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  • Author or Editor: Jeanne Wormuth x
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Objective—To determine the effects of administration of 1 dose of tulathromycin on the incidence of various diseases and growth, identify risk factors for slow growth, and determine the association of Mycoplasma bovis status with the incidence of otitis media in calves.

Design—Randomized controlled trial and cross-sectional study.

Animals—788 dairy heifer calves (median age, 3 days).

Procedures—Calves received tulathromycin or a saline (0.9% NaCl) solution control treatment once. Calves were observed daily for 8 weeks by farm staff to detect diseases. Nasal swab specimens were collected from some calves for Mycoplasma spp culture.

Results—Tulathromycin-treated calves had significantly lower odds of developing otitis media (OR, 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.58 to 0.82) versus control calves. Control calves had significantly higher odds of developing diarrhea (OR, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.6) versus tulathromycin-treated calves. Control calves and those with failure of passive transfer, fever, lameness, respiratory tract disease, or diarrhea had significantly lower average daily gain versus other calves. Seventeen of the 66 (26%) calves that underwent repeated testing had positive Mycoplasma spp culture results, but positive results were not associated with otitis media. One of 42 calves with otitis media tested for Mycoplasma spp had positive results, and 1 of 43 age-matched calves without otitis media had positive results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tulathromycin-treated calves in this study had a lower incidence of diarrhea and otitis media versus control calves. Various diseases had negative effects on average daily gain. Mycoplasma bovis status was not associated with otitis media in calves.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association