Don’t let BRD Turn Bottom Line from Black to Red

Help protect cattle investment with Pasteurella vaccination

DULUTH, Ga. — October 28, 2008 — In today’s tight market, cattle producers cannot afford even the smallest production setback. They must do all they can to help ensure cattle — and profits — will not fall victim to costly diseases such as bovine respiratory disease (BRD) this winter.

Confined and nonconfined cattle are susceptible to BRD, and can be hit by the losses, making prevention key in all cattle segments, according to Dr. Bruce Nosky, manager, Veterinary Services, Merial.

“BRD is one of the most economically devastating diseases in the beef industry. Losses range from veterinary and labor costs to reduced feed efficiency and even death,”1 says Dr. Nosky. “When profit margins are tight, producers are banking on cattle performing to the best of their ability — BRD can make that next to impossible.”

Dr. Nosky says the causes of BRD are multiple and complex, which is why it is important producers help protect cattle, and their investment, from all possible sources of infection.

“Stress, viral and bacterial infections are almost always involved in severe BRD cases,”1 he says. “Producers often vaccinate to help protect against viral agents, but bacterial causes are often overlooked. It is important that they prepare cattle to defend both.”

Two major bacterial pathogens associated with BRD are Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida.2 These two pathogens have been documented to be present in nearly 75 percent of all diagnosed BRD cases;3 however, a study suggests that the frequency of Pasteurella multocida is increasing.4

“RESPISHIELD HM is a good option for producers looking to vaccinate cattle against both major bacterial pathogens,” Dr. Nosky says. “It can be used on cattle of any age,* which can be especially useful this time of year when producers could have both spring and fall calves on the ground.”

He adds that the ability to vaccinate cattle of all ages* goes beyond convenience.

“BRD is traditionally recognized as affecting cattle in the feedyard; however, it also can affect the performance of cattle on pasture,” Dr. Nosky says.

A study of grazing stocker cattle found losses from BRD to be significant in both breeding and feeder cattle. Heifers that required two or more antibiotic treatments for BRD had a conception rate 19 percent lower than healthy heifers.5 In the same experiment, male calves with BRD-based losses had decreased net returns of 9.7 percent to 21.3 percent per animal.5

Curt Newlin, a stocker producer from Burlington, Okla., says RESPISHIELD® HM helps him protect his cattle from this costly disease and gives him peace of mind.

“I run several stockers each year, and I have to count on other people to take care of them, so it’s important that I can trust that the cattle will not get sick,” Newlin says. “I started using RESPISHIELD HM as part of my incoming processing routine to help cut down on sickness in the first couple of weeks after cattle arrive.”

Dr. Nosky notes that Newlin’s approach is one all cattle producers should consider this winter.

“Winter weather can dramatically increase the stress factor that contributes to BRD, but unfortunately, this is one stressor producers can’t avoid,” he says. “That is why producers need to be sure they are protecting cattle, and their bottom lines, against the other factors that contribute to BRD, starting with including RESPISHIELD HM in their vaccination routine.”

The results can help producers and cattle be more efficient. Newlin says RESPISHIELD HM helped him to cut down on pulls, chronics and death loss.

“I think it has helped cut down on death loss by half a percent, and chronics by a whole percent. Both numbers are significant when you consider the price of cattle and inputs right now,” Newlin explains. “When calves are costing as much as they do currently, I have to do everything I can to help them be productive. It is like an insurance plan for my investment.”

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 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2007 sales were nearly $2.5 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see

For more information contact:

Wendy Mayo

Bader Rutter & Assoc.

(402) 434-5307

[email protected]

*Calves vaccinated before 6 months of age should be revaccinated after reaching 6 months of age.6

1Batley CV, Matthews NJ, Snyder DL. Vaccinating to prevent pneumonia. Utah State University Extension Animal Health Fact Sheet. July 1997.

2Irsik M. Bovine Respiratory Disease Associated with Mannheimia Haemolytica or Pasteurella Multocida. Available at: Accessed July 25, 2008.

3Richey EJ. Pasteurella disease in beef cattle. University of Florida Extension.

4Welsh RD, Dye LB, Payton ME, Confer AW. Isolation and antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacterial pathogens from bovine pneumonia: 1994-2002. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 2004;16:426-431.

5Pinchak WE, Tolleson DR et al. Morbidity effects on productivity and profitability of stocker cattle grazing in the southern Plains. J Anim Sci 2004;82:2773-2779.

6RESPISHIELD HM product label and package insert NAC No. 11111050.

®RESPISHIELD is a registered trademark of Merial.

©2008 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. LAGEBRS813 (10/08)