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  • Author or Editor: Gregg A. Hanzlicek x
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OBJECTIVE To describe the frequency of calfhood producer-identified bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) in Holstein replacement heifers on 1 large farm and determine associations between development of BRDC at ≤ 120 days of age (BRDC120) with milk production estimate, calving interval, and risk of departure from the herd (DFH).

DESIGN Retrospective, observational study.

ANIMALS 14,024 Holstein heifer calves born on 1 farm.

PROCEDURES Data were obtained from herd management records. Cox proportional hazard and generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to assess associations for variables of interest (BRDC120 status, demographic data, and management factors) with DFH, milk production estimate, and calving interval.

RESULTS Except for the year 2007, animals identified as having BRDC120 were 1.62 to 4.98 times as likely to leave the herd before first calving, compared with those that did not have this designation. Calves identified as having BRDC prior to weaning were 2.62 times as likely to have DFH before first calving as those classified as developing BRDC after weaning. Cows identified as having BRDC120 were 1.28 times as likely to have DFH between the first and second calving as were other cows. The BRDC120 designation was associated with a 233-kg (513-lb) lower 305-day mature equivalent value for first lactation milk production, but was not associated with longer or shorter calving intervals at maturity.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Dairy cattle identified as having BRDC120 had increased risk of DFH before the first or second calving and lower first-lactation milk production estimates, compared with results for cattle without this finding. Further investigation of these associations is warranted.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the usefulness of physiologic, behavioral, and pathological changes as objective indicators of early respiratory disease in calves with Mannheimia haemolytica pneumonia.

Animals—14 crossbred beef steers.

Procedures—Disease was experimentally induced in healthy calves through endoscopic pulmonary inoculation of M haemolytica. Calves were necropsied on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 after inoculation. Physical examination variables (rectal temperature, heart rate, and respiration characteristics), clinical illness score, and degree of activity were assessed 3 times daily beginning 4 days prior to inoculation and continuing throughout the study. Twice before inoculation and on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9, arterial blood gas measurements, serum biochemical analyses, and CBCs were performed. Pedometers and accelerometers were used to monitor cattle behavior and activity throughout the trial.

Results—All calves became clinically ill after inoculation and had gross and histopathologic signs of bronchopneumonia. No variable was a reliable indicator of disease progression as judged by percentage of pulmonary involvement. However, activity as measured by total steps taken in a 24-hour period was lower after versus before disease induction.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This single-pathogen challenge model successfully yielded clinical signs and pathological effects consistent with naturally acquired respiratory disease. Routine laboratory variables and subjective measures were not reliable indicators of lung involvement or the progression of pneumonia. However, activity, objectively measured with pedometers and accelerometers, appeared to be a promising indicator for early recognition of bovine respiratory disease.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess associations between herd management practices and herd-level rates of bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) in preweaned beef calves in US cow-calf operations.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample—443 herds weighted to represent the US cow-calf population.

Procedures—Producers from 24 states were selected to participate in a 2-phase survey; 443 producers completed both survey phases and had calves born alive during the study period. Data from those respondents underwent multivariable negative binomial regression analyses.

Results—Bred heifer importation was associated with lower BRDC rates (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.40; confidence interval [CI], 0.19 to 0.82), whereas weaned steer importation was associated with higher BRDC rates (IRR, 2.62; CI, 1.15 to 5.97). Compared with single-breed herds, operations with calves of 2-breed crosses (IRR, 2.36; CI, 1.30 to 4.29) or 3-breed crosses (IRR, 4.00; CI, 1.93 to 8.31) or composite-herd calves (IRR, 2.27; CI, 1.00 to 5.16) had higher BRDC rates. Operations classified as supplemental sources of income had lower BRDC rates (IRR, 0.48; CI, 0.26 to 0.87) than did operations classified as primary sources of income. Reported feed supplementation with antimicrobials was positively associated with BRDC rates (IRR, 3.46; CI, 1.39 to 8.60). The reported number of visits by outsiders in an average month also was significantly associated with herd-level BRDC rates, but the magnitude and direction of the effects varied.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Management practices associated with preweaning BRDC rates may be potential indicators or predictors of preweaning BRDC rates in cow-calf production systems.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association