Objectives—To determine the effect of location for administration of clostridial vaccines on behavior, growth performance, and health of calves at a feedlot, the relative risk of calves developing an injection-site reaction or being misdiagnosed as having bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC), and the percentage of subcutaneous injection-site reactions that were detectable on carcasses after the hides were removed.
Animal—170 newly arrived calves at a feedlot.
Procedure—Eating and drinking behaviors of calves during the initial 57 days after arrival were observed at a commercial feedlot, using an electronic monitoring system. Calves were assigned randomly to receive a clostridial vaccine (base of ear or neck). Data on reactions at the injection site were collected.
Results—Mean daily gain (MDG) for the initial 57 days did not differ significantly between treatments. Risk of being misdiagnosed as having BRDC was not associated with location for administration of vaccine. Calves vaccinated in the base of the ear were at higher risk of having an injection-site reaction at day 57 or at slaughter. Eighty-nine percent (95% confidence interval, 52 to 100%) of injection-site reactions in the neck could not be located on the carcasses after hides were removed. Calves vaccinated in the neck drank significantly fewer times per day during the first 57 days than calves vaccinated in the base of the ear.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Location for administration of a clostridial vaccine did not significantly affect health, growth performance, or eating behavior. Most subcutaneous injection-site reactions were not detectable after the hide was removed. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1169–1172)