MADISON, N.J., September 15, 2017 — Merck Animal Health today announced the release of the Whisper Veterinary Stethoscope System — a tool specifically designed to evaluate lung disease severity for more accurate diagnosis of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). The Whisper platform provides a management tool designed to enhance the efforts currently in place for confirming BRD — the single largest source of morbidity and mortality in feedyards1,2 — helping veterinarians and producers determine which animals actually need treatment and support judicious antibiotic use.
“This innovative instrument improves the diagnosis accuracy of BRD when cattle are brought into the chute for further assessment,” says Jason Nickell, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVPM, associate director of livestock technology and innovation, Merck Animal Health. “By providing clarity on lung health and potential severity of disease, as well as which animals have BRD or at the highest risk, Whisper will help veterinarians and producers optimize antimicrobial costs and develop optimal treatment plans.”
Merck Animal Health acquired the rights to Whisper last year. Since then, extensive work has been performed to evaluate the technology and enhance the usability for producers.
Once cattle have been identified as ill or demonstrating signs that could equate to illness, Whisper is placed on the animal’s chest wall. In eight seconds, Whisper provides users with a lung severity scale – ranging from one to five. A lung score of one indicates no signs of lung tissue damage, while a lung score of five indicates permanent lung tissue damage.
For more information about Whisper, please visit www.whispercattle.com
About Merck Animal Health
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.
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1. Fulton, R.W. 2009. Bovine respiratory disease research (1983–2009). Cambridge University Press 2009 Animal Health Research Reviews 10(2); 131–139.
2. Irsik, M., M. Langemeier, T. Schroeder, M. Spire, J. D. Roder. 2006. Estimating the Effects of Animal Health on the Performance of Feedlot Cattle. The Bovine Practitioner, 40(2); 65-74.