Plan, Prepare And Stay Ahead of Mycoplasma Bovis

Control M. bovis with proper management on arrival

Being well prepared is the cornerstone of any operation that handles high-risk cattle. Producers that have seen Mycoplasma bovis hit their calves know this firsthand.

“It is extremely important for producers to understand that an early M. bovis diagnosis cannot be made on clinical signs and behavior alone,” says Lee Bob Harper, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health Cattle and Equine Technical Services. “Prior to the arrival of cattle, producers need to address M. bovis by utilizing BRD management protocols to avoid getting behind the eight ball.”

Preparation can help reduce the potentially costly effects of M. bovis, which is a common infectious agent connected to clinical cases of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). BRD is estimated to cost the beef industry nearly $1 billion in economic losses from death, reduced feed efficiency and increased treatment costs.1,2 These losses make it worthwhile for producers to be prepared for M. bovis and help keep herds healthy.

There is no way to predict whether a specific set of cattle will be impacted by M. bovis, but factors affecting prevalence and risk can include: degree of commingling, cattle origin, animal weight, season and weather conditions, Dr. Harper notes.

Unlike many other antimicrobials, DRAXXIN® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution is labeled for both the control and treatment of BRD caused by M. bovis. Plus, it’s the only product that provides up to 14 days of therapy against BRD.

“We have clear evidence that DRAXXIN has a major impact on M. bovis if given on arrival,” Dr. Harper says. “The product shows a long duration of activity and has been well proven in the field to be highly effective. Even with this information, the best practice is always to work with your veterinarian to develop an on-arrival treatment protocol to keep cattle protected.”

Studies show that while DRAXXIN given as a control product on arrival did not eliminate M. bovis from the respiratory tract of cattle, it resulted in significantly lower morbidity and mortality in calves with proven exposure to the disease.3

Dr. Harper notes that using an antimicrobial for control is only one factor to help avoid the potential losses associated with M. bovis. Proper stocking density, environment cleanliness, minimizing stress and preventing calves that don’t respond to treatment from infecting healthy animals all contribute to effective control.

“Using a product that acts for a longer period of time allows producers to give the product and leave them in their home pen — minimizing stress, maximizing labor efficiencies and allowing calves to get the most out of the antimicrobial,” Dr. Harper says. “Your veterinarian can help evaluate the risk level of incoming cattle and design a program that maximizes cattle health — and ultimately that can help increase profit margins.”

Important Safety Information: Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. A pre-slaughter withdrawal time has not been determined for pre-ruminating calves. Effects on reproductive performance, pregnancy and lactation have not been determined. DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days. DRAXXIN Prescribing Information

For more information, contact:

Jean Lonie
Pfizer Animal Health

Kori Conley
Bader Rutter

1 Brodersen BA. Bovine respiratory syncytial virus. Vet Clin Food Anim 2010;26(2):323-333.
2 Griffin D, Chengappa MM, Kuszak J, McVey DS. Bacterial pathogens of the bovine respiratory disease complex. Vet Clin Food Anim 2010;26(2):381-394.
3 Pfizer Animal Health. Association of Mycoplasma bovis with BRD in Southeastern, Sale Barn-origin Calves: Efficacy of DRAXXIN®. Pfizer Technical Bulletin No. DRX10009, New York; Pfizer Animal Health, 2010:1-8.



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