What Dairy Producers Need to Know About BRD

What Dairy Producers Need to Know About BRD

What Dairy Producers Need to Know About BRDNearly all dairy operations managers have heard of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD), also referred to as pneumonia, and take necessary precautions to avoid it spreading in their herds. BRD causes approximately 30 percent of cattle deaths worldwide and is the number one cause of mortality in weaned calves1,2. Because of the challenges in managing and controlling BRD, it is important for dairy producers to utilize all available tools and information in the fight.
Treating calves at the right time can help stop the progression of BRD. Dairy calves are at the greatest risk of contracting BRD during weaning or at times when they are commingled or regrouped. If BRD is contracted in the first 6-12 months of a heifer’s life, it can cause long-term complications that can lead to lower overall milk production, which can ultimately impact the operation’s bottom line3.
Below are five fast facts producers need to know to help control BRD in their herds.
  • There are four major bacterial pathogens.
    • Disease-causing bacterial pathogens enter the lungs from the nasal passages and can cause severe disease. Those pathogens include Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni and Mycoplasma bovis2,4. Utilizing an antimicrobial with an active ingredient that attacks all four of these pathogens is the most effective choice.
  • Stress is a significant factor.
    • Many things cause stress in dairy cattle, such as weaning, shipping, commingling and dehorning. However, less obvious factors such as changes in temperature, dust, inadequate ventilation and moisture also cause stress4.
  • Watch for signs.
    • Signs of BRD rapidly develop once the bacteria enters the lungs and begins to reproduce. These signs include fever, depression, lowered head, lethargy, decreased appetite, nasal discharge, diarrhea, shallow breathing and coughing4.
  • Be alert during weaning.
    • Respiratory disease is the most common disorder affecting weaned heifers5. Commingling introduces heifers to potential pathogens from one another as their exposure increases in group pens (nose-nose, water troughs, feed bunks and automated feeding systems) as well as the immune suppression of stresses such as ration changes and social hierarchy. The individual calf is also not observed as closely as when in individual housing, and disease may go unnoticed.
  • Control is key.
    • Treatment is most effective prior to the onset of severe lung damage and often prior to noticing the heifer is sick. Controlling BRD is the most cost-effective method when compared to the costs of long-term treatment. It is estimated that BRD costs producers up to $900 million annually6.

When dealing with an aggressive disease like BRD, producers look for key characteristics in an antimicrobial such as pathogen susceptibility, speed of action, getting to the site of the infection, staying power in a single dose, safety and cost effectiveness. These six factors create the potent combination found in

ZACTRAN® (gamithromycin).
ZACTRAN’s active ingredient, gamithromycin, attacks the four major bacterial pathogens associated with BRD, making it the smart choice for dairy producers in any situation.
Find out more about ZACTRAN’s potent combination by contacting your local veterinarian or visiting ZACTRAN.com.
CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS: Not for use in humans. Keep out of reach of children.
For use in cattle only. Do not treat cattle within 35 days of slaughter. Because a discard time in milk has not been established, do not use in female dairy cattle  20 months of age or older, or in calves to be processed for veal. The effects of ZACTRAN on bovine reproductive performance, pregnancy and lactation have not been determined.
2Heifer Calf Health and Management Practices on U.S. Dairy Operations, 2007. USDA APHIS. Published January 2010. Accessed August 17, 2017.
3Van Der Fels-Klerx HJ, Martin SW, Nielen M, Huirne RBM. Effects on productivity and risk factors of bovine respiratory disease in dairy heifers; a review for the Netherlands. NJAS. 2002;50:27-45.Accessed August 10, 2017.
4Science Daily. Bovine Respiratory Disease: New Research to Tackle Major Concern for Cattle Industry. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100305112203.htm. Accessed August 11,2017.
6Oklahoma State University. (2010, March 5). Bovine respiratory disease: New research to tackle major concern for cattle industry. ScienceDaily. Accessed August 15, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100305112203.htm.
©2017 Boehringer Ingelheim. All rights reserved.

What Dairy Producers Need to Know About BRD

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