Objective - To evaluate the efficacy of ceftiofur crystalline-free acid (CCFA) administered into the posterior aspect of an ear for treatment of corneal ulceration associated with naturally occurring infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK). Animals - 78 beef calves located at Sierra Foothills Field Station (SFS) and 52 calves located at a commercial dairy (CD). All calves were from 3 to 9 months old. Procedure - At each site, calves were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 treatment groups by use of a block design determined by corneal ulcer size. A single dose of CCFA (6.6 mg of ceftiofur equivalents/kg, SC) was administered into the posterior aspect of a pinna. A second group of calves received a single dose of vehicle (0.03 mL/kg, SC; controls). Corneal ulcers were photographed, and clinical signs were assessed in calves every 3 to 4 days for 21 days. Results - A positive treatment effect was detected at SFS. Results at the CD were inconclusive because ulcer healing occurred rapidly in control and CCFA-treated calves. At SFS, treatment with CCFA resulted in shorter mean healing times, smaller corneal ulcer surface area measurements, amelioration of ocular discharge and photophobia, and a 50% increase in the percentage of calves healed by day 14. After adjustment for initial corneal ulcer size, treatment with CCFA resulted in a 4-fold increase in the odds of corneal ulcer healing by day 14, compared with controls. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - A single dose of CCFA administered into the posterior aspect of a pinna had a positive treatment effect against naturally occurring IBK in calves with corneal ulcerations.
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