Feed Lot

DEC 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

Issue link: https://feedlotmagazine.epubxp.com/i/907369

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Page 15 of 31

16 FEED•LOT  December 2017 INDUSTRY & INNOVATION ISSUE Whisper Veterinary Stethoscope System Merck is continuing training pro- grams to increase value for feed- y ards on the Whisper Veterinary Stethoscope System. "At this point in time, we are focusing solely on BRD treatment and training new customers with regard to applying the technology in the hospital," said Jason Nickell, DVM, Ph.D, DACVPM, Merck's associate director of live- stock technology and innovation. Nickell said the training is fo- cused on teaching feedyards how to use Whisper as another piece of information, in conjunction with a rectal temperature, to confirm the diagnose of BRD. "Based on observational stud- ies, by combining the Whisper score and rectal temperature, we observe an enhancement in the accuracy of diagnosis of BRD. By improving the accuracy of diagno- sis, we can reduce the number of animals treated that don't actually h ave BRD, and we can also ensure we identify the ones that do have BRD. It also gives us a clearer pic- ture of where those animals are in the disease process so we can be more strategic in our therapy ad- ministration," he explained. The Whisper Stethoscope is placed on an animal's chest wall that has been identified as ill or is demonstrating the signs of illness. Within eight seconds, Whisper pro- vides the user with a Whisper score, ranging from 1 to 5, with one being minimal evidence of lung tis- sue damage, and a score of five in- dicating significant and permanent lung damage. Nickell said that the score is as- sociated with the likelihood of the animal dying from BRD. "What we are seeing from our own informa- tion, as the Whisper score increas- es from 1 to 5, the risk of that ani- mal dying increases as well." Depending on the additional management practices with which f eedyards are using the tool, one consistent piece of feedback is they are able to reduce treatment costs by not treating animals that don't have BRD, Nickell explained. Additionally, hospital and go-home procedures can also be customized based on the information gained by the Whisper score. "In one feedyard in particular, an- imals that score 3 or higher are stay- ing in recovery pens until they look normal. They don't send them back to the home pen until they're ready to compete for bunk space," he said. "They see reduced treatment costs by weaning out those who don't have BRD, but also seeing a reduc- tion in relapses. Knowing the Whis- per score affects how they treat the cattle, how they manage those cat- tle, and has also been used as a training tool for pen riders. In some cases, they're seeing an improve- ment in the timing of pulls – cattle getting pulled sooner rather than Innovation ... from previous page

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