Q&A on BRD

The effects of BRD on dairy calves can impact production down the road

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Return on investment is critical for today's dairy farmers. Ensuring they raise or acquire calves that will be productive additions to their herd is an important part of the business plan. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) can impact a dairy producer's bottom line long after heifers enter the herd.1 Understanding the risk associated with BRD and the importance of incorporating ZACTRAN® (gamithromycin), Merial's rapid response weapon in the battle against BRD, into the calf operation is one way dairy producers can work to meet their business goals.2

Following are some common questions on BRD and ZACTRAN:

Q: What are some of the common factors that may lead to BRD?
A: According to Tom Van Dyke, DVM, Manager of Veterinary Services with Merial, there are several factors that can lead to BRD in dairy calves and heifers, including the environments to which they are exposed.

On dairy farms, calves can become infected with Mycoplasma when fed contaminated whole milk from mastitic cows.3 This is caused by Mycoplasma spreading from the udder to the lungs and vice versa – indicating both respiratory secretions and contaminated milk are the primary sources of infection in herds.3 According to Dr. Van Dyke, colostrum management and pasteurization of all waste milk before feeding to calves is essential. Another environmental factor that can lead to BRD in dairy calves is lack of air circulation. Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis), an important component of the BRD complex, will not last long in a hot, dry environment, but can survive for months on environmental surfaces in cool, moist conditions - making air movement important.4,5

Q: Does ZACTRAN treat BRD due to Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis)?
A: ZACTRAN is labeled to treat M. bovis, Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni.6 M. bovis is spread by nose-to-nose contact or aerosol transmission from infected cattle.5 According to Dr. Van Dyke, the commingling of dairy calves can increase the risk of these cattle contracting BRD.

Q: How quickly does ZACTRAN go to work on treating BRD?
A: In treatment field trials of clinically ill cattle, ZACTRAN-treated cattle showed a visible improvement in physical appearance within 24 hours.2 The same BRD treatment trial showed the majority of clinically ill cattle treated with ZACTRAN recovered and stayed healthy for the 10-day study.2 In addition, ZACTRAN has been proven effective in BRD control field trials. In a control study, the majority of lightweight, high-risk cattle treated with ZACTRAN stayed healthy for the 10-day study.7

ZACTRAN is labeled as a first-pull treatment for all major pathogens of BRD in beef and non-lactating dairy cattle, including Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni and M.bovis.6 In addition, ZACTRAN is labeled to control respiratory disease in beef and non-lactating dairy cattle at high risk of developing BRD associated with M. haemolytica and P. multocida.6

Producers can learn more about ZACTRAN by contacting their veterinarian or visiting www.ZACTRAN.com.


About Merial
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2011 sales were more than $2.8 billion. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.