The Evaluation of meloxicam included in a modern health management of beef cattle adaptation phase

  • Riccardo Compiani
  • Silvia Grossi Via Garibaldi 72
  • Nicola Morandi
  • Carlo Angelo Sgoifo Rossi Via Secondo Cremonesi 11/A
Keywords: cattle; bovine respiratory disease; antibiotics; health; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


The effects on health and growth of meloxicam administration in comparison to preventive antibiotic mass treatment to newly received beef cattle was evaluated. 605 intact Charolaise and crossbreeds’ males imported from France to an Italian beef fattening unit were enrolled in the trial. Those animals were considered to be at high risk of incurring in BRD (Bovine Respiratory Disease). At arrival, those animals were divided into two groups, Control (Ab) and Meloxicam (M). Ab group animals were treated with long acting oxytetracycline while those of M group were treated with meloxicam. Morbidity for BRD and other health problems was daily recorded. At day 0 and day 30, blood samples were collected to evaluate serum indicators of immune functionality (BHV-1 vaccination antibodies, serum bactericidal activity and γ-interferon) and inflammatory status (haptoglobin, lipopolysaccharide binding protein and Interleukin 6). Individual weight was recorded at study days 30, 100 and 180 to evaluate the growing performance. Cattle of M group showed a lower incidence of BRD. Considering the overall treatments for respiratory disease as the sum of first pull, relapse and chronic, the administration of meloxicam at arrival, led to a reduction of antimicrobial drugs use in the present experimental condition (P<0,05). Meloxicam administration in comparison to mass antibiotic treatment statistically improved cattle immune functionality. The production of BHV-1 antibodies due to vaccination resulted to be higher in M group (0,96 vs 0,44; P<0,05). Even the serum bactericidal activity resulted improved by meloxicam administration at study day 30 (83,8% vs 77,6%, P<0,05). Among inflammatory status indicators, only haptoglobin production tended to be positively affected by meloxicam administration. Regarding growth performance, animals of M group showed a better average daily gain and a higher weight at the end of the adaptation period (1,370 vs 1,280 kg/head/day and 444,61 vs 432,88 kg, P<0,1). In conclusion, the administration of meloxicam at arrival in the fattening unit to BRD high risky beef cattle, led to a good management of the respiratory disease. This strategy can be effective in a modern approach to manage the prevention of respiratory disease reducing the antibiotic administration

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