Bovine respiratory disease complex is the most common and costly health problem in beef cattle today.1,2 By some accounts, feedlot deaths associated with BRDC are increasing.1–3 Economic losses associated with BRDC primarily occur during the feeding phase and include a reduction in mean daily gain and carcass quality and an increase in days on feed.4,5 When prevention and treatment costs are included, the estimated cost to the US cattle industry is > $3 billion annually.6 Additionally, the impact on animal well-being is considerable because BRDC is clearly the most common cause of illness and death in beef cattle after weaning.1–3,6
Bovine respiratory disease complex is a multifactorial disease, the development of which is influenced by preweaning and postweaning factors.7 Some causative agents associated with BRDC are considered ubiquitous commensal organisms in cattle. The most commonly isolated organism from BRDC-affected lungs, Mannheimia haemolytica, is considered commensal in cattle.8 Successful treatment outcomes require early disease recognition, accurate prognostication, and application of appropriate therapeutics. Treatment failures increase economic losses through a decrease in performance and increase in mortality rate.9 Therefore, an accurate and timely diagnosis is important to allow informed economic and animal welfare decisions to be made.
Subjective measures such as attitude, appetite, and degree of activity are used to determine whether calves require additional examination or treatment for BRDC.10 These observations are performed on individual animals, yet commercial beef production systems involve management of cattle in populations or herds. Because herd animals tend to conceal clinical signs, overt signs of illness are often lacking early in the disease process.11
Improvements in diagnosis could be made through identification of repeatable, accurate measures associated with early stages of BRDC. We hypothesized that changes in hematologic, behavioral, and physical examination findings would be helpful for diagnosis and monitoring of BRDC. The purpose of the study reported here was to evaluate changes in physiologic, pathological, and behavioral variables in beef calves at multiple points following inoculation with M haemolytica.
Bovine respiratory disease complex
Clinical illness score
Total carbon dioxide concentration
Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Manhattan, Kan.
VetVu Flexible Endoscope, Swiss Precision Products, Spencer, Mass.
Excel, Microsoft Corp, Redmond, Wash.
1.3-mL lithium tube, Sarstedt, Numbrecht, Germany.
i-Stat Handheld Portable Analyzer, Heska Corp, Loveland, Colo.
2-mL EDTA blood tube, BD, Franklin, Tenn.
Clinical Pathology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
GP 1Progammable Accelerometer, Sensr, Elkader, Iowa.
NL-800 Activity Monitor, New Lifestyles, Lee's Summit, Mo.
Sensware, Sensr, Elkader, Iowa.
JMP 7.0, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
PEPI, version 4.0, Sagebrush Press, Las Vegas, NV.
PROC GLIMMIX, SAS 9.1, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
Gånheim C. Studies on the acute phase reaction during respiratory infections in calves. PhD dissertation, National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, 2004.
Loneragan GH, Dargatz DA, Morley PS, et al. Trends in mortality ratios among cattle in US feedlots. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 219:1122–1127.
Snowder GD, Van Vleck LD, Cundiff LV, et al. Bovine respiratory disease in feedlot cattle: phenotypic, environmental, and genetic correlations with growth, carcass, and longissimus muscle palatability traits. J Anim Sci 2007; 85:1885–1892.
Thompson PN, Stone A, Schultheiss WA. Use of treatment records and lung lesion scoring to estimate the effect of respiratory disease on growth during early and late finishing periods in South African feedlot cattle. J Anim Sci 2006; 84:488–498.
Wittum TE, Woollen NE, Perino LJ, et al. Relationships among treatment for respiratory tract disease, pulmonary lesions evident at slaughter, and rate of weight gain in feedlot cattle. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996; 209:814–818.
Gardner BA, Dolezal HG, Bryant LK, et al. Health of finishing steers: effects on performance, carcass traits, and meat tenderness. J Anim Sci 1999; 77:3168–3175.
Griffin D. Economic impact associated with respiratory disease in beef cattle. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 1997; 3:367–377.
Duff GC, Galyean ML. Board-invited review: recent advances in management of highly stressed, newly received feedlot cattle. J Anim Sci 2007; 85:823–840.
Radostits OM, Gay CC, Blood DC, et al. Veterinary medicine: a textbook of the diseases of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses. St Louis: WB Saunders Co, 2000.
Apley M. Bovine respiratory disease: pathogenesis, clinical signs, and treatment in lightweight calves. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 2006; 22:399–411.
Griffin D. Etiology, pathogenesis and clinical signs of bovine respiratory disease. In: Bovine respiratory disease: sourcebook for the veterinary professional. Trenton, NJ: Veterinary Learning Systems, 1996;6–11.
Weary DM, Huzzey JM, von Keyserlingk MAG. Board-invited review: using behavior to predict and identify ill health in animals. J Anim Sci 2009; 87:770–777.
Fajt VR, Apley MD, Roth JA, et al. The effects of danofloxacin and tilmicosin on neutrophil function and lung consolidation in beef heifer calves with induced Pasteurella (Mannheimia) haemolytica pneumonia. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2003; 26:173–179.
White BJ, Coetzee JF, Renter DG, et al. Evaluation of two-dimensional accelerometers to monitor behavior of beef cattle after castration. Am J Vet Res 2008; 69:1005–1012.
Reeve-Johnson L. Relationships between clinical and pathological signs of disease in calves infected with Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica type A1. Vet Rec 2001; 149:549–552.
Thomson R. A brief review of pulmonary clearance of bacterial aerosols emphasizing aspects of particular relevance to veterinary medicine. Can Vet J 1974; 15:99–107.
Step DL, Krehbiel CR, DePra HA, et al. Effects of commingling beef calves from different sources and weaning protocols during a forty-two-day receiving period on performance and bovine respiratory disease. J Anim Sci 2008; 86:3146–3158.
Blecha F, Boyles SL, Riley JG. Shipping suppresses lymphocyte blastogenic responses in angus and brahman × angus feeder calves. J Anim Sci 1984; 59:576–583.
Daniels TK, Bowman JGP, Sowell BF, et al. Effects of metaphylactic antibiotics on behavior of feedlot calves. Prof Anim Sci 2000; 16:247–253.
Rivera JD, Galyean ML, Nichols WT. Review: dietary roughage concentration and health of newly received cattle. Prof Anim Sci 2005; 21:345–351.
Vestweber JG, Klemm RD, Leipold HW, et al. Clinical and pathologic studies of experimentally induced Pasteurella haemolytica pneumonia in calves. Am J Vet Res 1990; 51:1792–1798.
Ames TR, Markham RJ, Opuda-Asibo J, et al. Pulmonary response to intratracheal challenge with Pasteurella haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida. Can J Comp Med 1985; 49:395–400.
Dowling A, Hodgson JC, Schock A, et al. Experimental induction of pneumonic pasteurellosis in calves by intratracheal infection with Pasteurella multocida biotype A:3. Res Vet Sci 2002; 73:37–44.
Jeyaseelan S, Sreevatsan S, Maheswaran SK. Role of Mannheimia haemolytica leukotoxin in the pathogensis of bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis. Anim Health Res Rev 2002; 3:69–82.
Soethout E, Müller KE, Rutten VP. Neutrophil migration in the lung, general and bovine-specific aspects. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2002; 87:277–285.
Corrigan ME, Drouillard JS, Spire MF, et al. Effects of me-lengestrol acetate on the inflammatory response in heifers challenged with Mannheimia haemolytica. J Anim Sci 2007; 85:1770–1779.
Slocombe RF, Derksen FJ, Robinson NE, et al. Interactions of cold stress and Pasteurella haemolytica in the pathogenesis of pneumonic pasteurellosis in calves: method of induction and hematologic and pathologic changes. Am J Vet Res 1984; 45:1757–1763.
Nagy O. Use of blood gases and lactic acid analyses in diagnosis and prognosis of respiratory disease in calves. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 2006; 50:149–152.
Coghe J, Uysterpruyst CH, Bureau F, et al. Validation and prognostic value of plasma lactate measurement in bovine respiratory disease. Vet J 2000; 160:139–146.
Roelofs JB, van Eerdenburg FJ, Soede NM, et al. Pedometer readings for estrous detection and as predictor for time of ovulation in dairy cattle. Theriogenology 2005; 64:1690–1703.
Schoenig SA, Hildreth TS, Nagl L, et al. Ambulatory instrumentation suitable for long-term monitoring of cattle health, in Proceedings. 26th Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2004; 4:2379–2382.
Rorie RW, Bilby TR, Lester TD. Application of electronic estrus detection technologies to reproductive management of cattle. Theriogenology 2002; 57:137–148.
Mazrier H, Tal S, Aizinbud E, et al. A field investigation of the use of the pedometer for the early detection of lameness in cattle. Can Vet J 2006; 47:883–886.
Moallem U, Gur P, Shpigel N, et al. Graphic monitoring of the sources of some clinical conditions in dairy cows using a computerized dairy management system. Isr J Vet Med 2002; 57:43–63.