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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013 Aug 15;243(4):538-47. doi: 10.2460/javma.243.4.538.

Producer survey of herd-level risk factors for nursing beef calf respiratory disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. awoolums@uga.edu

Abstract

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.

PMID:
23902448
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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