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    Cattle Medication

    Updated by Katie Navarra

    Vaccinations and medications are critical to maintaining herd health and productivity.  How they are stored and administered influences their efficacy and safety.

    Veterinary Client Patient Relationship

    Establishing a relationship with a veterinarian, often referred to as a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR), is the first step when deciding what to give an animal based on its current health status, farm management practices, and disease risk.

    Having a VCPR does not necessarily mean a veterinarian needs to visit the farm for every vaccination or treatment. Once they are familiar with your herd, they can develop an animal health program that meets your specific needs.

    Most importantly, if you don’t have a VCPR established, you will be unable to get a number of antibiotics that you may be currently using to treat animals.

    Antibiotic changes on the horizon

    According to Dr. Craig Payne, extension veterinarian at the University of Missouri several antibiotics approved for use in animals will transition from over-the-counter availability (OTC) to requiring a veterinary prescription later in 2023. 

    Payne describes this action as the final phase of FDA’s efforts to bring all medically important antibiotics approved for animal use under veterinary oversight. 

    “The first phase occurred on Jan. 1, 2017, when medically important antibiotics approved for use in animal feed transitioned from OTC availability to requiring a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and medically important antibiotics approved for use in drinking water transitioned from OTC availability to requiring a prescription,” Payne said.

    Those changes affected many of the antibiotics used in animal health, but a few remained available OTC.  However, on June 11, 2021, FDA released Guidance for Industry (GFI) #263 which outlined the process for transitioning these remaining OTC antibiotics to prescription status with the expectation this would go into effect two years later.

    “As a result, any antibiotics affected by #263 that are entering distribution channels after June 11, 2023, are expected to display the following language on the label: Caution: Federal law requires the use of this drug by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian”, Payne said.  “Once antibiotics with this revised label appear at retail locations, a veterinary prescription will be required when they are sold or dispensed, regardless of the species of animal they will be used in or what disease you intend treat.”   

    Below are a few examples of the commonly used antibiotics that will transition from OTC availability to requiring a veterinary prescription. 

    Cephapirin, Cephapirin Benzathine

    Product examples: Intramammary tubes: ToDAY® and ToMORROW®

    Lincomycin

    Product examples: Injectables: Lincomix® 100, Lincomix® 300, LincoMed™ 100, LincoMed® 300

    Oxytertracycline

    Product examples: Injectables: Liquamycin® LA-200®, Noromycin® 300 LA, Bio-Mycin® 200, Agrimycin 200, etc. Boluses: Terramycin® Scours Tablets, OXY 500 Calf Boluses

    Penicillin G Procaine, Penicillin G Benzathine

    Product examples: Injectables: Penicillin Injectable, Dura-Pen, Pro-Pen-G®, Combi-Pen 48®, etc. Intramammary tubes: Masti-Clear®, Go-dry™, Albadry Plus® 

    Sulfadimethoxine, Sulfamethazine

    Product examples: Injectables: Di-Methox 40%, SulfMed™ 40% Boluses: Albon®, Sustain III® Cattle & Calf Boluses, Supra Sulfa III Cattle & Calf Boluses

    Tylosin

    Product examples: Injectables: Tylan™ 50, Tylan™ 200

    Vaccines for cattle

    Vaccines will remain available over the counter and provides critical protection against common cattle diseases. A veterinarian can provide guidance on which vaccines to give and when. 

    Alpha-7

    Approved uses: For clostridial or blackleg (must be boostered).

    Bar Vac CD-T (Fermicon)

    Prevents enterotoxemia (overeating disease) and tetanus.

    C & D Antitoxin

    To immunize healthy yet susceptible animals against enterotoxemia (overeating disease) and tetanus caused by the toxins of clostridium perfringens types C and D and clostridium tetani.

    Lepto 5

    For immunization against five strains of leptospira.

    Sulfadimethoxine, Sulfamethazine

    For healthy cattle to aid in control and prevention of pinkeye caused by Moraxella bovis.

    Piliguard Pinkeye (Moraxella bovis Bacterin)

    For healthy cattle to aid in control and prevention of pinkeye caused by Moraxella bovis.

    Respishield 4 (Triangle 4 + Type IIBVD)

    For vaccination of healthy cattle against BRSV, IBR, BVD and PI-3. Bovine rhinotracheitis-virus diarrhea-parainfluenza-3-respiratory syncytial virus vaccine. Killed virus. Recommended for all stages of pregnancy, all ages beef or dairy cattle, all situations where you can't afford the stress of an MLV vaccine.

    Respishield 4L5 (Triangle 9 + Type IIBVD)

    Vaccinates against BRSV, IBR, BVD, PI-3 and 5-Way Lepto.

    Respishield 4 (Triangle 4 + HS)

    For vaccination of healthy cattle to protect against infectious bovine rhinotrachetis (IBR), bovine virus diarrhea (BVD), parainfluenza-3 (PI3), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) and infections caused by Haemophilus somnus.

    Ultrabac 7

    For use in healthy cattle for the prevention of blackleg (CI, chauvoel), malignant edema (CI, septicum), black disease (CI. novyl), and Clostridium sordel and Clostridium perfringens types C and D enterotoxemia.

    Proper livestock medication handling

    Animal health products are only effective when kept and administered according to the label instructions. All labels include storage instructions and expiration dates.

    “The expiration date is contingent upon storage conditions. If it is not being maintained according to manufacturer's instructions, who is to say that the expiration date still applies,” Payne said. “Pay attention to products you’re pulling out of inventory to use. If they are expired, they may no longer be efficacious or safe to use so consider discarding it.  You can also contact the manufacturer if you have additional questions.”

    In addition to proper storage, how vaccines are handled and administered in the field influences their efficacy. Payne encourages producers to visit with their veterinarian or reference the Beef Quality Assurance Program  or the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) for specifics on vaccine handling and administration.