Field Investigations

Beef Cattle Respiratory Disease

Field trials were conducted at 3 locations and involved 363 calves with spontaneously occurring bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Treatments consisted of flunixin meglumine plus antibiotic (oxytetracycline) (n=181) compared to antibiotic (oxytetracycline) alone (n=182). In both instances, antibiotic was administered at 10 mg/kg (4.5 mg/lb) IM for 3 consecutive days. FM was administered IV at 2.2 mg/kg for 1 to 3 days depending on the temperature response after each treatment. FM dosing was repeated when the animals' temperature was above 104+°F. Animals were monitored for 7 additional days following the last antibiotic treatment on day 3.

Parameters included: temperature, character of respiration, depression, illness index score, mortality and treatment failure.


  • 61% of the calves in the combination treatment group required only one injection of FM, 18% required a second, and 21% a third treatment.
  • 15 animals in the OTC-only group died, while only 8 in the combination therapy group died. Most of the mortality occurred at one site which had a concurrent BVD outbreak. At this site, there were 7 deaths in the FM+OTC and 14 in the OTC-only group.
  • Rectal temperature was comparable in both groups pre-treatment (104.9+°F). There was a decrease in temperature in both groups on day 1, which was statistically significant for the FM+OTC group.
  • Character of respiration improved to a greater extent in the combination therapy group. By day 9, 69% (99/144) were rated normal in the combination group compared to 50% (70/139) in the OTC-only group.
  • Treatment success was 78% for the FM+OTC group and 74% for the OTC-only group.

In conclusion, flunixin meglumine ameliorated some of the clinical signs of bovine respiratory disease and demonstrated efficacy as an antipyretic.

Dairy Calf Respiratory Disease

A field trial with 81 male Holstein calves compared treatment with FM and OTC to OTC alone. FM was dosed once daily at 2.2 mg/kg (1.0 mg/lb) IV for 1 to 3 days and OTC once daily at 10 mg/kg (4.5 mg/lb). Animals with acute signs of pneumonia (rectal temperature greater than 104+°F and respiratory rate greater than 40) were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. FM was repeated in calves with temperatures over 104+°F on days 2 and 3.


  • No deaths occurred during this trial.
  • 58.1% of the calves in the combination group received one injection of FM, 34.9% received 2 injections, and 7% received a third injection.
  • A statistically significantly greater number of animals were scored as normal on day 2 and day 3 in the FM+OTC group than in the OTC-only group.
  • Rectal temperature decreased on day 1 in both groups. The decline was statistically significant in favor of the combination therapy group on day 1, day 2 and day 3.

In conclusion, flunixin ameliorated some of the clinical signs of bovine respiratory disease and demonstrated efficacy as an antipyretic.



Residue Prevention Education