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Invest Now to Save on Re-treatments Later

November 29, 2010

Source: Pfizer Animal Health

When trying to strengthen the bottom line and cut costs, many cattle producers often turn first to less expensive treatments. When dealing with serious challenges that contribute to bovine respiratory disease (BRD), like Mycoplasma bovis, choosing treatments that are effective to start with can prove less expensive in the long run, according to Daniel Scruggs, DVM, Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health.

“Producers often forget their total cost for antibiotics isn’t what they pay up front, it’s what they pay for the first, second and third treatments,” Dr. Scruggs says. “Re-treatments for BRD — especially M. bovis-related disease — can cost producers a lot of money.”

M. bovis, when combined with other viral or bacterial agents, often leads to BRD — a disease that cost the beef industry nearly $1 billion in economic losses last year from death, reduced feed efficiency and treatment costs.

“By the time producers notice clinical signs of M. bovis-related disease, treatment may be less beneficial,” Dr. Scruggs says. “That’s why it’s important to control M. bovis from the beginning. Producers also should involve their veterinarians — no one understands disease transmission and the unique status of organisms like M. bovis better than a veterinarian.”

That’s why Dr. Scruggs recommends producers work with their veterinarians to control M. bovis before it becomes a problem by treating cattle on arrival with an effective, proven antibiotic, and instituting management changes to help control spread of disease.

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