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) ñ
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)
Tetradure( (oxytetracycline 300mg/ml)