Article Text

Long-acting antibiotic formulations in the treatment of calf pneumonia: a comparative study of tilmicosin and oxytetracycline
  1. R Laven and
  2. AH Andrews
  1. Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, Royal Veterinary College, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Abstract

The treatment of an outbreak of acute pneumonia in 50 four- to eight-month-old Friesian and Friesian cross calves is described. At the first visit (day 0) 16 calves received 20 mg/kg bodyweight of oxytetracycline dihydrate intramuscularly and 15 received 10 mg/kg of the macrolide tilmicosin subcutaneously. The remaining 19 in-contact animals were not considered ill enough to be included in the trial and received 20 mg/kg of oxytetracycline dihydrate. The rectal temperature, demeanour, respiratory rate and respiratory effort of each calf was assessed on days 1, 2, 3, 9, 14, 21 and 28, and calves which had not responded were given repeat injections of the same antibiotic. All the calves recovered from the outbreak and of the 19 calves treated strategically, three required a second injection. Among the calves with clinical pneumonia, fewer treatments (P less than 0.01) were required by those treated with tilmicosin. The rectal temperatures of both groups decreased (P less than 0.05) after the first injection, but on day 3 the decrease was greater (P less than 0.05) in the group treated with tilmicosin. Respiratory rates varied widely but respiratory effort was less (P less than 0.05) on day 2 in the calves treated with tilmicosin. When long-acting antibiotic injections are used to treat enzootic pneumonia it is suggested that a second visit should be made on day 3 to assess the animals' response to treatment.

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