Bovine Respiratory Disease

Bovine -Resp -Disease _2017-11-03

Example Scenario:
Farmer C owns a 150-cow dairy farm rearing its own replacements.

Calves are group-housed in converted stables and often develop pneumonia (or BRD – bovine respiratory disease) in the spring. This year when the usual outbreak occurs, two in a group of 30 calves die and another four are coughing and appear sick.

Example treatment options

Option 1 – Inappropriate use
Treat all calves with florfenicol antibiotic injection. Treatment of all 30 calves uses ~1.4mg/PCU of antibiotic .

Option 2 – Improved approach
Improve detection to treat cases earlier and only treat those calves affected with florfenicol antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory.

This treatment approach uses approx. 0.2 mg/PCU of antibiotic.

Option 3 – Best practice
In addition to Option 2 and in consultation with your vet, plan to prevent BRD by taking specific preventive measures appropriate for the farm situation such as reducing infection pressure (e.g. better ventilation), and improving immunity (e.g. colostrum management). Also consider pneumonia vaccines and BVD eradication.

This approach uses 0.2mg/PCU antibiotic in the short term as per Option 2 but also reduces the number of new cases. Long term antibiotic use will decline and animal health will improve.

Visit to find out more about antibiotics and UK farming, and access facts, statistics, science and reports. The website also contains best practice case studies and inspiration for farmers who want to work with their vets to ensure they are using antibiotics responsibly.