Anaplasmosis Treatment in Beef Cattle Under VFD

Jamie JohansenAnimal AgCast, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Audio, Beef, Cattle, Disease, Veterinary, VFD

In this week’s AnimalAgCast we discuss one of the most talked about issues in animal agriculture circles these days. January 2017 brought us the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Dr. Craig Payne, University of Missouri Extension, has spoke to a number of groups across the country educating vets and producers on the VFD and serving as a key resource for continued questions. He recently spoke to producers during the 2017 Missouri Cattle Industry Convention on managing anaplasmosis with these new guidelines. I caught up with him to learn what this means for producers and answer the most asked questions.

Anaplasmosis has been diagnosed in 48 states and has a $400 million impact each year on the cattle industry. Cows who have been infected and recovered will usually become a chronic carrier of the disease. So, what do you do with them? Leave them in the herd or is that counter productive? Is the answer the same for purebred and commercial herds?

“The thought process now is it might be best to keep those chronic carriers in the herd because that provides some endemic stability in the herd. That would apply primarily to a commercial cowherd. For purebred breeders who are marketing cattle in other parts of the country or globe where anaplasmosis isn’t as common, it might be warranted to try and create an anaplasmosis free herd. Yet always understanding the risk of reintroduction and cows who aren’t chronic carriers will be challenged with the disease.”

Injectable tetracyclines are a common treatment and still available over the counter. However, they are not labeled for use of treating anaplasmosis and a vet intervention is needed. The VFD comes into play when we start talking about the control of the disease with feed grade antibiotics.

“Chlortetracycline, which is the antibiotic we use, now requires a VFD. In order for a producer to get a VFD the producer needs to have a working relationship with their veterinarian and they also have to have justification that use of that CTC for anaplasmosis in that system is warranted. Once those determinations have been made, the VFD will be sent to your feed distributor. You will get a copy of it and you then have access to that chlortetracycline for control of anaplasmosis.”

Listen to the full program to learn more about some most asked questions and what resources are available to vets and producers:
AnimalAgCast - Dr. Craig Payne, University of Missouri

One Comment on “Anaplasmosis Treatment in Beef Cattle Under VFD”

  1. Dr. Craig Payne:
    For the past five years many Missouri Cattlemen and Dairymen have gotten protection for their herds from the acute cases of Bovine Anaplasmosis with the use of a Killed Anaplasmosis Vaccine. The vaccine is produced by University Products at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The vaccine is safe to use in any stage of pregnancy and there has never been a reported case of Neonatal Isoerythrolysis in calves of vaccinated cows.
    This vaccine has been available to Licensed Missouri Veterinarians since May 4, 2012. If you or anyone would be interested in more information they can contact: Dr. D. Gene Luther by Phone (225-266-8275 ) or Email (

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