The efficacy and safety of a florfenicol plus flunixin meglumine formulation in the treatment of respiratory disease was evaluated in calves less than six weeks of age, compared with a positive control group treated with a well-established florfenicol formulation. A total of 210 calves, selected from nine sites in Belgium, France and Spain, showing severe signs of respiratory disease, were randomly assigned to treatment with either florfenicol plus flunixin meglumine (Resflor; MSD Animal Health) or florfenicol (Nuflor; MSD Animal Health), both administered subcutaneously once. Animals were clinically observed daily for 10 days following treatment initiation. The predominant respiratory pathogens were Pasteurella multocida, Mycoplasma bovis, Mannheimia haemolytica and Histophilus somni. All isolates were subject to in vitro sensitivity testing and found susceptible to florfenicol. In both groups, rectal temperature dropped and clinical index (depression and respiratory signs) significantly improved after treatment. Specifically, for the change in rectal temperature from pretreatment to six hours post-treatment, the florfenicol-flunixin formulation was found significantly superior to florfenicol. Moreover, the florfenicol-flunixin formulation alleviated the clinical signs of disease more rapidly, and was demonstrated to be non-inferior to florfenicol on days 4 and 10. The use of the product combining florfenicol and flunixin in calves is safe and efficacious in the treatment of outbreaks of bovine respiratory disease.
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