[Masthead] Partly Cloudy ~ 65°F  
High: 70°F ~ Low: 42°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ask the Vet

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Metaphylaxis in the Feedyard

What is metaphylaxis?

The administration of antimicrobials to an entire group of cattle that have been exposed to a disease, typically bovine respiratory disease pathogens, often due to a stressful situation, such as transport or commingling

When to use metaphylaxis?

For medium and high risk groups of cattle

High risk = >10% morbidity (sick) and >2% mortality (deads)

Examples are freshly weaned ranch cattle, cattle commingled at the feedlot, and sale barn origin cattle

Low risk = expect minimal health problems at the feedlot

Examples are preconditioned calves and yearlings

Best results when cattle are either just starting to show clinical signs or before

Usually given at arrival to a feedlot but can be given within the first week if necessary

What is the benefit?

On average, metaphylaxis cuts morbidity in half

The mortality rate may not change

The cost benefit is seen in:

Better feed intakes in the cattle who would have gotten sick but did not and in the cattle who recovered quicker

Lost time in pulling sick cattle and treating them individually

Less retreats since the total number sick was decreased

Potentially less chronic pneumonia cases

Which antimicrobials can be used?

There are 5 labeled injectable antimicrobials for metaphylaxis:

Excede( (ceftiofur crystalline free acid)

Nuflor( (florfenicol)

Micotil( (tilmicosin)

Draxxin( (tulathromycin)

Tetradure( (oxytetracycline 300mg/ml)