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To establish and compare the precision of serum total protein (STP) measured by an optical refractometer to the precision of IgG concentrations measured using radial immunodiffusion (RID), the reference test for quantifying IgG in neonatal calves.


6 sera with previously measured IgG concentration using RID from neonatal beef calves were selected from 3 stratum: low-serum IgG stratum between >5.0 and <15.0g/L(n = 4); moderate-serum IgG stratum between 35.0–45.0g/L(n = 1); high-serum IgG stratum between 60.0–70.0g/L(n = 1).


STP was measured 13 times with an optical refractometer. IgG concentrations were measured 28 times with a commercial bovine IgG RID for each sera. The homogeneity of variance within the tests was evaluated with the Levene test (α = 0.10). Unrestricted random sampling bootstrapping (5,000 repetitions) was used to calculate the coefficient of variation (CV) for each serum and test. The homogeneity of variance between simulated test CVs by serum was evaluated (α = 0.10). Differences between simulated test CV by serum were assessed with the Kruskal-Wallis test (α = 0.05).


No difference was observed in the variance for STP between sera (P = .39). The average CV for STP was 4.2%, 10.1% for the low IgG stratum, and 15.5% for the moderate/high IgG stratum. Variance differed in serum IgG concentration (P < .0001). Serum with higher IgG concentrations had more variance. Simulated CV for STP and IgG had homogeneity of variance for only 1 sera (P = .31). STP had a smaller CV compared to IgG for every serum (P < .0001).


Estimating IgG concentration directly by RID or indirectly by STP lacks the precision that might affect diagnostic interpretation regarding a calf’s absorption of maternal antibodies.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To develop a partial budget analysis of direct costs associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in preweaned calves on US beef cow–calf operations and identify factors that strongly influence those costs.

DESIGN Risk analysis model.

ANIMALS US preweaned beef calf inventory from 2011 through 2015.

PROCEDURES A stochastic simulation model was developed by use of a computer spreadsheet and add-in software. Input data were obtained from the USDA, peer-reviewed literature, and a survey of beef cow–calf producers. A simulation consisting of 10,000 iterations was used to account for either uncertainty or variability in model inputs. The median (90% confidence interval) was reported for each output variable. Global and local sensitivity analyses were performed to identify the most influential factors and quantitatively evaluate the effects of inputs on the estimated costs.

RESULTS From 2011 through 2015, BRD in preweaned calves cost the US beef cow–calf industry approximately $165 million annually, of which costs associated with the death, treatment, and decreased weaning weight of BRD-affected calves were approximately $126, $25, and $15 million, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Although BRD in preweaned calves may have a fairly small effect on the total gross income for the US beef cow–calf industry as a whole, it can have a substantial adverse effect on the net profit of BRD-affected herds. The model developed provided important information regarding the cost of BRD in preweaned calves on US beef cow–calf operations and identified factors that had an import effect on those costs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine pharmacokinetics of butorphanol tartrate incorporated into poloxamer 407 (P407) after SC administration to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

ANIMALS 11 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (6 males and 5 females; 11 to 27 years old).

PROCEDURES A sterile formulation of butorphanol in P407 (But-P407) 25% (percentage determined as [weight of P407/weight of diluent] × 100]) was created (8.3 mg/mL). Five preliminary experiments (2 birds/experiment) were performed to determine the ideal dose for this species. The formulation then was administered (12.5 mg/kg, SC) to 8 birds. Blood samples were collected before (time 0) and 0.08, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours after drug administration. Some birds were used more than once, with a washout period of ≥ 3 months between subsequent treatments. Butorphanol concentrations were quantitated by use of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed by use of noncompartmental analysis.

RESULTS Maximal plasma butorphanol concentration was reached at 1.31 hours. Plasma concentrations of butorphanol remained > 100 ng/mL for > 3 hours (all birds) or > 4 hours (5/8 birds) but < 8 hours (all birds). Half-life of the terminal slope was 3.41 hours. No adverse effects were detected.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Butorphanol was absorbed well from the But-P407 25% by Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and absorption followed a pharmacokinetic profile compatible with a sustained-release drug. A dose of 12.5 mg/kg, SC, would theoretically provide analgesia for 4 to 8 hours. No adverse effects were detected. Studies on the pharmacodynamics of this formulation are necessary to confirm the degree and duration of analgesia.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To assess the effects of topical application of undiluted heterologous serum on time to corneal reepithelialization in dogs with superficial chronic corneal epithelial defects (SCCEDs).

DESIGN Multicenter, randomized, double-masked, controlled clinical trial.

ANIMALS 41 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES After collection of baseline clinical and historical data, dogs were randomly assigned to receive topically applied undiluted heterologous serum (n = 22) or isotonic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (19) along with tobramycin and atropine. Epithelial debridement (at all visits) and grid keratotomy (at visits 2, 3, and 4) of SCCEDs were performed. Ophthalmic examination including fluorescein application was performed once weekly for 4 weeks or until corneal reepithelialization. Clinicians and owners were masked to treatment group.

RESULTS No differences in baseline data were detected between treatment groups. No difficulties with medication administration, noncompliance, or adverse reactions were noted. All SCCEDs in both groups healed by 4 weeks after treatment began. Median time to reepithelialization (2 weeks) was not significantly different between serum-treated and placebo-treated eyes. Irrespective of treatment group, median time to reepithelialization was not significantly different for Boxers versus non-Boxer breeds. Direct correlations were detected between time to reepithelialization and vascularization score at study entry, vascularization score at time of reepithelialization, and ulcer area at study entry in both groups. Time to reepithelialization was not correlated with age, sex, or duration of signs in either group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Topical application of undiluted heterologous serum was well tolerated by dogs with SCCEDs but, as an adjunct to standard treatment, did not reduce time to corneal reepithelialization.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To estimate costs associated with prevention and treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in preweaned calves on US beef cow–calf operations.

DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.

SAMPLE 43 beef cow–calf producers whose operations had a history of BRD in preweaned calves.

PROCEDURES Mail and electronic surveys were developed and administered to producers in Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota to obtain information regarding costs of BRD prevention and treatment. Descriptive statistics were generated. Mixed linear regression models were used to assess factors associated with the costs of vaccines, medicine, and labor and percentage time spent on prevention and treatment of BRD in cows, replacement heifers, and preweaned calves.

RESULTS 7 mail and 36 electronic surveys were completed. Median annual costs for BRD vaccines were $2.25, $4.00, and $6.25/animal, and median annual labor costs for vaccination were $4.58, $3.00, and $5.00/animal for cows, heifers, and preweaned calves, respectively. Median annual costs for medicine and labor to treat preweaned calves for BRD were $11.00 and $15.00/ affected calf, respectively. Adjusted mean annual BRD vaccine cost for preweaned calves ($7.67/animal) was significantly greater than that for cows ($3.18/animal) and heifers ($4.48/animal).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that labor costs associated with BRD vaccination and treatment were similar to or exceeded the cost of vaccines and medicine, and most of those labor costs were associated with gathering and sorting cattle. Therefore, costs associated with labor as well as medicine and vaccines should be considered during the development of BRD prevention and treatment plans.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine herd-level risk factors for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in nursing beef calves.

DESIGN Matched case-control study.

SAMPLE 84 cow-calf operations in Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

PROCEDURES Case herds were herds that treated at least 5% of the calf crop for BRD prior to weaning. Control herds were herds that treated < 0.5% of the calf crop for BRD prior to weaning. Each case herd was matched with 2 control herds on the basis of veterinary practice and enrollment year. Herd owners or managers were interviewed by telephone, and characteristics and practices associated with case status were determined by multivariable conditional logistic regression.

RESULTS 30 case herds and 54 control herds were evaluated. Increasing herd size, frequent pasture movement for intensive grass management (intensive grazing), and use of estrus-synchronization programs were significantly associated with herd status. The odds of being a case herd for herds with 150 to 499 cows was 7.9 times and that for herds with ≥ 500 cows was 12 times, compared with the odds of being a case herd for herds with < 150 cows. The odds of being a case herd for herds that used intensive grazing was 3.3 times that for herds that did not use intensive grazing. The odds of being a case herd for herds that used an estrus-synchronization program was 4.5 times that for herds that did not use an estrus-synchronization program.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Management practices can be associated with an increase in the BRD incidence in nursing beef calves. Modification of management practices may decrease BRD incidence in nursing calves for herds in which it is a problem.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the prevalence of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)–infected alpaca herds in the United States and investigate factors associated with seropositive herd status and, subsequently, determine the proportion of animals within seropositive alpaca herds that are persistently infected (PI) carriers for BVDV, obtain information regarding previous herd exposure to BVDV, determine titers of anti-BVDV antibodies of dams, and ascertain whether individual seropositive crias had received supplemental colostrum at birth.

Design—Prevalence study.

Animals—63 alpaca herds with ≥ 12 registered female alpacas.

Procedures—250 alpaca breeders were randomly selected from 562 eligible herds listed in the Alpaca Owner and Breeders Association membership directory and mailed a voluntary participation request. Sixty-three alpaca breeders participated in the study. From each herd, blood samples from ≥ 4 crias were tested for BVDV, BVDV RNA, and serum neutralizing antibodies against BVDV. A region of the genome of BVDV recovered from PI crias was sequenced to determine genetic homology.

Results—Among the 63 herds, 16 (25.4%) had seropositive crias and 4 (6.3%) had PI crias. Infections in 3 of the 4 herds with PI crias were linked as evidence by the genetic homologies of viruses. In addition to PI crias, feeding supplemental colostrum was associated with herd seropositivity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results confirmed the importance of BVDV infections in alpacas in the United States and highlighted the importance of determining the BVDV infection status of animals before they are commingled to limit exposure of herds to BVDV infection.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify herd-level risk factors for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in nursing beef calves.

Design—Population-based cross-sectional survey.

Sample—2,600 US cow-calf producers in 3 Eastern and 3 Plains states.

Procedures—The associations of herd characteristics with BRD detection in calves and cumulative BRD treatment incidence were determined.

Results—459 (177%) surveys were returned and met the inclusion criteria; 48% and 52% of these surveys were completed by producers in Plains and Eastern states, respectively. Mean (95% confidence interval) number of animals in herds in Plains and Eastern states were 102 (77 to 126) and 48 (40 to 56), respectively. Bovine respiratory disease had been detected in ≥ 1 calf in 21% of operations; ≥ 1 calf was treated for BRD and ≥ 1 calf died because of BRD in 89.2% and 46.4% of operations in which calf BRD was detected, respectively. Detection of BRD in calves was significantly associated with large herd size, detection of BRD in cows, and diarrhea in calves. Calving season length was associated with BRD in calves in Plains states but not Eastern states. Cumulative incidence of BRD treatment was negatively associated with large herd size and examination of cows to detect pregnancy and positively associated with calving during the winter, introduction of calves from an outside source, offering supplemental feed to calves, and use of an estrous cycle synchronization program for cows.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated factors associated with calf BRD risk; modification of these factors could potentially decrease the incidence of BRD in nursing calves.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association