Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) can have a devastating impact on cattle feeding and stocker operations, especially if not managed in a timely fashion. Metaphylaxis, the on-arrival group treatment of high-risk calves for BRD, enables producers to get ahead of the disease process and therefore improve their odds of reducing both the economic and health impacts of the disease.
“Metaphylaxis works so well because you’re getting antibiotic to the calf before it shows clinical signs of the disease or right at the start of disease onset,” says Jared Gould, DVM, MS and beef technical consultant for Elanco. “By the time an animal exhibits physical signs of distress, it’s pretty sick and it’s harder for that calf to recover. At this point, antibiotic use is still effective but it’s not as effective as if it had been treated earlier with a metaphylaxis treatment.”
“When high-risk calves come in, producers want to use the most cost-effective treatment at the right dosage to match the degree of disease risk,” continues Gould. “That’s why when considering treatment options, Micotil’s Flex Dose (1.5 mL/cwt – 3.0 mL/cwt) offers considerable management benefits.”
Micotil is the only antibiotic approved for metaphylaxis that offers a flexible dose range, giving producers the flexibility to use the product at the dosage needed to overcome variability in animal weight and disease risk.
According to Gould, typically, when a truckload of calves comes in the dose is selected based on the average weight. “Yet research1 tells us that disease risk and animal weight within a truckload can be highly variable. For instance, in a truckload of five weights the individual weight range could actually vary from 362 to 638 lbs. But if the dose is based on a 500 lb calf, a percentage of cattle, sometimes more than 50 percent would not receive the minimum required dose of 1.5 mL/cwt. By increasing the Micotil dose across the entire load, producers can ensure all the calves receive the minimum required dose.”
“BRD management is not a one size fits all strategy,” says Gould. “It is important for producers to consider what is going to best fit their cattle and Flex Dose allows them to make sure that all cattle are adequately treated for BRD before it becomes a major problem.”
When choosing a BRD therapy, safety is also a consideration, adds Gould. Elanco offers the Sekurus™ syringe, which provides an enhanced degree of safety when administering Micotil. It offers two levels of protection—a needle-guard and a double–action trigger—to help users avoid accidental exposure and delivers an adjustable dose range. In addition, the syringe is designed for one-handed, subcutaneous injections, leaving the user’s opposing hand free.
“Safety is a high priority for us,” asserts Gould. “We offer a very comprehensive Safe Handling and Use training program. It’s not only about 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.”