The economics of metaphylaxis in the feedyard

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) has greater economic implications in the feedyard than any other disease. Identifying strategies to reduce the impact of BRD on your clients’ operations is critical, and may include metaphylactic treatment.

Industry Voice by Elanco

November 19, 2017

4 Min Read
The economics of metaphylaxis in the feedyard

The threat of bovine respiratory disease (BRD)

Mortality attributable to BRD has economic implications that are unparalleled by any other disease in the feedyard. Because BRD is complex, identifying management strategies to reduce its impact on your clients’ operations means considering several factors — including animal origin, commingling, age and weight, vaccination history, plane of nutrition and weather. Implementing protocols that complement your clients’ specific operations is critical to both maintaining a healthy herd and protecting their bottom lines.

“Bovine respiratory disease continues to be far and away the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the feedyard,” says Jacob Hagenmaier, D.V.M., Elanco technical consultant. “While an animal’s susceptibility to BRD can be challenging to discern when they arrive at the feedyard, utilizing a risk categorization system that accounts for predisposing factors is one tool that can help identify subpopulations that may need to be managed more closely. This is especially true during the fall run when there are large numbers of placements requiring evaluation.”


Metaphylaxis as a management tool

Metaphylaxis is an established, effective tool for mitigating the negative impact of BRD in high-risk cattle populations. Supported by data from 30 studies, metaphylactic treatment with Micotil® (tilmicosin injection) has a proven record of being a dependable tool for reducing morbidity and mortality due to BRD,1 thereby improving your clients’ bottom lines.  

“Producers desire to maximize the lifelong health of their cattle regardless of whether or not they are retaining ownership,” says Hagenmaier. “Movement into the next production stage poses inherent challenges due to transport and, in some cases, commingling with cattle that harbor key pathogens involved with BRD. These challenges underscore the value of utilizing metaphylactic treatment with Micotil.”

Micotil — delivering value and protection  

Used in more than 100 million cattle, Micotil is the proven, long-lasting BRD treatment that offers a flexible dose range for both metaphylaxis and individual pull-and-treat therapy. In fact, data from the University of Arkansas showed Micotil was more cost-effective and efficacious in reducing morbidity and subsequent retreatments than a competitive product.2

“Ensuring animal well-being and mitigating the impact of BRD while practicing good antimicrobial stewardship is key to successfully implementing a metaphylaxis program,” says Hagenmaier. “For producers, there are an array of environmental factors and population dynamics that make each of their operations unique. With the flexible dose of Micotil, producers and veterinarians have the ability to fine tune a metaphylaxis regimen based on the information available for each specific set of cattle.”

Micotil delivers by helping to reduce deads and pulls in order to boost an operation’s bottom line.1 To learn more about how Micotil can fit into your clients’ protocols, reach out to your Elanco sales representative or visit

Micotil is indicated for the treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni, and for the control of respiratory disease in cattle at high risk of developing BRD associated with Mannheimia haemolytica.

Important Safety Information

Before using this product, it is important to read the entire product insert, including the boxed human warning.

Caution: Federal (USA) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Not for human use. Injection of this drug in humans has been associated with fatalities. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use in automatically powered syringes. Exercise extreme caution to avoid accidental self-injection. In case of human injection, consult a physician immediately and apply ice or cold pack to injection site while avoiding direct contact with the skin. Avoid contact with eyes. Always use proper drug handling procedures to avoid accidental self-injection. Consult your veterinarian on the safe handling and use of all injectable products prior to administration. For use in cattle or sheep only. Inject subcutaneously. Injection of this antibiotic has been shown to be fatal in swine and non-human primates, and may be fatal in horses and goats. Do not use in lambs less than 15 kg body weight. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Use in lactating dairy cattle or sheep may cause milk residues. The following adverse reactions have been reported: in cattle: injection site swelling and inflammation, lameness, collapse, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions, decreased food and water consumption, and death; in sheep: dyspnea and death. Micotil has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 42 days.

Elanco supports the use of shared class antibiotics for therapeutic uses while under the oversight of a veterinarian. More details on Elanco’s Antibiotic, Welfare and Sustainability Policies can be found on

1Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.

2Hawley, J., Powell, J. et al. (2016). Comparison of ceftiofur crystalline free acid to tilmicosin for metaphylactic treatment of calves at risk for bovine respiratory disease. The Bovine Practitioner, 50(1), 33-39.

Micotil, Elanco, and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Eli Lilly and Company or its affiliates.

©2017 Eli Lilly and Company or its affiliates.

fyhlth 8822-1 | USBBUMIC00152



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