment costs, morbidity, and mortality before determining the success of your health program.”

Another critical piece to a successful health program is the safe handling and use of all injectable products. Safe handling and use training and educational materials are offered to all Elanco customers.

“We’re very committed to ensuring our customers, and their employees or animal health crews, are comfortable and confident using all injectable products,” says Corbin.

Click here to learn more about this study.

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.

1Elanco Study No. T5CUS100006.

2 Elanco Study No. T5CB39905.

Draxxin is the property of Pfizer Inc., its affiliates and/or its licensors.

Micotil® is a trademark for Elanco’s brand of tilmicosin injection.

© 2011 Elanco Animal Health.

MIC 19743-3

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