Calf pneumonia or Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is the most common reason for poor performance and death in growing calves. Any level of impaired respiratory health can impact a calf for its entire life leading to reduced growth rates, later finishing times and lower milk yields. Combined with increased feed requirements and veterinary attention, the impact pneumonia can have on profitability is often significant.
BRD is a complex and multifactorial disease. Even with strict hygiene control disease can still occur as some of these BRD causing pathogens live in the calf's respiratory tract. Environmental or management factors can cause stress and lead to a calf becoming immunocompromised, resulting in the usually friendly residents of their respiratory tract becoming pathogenic and causing pneumonia.