Animal Dosing Study
Overdosing and under-dosing of animals is a serious issue in animal health. Overdosing may lead to toxicity problems and requires extended withdrawal times prior to slaughter. This prolongs the time the animal needs to spend on farm which eats into the profit locked in the animal. Another obvious consequence is the loss of the wasted product. Under-dosing of animals may lead to lack of efficacy of the product involved. Under-dosing anthelmintics may result in cattle to retain a significant worm burden and will have poorer performance than anticipated. Under-dosing antimicrobials may lead to poor treatment responses and even lead to death. Under-dosing with these types of products has potentially far greater economic ramifications than the expense of excess product typically associated with overdosing.
WHAT THE STUDIES SHOW?
A retrospective analysis of 6,231 head of pasture grazed and feedlot cattle comprising 24 separate lots was conducted by Kansas State University, to evaluate the extent of improper dosing that would have occurred if all animals in each lot were treated with a single dosage level of a pharmaceutical product based upon the average weight of the lot. Assuming that the average weight of each lot was used to determine the dosage of either an anthelmintic or a metaphylactic antimicrobial treatment for all animals in the lot, the extent and degree of potential individual animal improper dosing was calculated.
If you are dosing 600lb cattle with an Antibiotic for BRD or similar that costs approx $25/shot you could save over $110 per group of 100 cattle by not overdosing!
In summary the following occurred:
- 27% of animal were overdosed with some animals receiving 25% more treatment than needed
- 21.8% of animals were under dosed with 8.4% of animals and received 15% less treatment than required