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Res Vet Sci. 2013 Oct;95(2):606-11. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2013.06.016. Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Prophylactic nitric oxide treatment reduces incidence of bovine respiratory disease complex in beef cattle arriving at a feedlot.

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Faculty of Medicine, Respiratory Division, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDc), is a challenging multi-factorial health issue caused by viral/bacterial pathogens and stressors linked with the transport and mixing of cattle, negatively impacting the cattle feedlot industry. Nitric oxide (NO) is a naturally occurring molecule with antimicrobial attributes. This study tests whether NO can prevent the symptoms associated with BRDc. Eighty-five, crossbred, multiple-sourced, commingled commercial weaned beef calves were monitored and scored for temperature, white blood count, clinical score, hematology, cortisol levels and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio. NO treatment or placebo were given once on arrival to the stockyard. After one week 87.5% of sick animals were from the control while 12.5% from treatment groups and after two weeks 72% and 28% respectively. Treatment was shown to be safe, causing neither distress nor adverse effects on the animals. These data show that NO treatment on arrival to the feedlot significantly decreased the incidence of BRDc in this study.


Antimicrobial; Bovine respiratory disease; Food-chain-sustainability; Nitric oxide; Shipping fever; Undifferentiated fever

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