Comparing delayed versus on-arrival administration of a modified live viral vaccine in feedlot cattle



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PICO question

In auction market calves at high risk of developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD), does delayed (14–30 days) vaccination with a modified live vaccine (MLV) for viral respiratory pathogens versus administration of MLV on-arrival (within 24 hours of arrival) to the feedlot, result in a decreased percentage of calves with BRD morbidity diagnosed based on visual signs and rectal temperature >40 degrees Celsius?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Two papers were critically reviewed. Both are randomised complete block designs

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

Delaying administration of a modified live respiratory vaccine to feedlot cattle may result in lower BRD retreatments


In feedlot calves, delaying modified live vaccine administration for viral respiratory pathogens may result in lower BRD retreatment rates than cattle receiving the vaccine on arrival to the feedlot. Significant statistical data from one study supported this conclusion while another showed numerically less retreatments in calves vaccinated on arrival versus delayed vaccination


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed


Hagenmaier, J.A., Terhaar, B.L., Blue, K., Hoffman, B.W., Fox, J.T. & Theurer, M.E. (2018). A Comparison of three vaccine programs on the health, growth performance, and carcass characteristics of high-risk feedlot heifers procured from auction-markets. The Bovine Practitioner. 52(2), 120–130. DOI:

O’Connor, A. & Fajt, V. (2015). Evaluating Treatment Options for Common Bovine Diseases Using Published Data and Clinical Experience. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice. 31(1), 1–15. DOI:

Rogers, K.C., Miles, D.G., Renter, D.G., Sears, J.E. & Woodruff, J.L. (2016). Effects of delayed respiratory viral vaccine and/or inclusion of an immunostimulant on feedlot health, performance, and carcass merits of auction-market derived feeder heifers. The Bovine Practitioner. 50(2), 154–164. DOI:

Vol. 7 No. 2 (2022): The second issue of 2022

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  /  Exotics  /