One dose of Draxxin® at weaning for SRD yields multiple benefit

Pigs from herds with a natural outbreak of swine respiratory disease (SRD) had significantly better outcomes when they received just one injection of Draxxin® (tulathromycin) at weaning.1

Investigators conducted the 152-day study under field conditions with more than 1,000 weaned pigs from two sow farms. The pigs had a high level of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and a mix of bacterial pathogens known to be contributors to SRD, explains Lucina Galina, DVM, PhD, director of swine technical services, Zoetis.

Within 24 hours of placement into an all-in/all-out nursery, 550 pigs received one intramuscular injection of Draxxin (2.5 mg/kg bodyweight), and their performance was compared to 550 pigs that were untreated controls and received saline.

Pigs treated with Draxxin had significantly lower mortality (p≤ 0.05). “For every 19 pigs treated with Draxxin, one pig was prevented from dying,” she says.

Treated pigs also had better weight gain, reached market weight sooner, increased the number marketed and produced 8,137 more pounds of pork — all results that were significantly better (p≤ 0.05) in the treated compared to untreated pigs (Table 1), Galina reports.

Table 1. Key findings with statistical significance (p< 0.05) between treated and untreated pigs
Results Draxxin-treated pigs Untreated controls
Mortality 91/550 (16.8%) 120/550 (21.4%)
Hospital pen pulls 16/550 (3.04%) 40/550 (7.18%)
Gilts re-treated 105/264 (40.5%) 153/264 (56.9%)
Weight gain by day 54 42.86 40.65
Weight gain from weaning to first marketing 218.33 214.13
Number of pigs marketed 459 430


Return on investment

In an economic analysis based on costs and market conditions at the time of the study, the investigators determined that the value of treating pigs for SRD with Draxxin was $4,704. They attributed $1,450 of this amount to the value of the 29 additional pigs that survived in the treated group compared to controls and $3,254.80 realized from additional weight gain in treated pigs, for which they assumed 40 cents per pound, the veterinarian says.

“With an input cost of $313 to treat 550 pigs — and that includes labor — the return on investment for controlling SRD among weaned piglets in this study was 15:1,” Galina says.



Important Safety Information for Swine: The pre-slaughter withdrawal time for DRAXXIN in swine is 5 days. DRAXXIN should not be used in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product.  Click here to see prescribing information for Draxxin.

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1 Data on file. Study Report No. 12 OR AIF 02, Zoetis LLC.


Discoveries is a series of  research news reports written by the editors of Pig Health Today on behalf of the US Pork Business of Zoetis.