Gross lesions of bovine respiratory disease include lung lesions and
lymph nodes that are swollen and enlarged. One study from Oklahoma (1)
compared steers without lung lesions to steers with lung lesions and
affected lymph nodes. The steers with lung lesions and affected lymph
nodes had $74 less net return, of which 21% was due to medicine costs
and 79% due to lower carcass weight and lower quality of meat. Note
that this study agrees fairly close with the Texas study (2) that
estimated a $93 less return for each sick animal, with medicine costs
amounting to 31% of the estimated economic loss.
(1) B.A. Gardner, et. al. Impact of Health on Profitabilty of
Feedlot Steers. In: 1998 Animal Science Research Report. Beef and
Dairy Cattle, Swine, Poultry, Sheep, Horses and Animal Products,
Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station, Division of Agricultural
Science and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University, July 1998.
(2) John W. McNeill, Extension Animal Science, Texas A&M University. Profits and Carcass Quality.