A new system that allows cowboys to evaluate lung disease severity for more accurate diagnosis of bovine respiratory disease (BRD), may both aid in the early treatment of the disease and help reduce antibiotic use.
Merck Animal Health has launched the Whisper Veterinary Stethoscope System — a management tool designed to enhance the efforts currently in place for confirming BRD — the single largest source of morbidity and mortality in feedyards. The Whisper Veterinary Stethoscope System will help veterinarians and producers determine which animals actually need treatment and support judicious antibiotic use.
“This innovative instrument improves the diagnosis accuracy of BRD when cattle are brought into the chute for further assessment,” says Jason Nickell, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVPM, associate director of livestock technology and innovation, Merck Animal Health. “By providing clarity on lung health and potential severity of disease, as well as which animals have BRD or at the highest risk, Whisper will help veterinarians and producers optimize antimicrobial costs and develop optimal treatment plans.”
Merck Animal Health acquired the rights to Whisper last year. Since then, extensive work has been performed to evaluate the technology and enhance the usability for producers.
Once cattle have been identified as ill or demonstrating signs that could equate to illness, Whisper is placed on the animal’s chest wall. In eight seconds, Whisper provides users with a lung severity scale – ranging from one to five. A lung score of one indicates no signs of lung tissue damage, while a lung score of five indicates permanent lung tissue damage.
For more information about Whisper, please visit WhisperCattle.com.