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Four tips provided for avoiding BRD this winter

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Winter cold and storms are right around the corner, and in many places, producers and their livestock are already experiencing a drop in temperatures. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in cattle may be right around the corner as well, experts at Zoetis share. 

A little planning can go a long way in handling the pressures of Mother Nature and managing cowherds to stay ahead of a BRD outbreak. 

Phillip Kesterson, DVM, Beef Technical Services, Zoetis suggests considering the following four factors this winter. 

Temperature fluctuations

While humans may enjoy “layering weather,” it can be hard on cattle in grow yards. When the morning starts out cold, then warms up 30 degrees or more during the day and cools off again at night, people can remove or add layers, but cattle can’t.

The fluctuations can cause respiratory stress, so producers are encouraged to watch cattle for signs of illness. 

Dusty days

Dry weather can cause respiratory issues for cattle in dry lots. While producers do everything they can to address and mitigate this issue, they can’t do much if Mother Nature doesn’t provide moisture. 

Kesterson recommends producers keep an eye on cattle during dusty, windy days for signs of distress. 

Commingling issues

While producers might think the risk of commingling is past, they shouldn’t be overconfident their cattle are beyond the period of vulnerability caused by commingling. Mixing cattle exposes them to new pathogens when immune systems may be suppressed, so it is important to keep a constant eye on emerging signs on disease. 

Long-duration treatments

With labor often in short supply, using a long-duration anti-infective treatment for BRD allows for returning cattle to their home pens where they feel more comfortable, thus decreasing the likelihood of subsequent treatments. 

Treatment strategies

If producers do encounter an issue with BRD, having a set protocol and plan for treatment is essential to help get cattle feeling better and back on feed. Kesterson encourages producers to consider the new BRD treatment which combines the long-duration of the leading antibiotic on the market with a fast-acting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug: Draxxin KP. 

The product is labelled to treat all four major BRD pathogens: Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasturella multocide, Histophilus somni and Mycoplasma bovis.  

Kesterson encourages producers to talk with their veterinarian and evaluate their BRD management and treatment protocols, as well as learn more about new products on the market. 

This article is courtesy of Zoetis Quick Tips. Zoetis is the world’s leading animal health company, and is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture the world and humankind by advancing care for animals. For more information, visit

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