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Respiratory reprieve

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) can lead to significant economic losses. To help combat the disease before it affects your bottom line, companies are introducing new products to battle BRD. Here are three products to consider.

Advocin from Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health has introduced a new antibiotic called Advocin for treatment of BRD. The active ingredient is danolfaxacin. Pfizer veterinarian J.P. Pollreisz says the main advantages are it is very fast acting and it has a short withdrawal period before slaughter of four days.

It's administered at 2 cc per cwt of animal weight, and it is for treatment only – not prevention – of BRD. Pollreisz says it will compete in the marketplace with other BRD-effective antibiotics and will be competitively priced.

To learn more, visit or contact your local veterinarian.

Micotil from Elanco

Micotil from Elanco is the only antibiotic approved for a metaphylaxis (on-arrival group treatment of an entire load of calves) approach to heading off BRD.

Micotil Flex Dose offers a flexible dose range, from 1.5 cc per cwt of cattle body weight to 3 cc per cwt. This gives you the flexibility to use the product at the dosage needed to overcome variability in animal weight and disease risk.

According to Elanco veterinary consultant Jared Gould, typically when a truckload of calves comes in, the dose is selected based on the average weight.

“In a truckload of five weights (with an average of 500 pounds), the individual weight range could actually vary from 362 pounds to 638 pounds,” says Gould. “But if the dose is based on a 500-pound calf, sometimes more than 50% would not receive the minimum required dose of 1.5 cc per cwt. By increasing the Micotil dose across the entire load, you can ensure that all the calves receive the minimum required dose. And metaphylaxis works so well because calves get antibiotics before showing clinical signs of the disease or right at the start of disease onset.”

For more information, visit or contact your local veterinarian.

Zactran from Merial

Zactran is a new long-acting antibiotic from Merial. The active ingredient is gamithromycin. It is labeled to treat active BRD or to control the disease in cattle that are at high risk.

In addition to the product's effectiveness, there are two things that stand out, says Merial veterinary services manager Bruce Nosky.

1. When it is given subcutaneously at the dosage of 2 cc per 110 pounds of body weight, it reaches lung tissue within 30 minutes. “It gets in the bloodstream really fast and leaves the bloodstream to get to impacted tissue really fast,” says Nosky. “Zactran accumulates in white blood cells, and when an animal has a lung infection, those white blood cells carry Zactran right to where it's needed. It's there fighting infection for several days.”

2. One injection can last for 10 days. When used on new arrivals at high risk for BRD, incidence of the disease is reduced from 80% to about 20%.

Zactran is a prescription drug, so a veterinarian has to prescribe it, and the price is dependent on location and volume (available in 100-ml, 250-ml, and 500-ml bottles).

For more information, visit or contact your local veterinarian. 

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