Preventing diseases in confined animal spaces is a critical component of every livestock operation. The same principle holds true in feedlots, where disease can spread quickly, and cattle fall ill before intervention can occur.

Oliver Schuinct, DVM, Feedlot Health Management Services, shares 12 ways to prevent the spread of disease in feedlots better:

1. Train hospital crews to isolate animals.
2. Designate a separate pen for isolating and treating affected animals.
3. Design hospital facilities that are easy to clean and do so frequently.
4. Maintain clean equipment and verify refrigerator temperatures.
5. Provide plenty of pen and bunk space for affected cattle, with comfortable bedding and shade.
6. Encourage communication between all parties when disease is present.
7. Use rectal temperature as a chute-side diagnostic for bovine respiratory disease.
8. Send cattle back to home pens instead of keeping them in a hospital.
9. Keep cattle that require multi-day treatment in a hospital.
10. Treat lameness on a case-by-case basis to determine how long the animal should stay in the hospital.
11. Cattle with chronic conditions should be kept separated.
12. Train hospital crews to use sound animal-handling practices.

Read more on feedlot disease prevention for producers and veterinary facilities here.