Understanding and Treating Bovine Respiratory Complex in Cattle: Vaccination, Nutrition, Exposure Reduction, and Medication

Bovine respiratory complex (CRB) is a common respiratory disease in cattle that can be caused by multiple infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Treatment of CRB usually involves a combination of therapeutic measures, which may include the use of medications.

According to him article by Francisco José Grande Avalos, “CRB prophylaxis and control systems are of great help to reduce economic losses but their limitations must be considered”. These include vaccines and medication, but also measures from nutrition and exposure reduction. (Lea: Know the prevalence and risk factors of the bovine respiratory complex)


The expert pointed out that vaccines, despite being widely accepted as a control measure, do not always have evidence to support them. except the BHV-1 and inactivated BVDV vaccines“Vaccines do not reduce the risk of CRB morbidity when compared to non-vaccinated groups.”


This measure is focused on calves that face higher stress conditionswho must be provided with a food rich in energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Injectable supplementation also helps them not be deficient in micronutrients and can better respond to an immunological challenge.

Exposure reduction

  • Bring animals that have had a effective vaccination program.
  • Do not join newly arrived animals directly with the rest (keeping a quarantine program).
  • Test animals when possible.
  • Isolate sick animals.
  • Apply a disinfection program.


Grande Avalos explained that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommends the metaphylaxis, which consists of the application of antibiotics, especially long-acting, to animals at high risk of developing CRB. «Its objective is to reduce the acute incidence of CRB in highly stressed calves and it is reported that they can reduce morbidity by up to 50% and mortality of animals by 25%.», he added.

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Concerned by experts and authorities about the massive use of antibiotics, which may increase the risk of spreading antimicrobial resistance, the author cited studies indicating that their use through metaphylaxis programs would not increase the total amount of antibiotics used, but is in fact a strategy with benefits for animal welfare.

In the United States, the antibiotics approved for metaphylactic treatment are tilmicosin, florfenicol, tulathromycin, and ceftiofour, with tulathromycin offering the best results. Commonly used metaphylactic regimens use the following antibiotics on arrival at the fattening center:

· Ceftiofur (free acid): 6.6mg/kg

· Tilmicosina: 10 mg/kg

· Florfenicol: 40 mg/kg

· Tulathromycin: 2.5mg/kg

It is important to highlight that the use of drugs in the treatment of CRB should be carried out under the supervision of a veterinarian. The veterinarian will determine the appropriate treatment after making an accurate diagnosis and considering the individual condition of the cattle and local epidemiological factors. (Read: Learn about the causes of Bovine Respiratory Complex)

In addition, compliance with good management practices and the implementation of preventive measures, such as vaccination and proper stress management, are also important to control and prevent CRB in cattle.


2023-05-19 05:12:45
#treatment #bovine #respiratory #complex

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