Improve First Treatment Success

Take control of your cattle’s health, and reduce bovine respiratory disease costs

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) can be a costly expense for cattle producers, however, it’s an expense that can be avoided. BRD is one of the most common and costly diseases affecting the United States cattle industry. In fact, the U.S. feedlot industry estimates an annual loss as high as $1 billion due to loss of production, increased labor expenses, pharmaceutical costs and death deriving from BRD.1,2 The loss of an animal, decreased average daily gain and cost of treatment quickly can put a dent in a producer’s pocket.

“If cattle are treated more than once, they never get back to that peak performance,” said Shawn Blood, DVM, Beef Strategic Technical Services Team, Zoetis. “The weight loss that animal has due to BRD sickness will stay with them throughout the feeding period.”

BRD refers to any disease of the lower or upper respiratory tracts in cattle and is commonly associated with lung infections, which can cause pneumonia. It’s a complex disease caused by a variety of factors, including:

• Host factors (animal age, immunity, genetics, exposure to pathogens)
• Environmental factors (crowding, temperature, commingling, transport) 
• Internal or external parasite infections
• Infectious agents:

o Viruses, including: bovine parainfluenza virus (PI3), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus and bovine coronavirus (BCV)
o Pathogens, including: Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni and Mycoplasma bovis 

To help reduce losses from BRD, it is important for producers to control BRD before it hits their operation. As a first step, Dr. Blood recommends a broad-spectrum antimicrobial like DRAXXIN® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution as part of an effective BRD control program.

“Without the ability to do rapid animal-side testing to differentiate which bacterial pathogen is in those animals, we rely on a broader antimicrobial that is effective against all of the four main pathogens,” Dr. Blood said.
When selecting an antimicrobial to help manage BRD, it is important to select based on efficacy and sound science. Dr. Blood recently helped complete a retrospective review of 12 studies that examined the BRD first-treatment success following metaphylaxis with DRAXXIN in high-risk stocker and feedlot cattle.

In all 12 studies when DRAXXIN was the metaphylactic antimicrobial, there were higher demonstrated BRD first-treatment success rates when an animal was pulled for treatment. Overall, DRAXXIN delivered up to a 22.4% first-treatment success advantage when compared with other metaphylactic antimicrobials.3-12

“The review included all references found in North American studies,” Dr. Blood said. “It’s tough to find a product that shows the best response in 12 studies like that. If the product works right the first time, there is no need for another treatment, which saves the producer money and is better for the animal.”

An effective metaphylactic product on arrival is just one important part of an overall BRD management program. Dr. Blood encourages producers to work closely with their veterinarian to develop a complete BRD management program.

For more information and to learn more about effective BRD control, visit

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product. See full Prescribing Information at

About Zoetis

Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2015, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit

For further information, contact:

Leona Ling Ferguson

Aimee Robinson
Bader Rutter

1- Hodgins DC, Shewen PE. Pasteurella and Mannheimia spp. infections. In: Coetzer JAW, Tustin RC, eds. Infectious disease of livestock. 2nd ed. Cape Town, South Africa: Oxford University Press; 2004:1672-1676.

2- Fulton RW, Cook BJ, Step DL, et al. Evaluation of health status of calves and impact on feedlot performance: assessment of retained ownership program for postweaning calves. Can J Vet Res. 2002;66(3):173-80.

3- Rooney KA, Nutsch RG, Skogerboe TL, Weigel DJ, Gajewski K, Kilgore WR. Efficacy of tulathromycin compared with tilmicosin and florfenicol for the control of respiratory disease in cattle at high risk of developing bovine respiratory disease. Vet Ther. 2005;6(2):154-66.

4- Booker CW, Abutarbush SM, Schunicht OC, et al. Evaluation of the efficacy of tulathromycin as a metaphylactic antimicrobial in feedlot calves. Vet Ther. 2007;8(3):183-200.

5- Nickell JS, White BJ, Larson RL, Blasi DA, Renter DG. Comparison of short-term health and performance effects related to prophylactic administration of tulathromycin versus tilmicosin in long-hauled, highly stressed beef stocker calves. Vet Ther. 2008;9(2):147-156.

6- Van Donkersgoed J, Merrill JK, Hendrick S. Comparative efficacy of tilmicosin versus tulathromycin as a metaphylactic antimicrobial in feedlot calves at moderate risk for respiratory disease. Vet Ther. 2008;9(4):291-297.

7 - Tennant TC, Ives SE, Harper LB, Renter DG, Lawrence TE. Comparison of tulathromycin and tilmicosin on the prevalence and severity of bovine respiratory disease in feedlot cattle in association with feedlot performance, carcass characteristics, and economic factors. J Anim Sci. 2014;92(11):5203-5213.

8- Data on file, Study Report No. 11RGDRA01, Zoetis Inc.

9- Merck Animal Health. Canadian commercial feedlot study comparing Zuprevo to Draxxin and Micotil when used on arrival in calves at high risk of developing BRD. Technical Bulletin 99-952120 (report S11414-00-MCRCLI-RM), 2012.

10- Miller TJ. Comparison of gamithromycin, tilmicosin and tulathromycin: metaphylactic treatments in high risk calves for bovine respiratory disease [thesis]. Manhattan: College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University; 2013.

11- Data on file, Study Report No. A131R-US-12-028, Zoetis Inc.

12- Torres S, Thomson DU, Bello NM, Nosky BJ, Reinhardt CD. Field study of the comparative efficacy of gamithromycin and tulathromycin for the control of undifferentiated bovine respiratory disease complex in beef feedlot calves at high risk of developing respiratory tract disease. Am J Vet Res. 2013;74(6):839-846.

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