Prevent Disease to Improve Profitability

LENEXA, Kan. (June 25, 2008) – Whether starting lightweight calves or growing and finishing cattle, a sound receiving program starts with disease prevention – which ultimately translates to a better bottom line.

“Unless producers are buying known origin cattle or animals verified with a preconditioning program, they don’t know what they’re getting,” says Mitch Blanding, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health veterinarian, Lenexa, Kan. “If you’ve got calves with a respiratory disease or parasites, they’re not going to gain appropriately or perform very well.”

In fact, the health status of cattle has a major impact on performance and profit. According to a Texas A&M study, sick cattle not only incur additional medicine costs, but also generally gain less, are less efficient and grade lower.1

Blanding says the least expensive and most efficient means of disease intervention is prevention with an effective vaccination and deworming program to help boost animals’ immune systems.

Deworming also has been proven to be the technology that most affects the average daily gain in stocker operations. In one study, eliminating dewormers affected the break-even price by 2.7 percent, which represented a cost of $20.77 per head produced.2

“The more animals you keep from getting sick, the better off you are, so we start by vaccinating those animals that have a competent immune system and are capable of responding to the vaccine,” Blanding says.

Blanding also points out an industry accepted general rule of thumb: for every hour animals spend in transport, give them at least that much time after they arrive before vaccinating. This allows the animals a chance to rest before the additional stress of processing. To help ensure all calves are protected, use booster vaccines as labels indicate.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines. Pfizer Animal Health is dedicated to improving the safety, quality and productivity of the world’s food supply by enhancing the health of livestock and poultry; and in helping companion animals live longer and healthier lives. For additional information on Pfizer’s portfolio of animal products, visit

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1 McNeill JW. Texas A&M Ranch to Rail—Summary Report. Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A&M University, College Station, 1999-2000.

2 Lawrence JD, Ibarburu MA. Economic Analysis of Pharmaceutical Technologies in Modern Beef Production. Iowa State University. 2006. Available at:

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For further information, contact:

Jennie Schutte

Pfizer Animal Health


[email protected]

Kenna Rathai



[email protected]

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212-733-2323 .