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Aureomix S provides effective replacement for Mecadox

An interview with
Thomas Painter, DVM
Senior Technical Service Veterinarian

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Q: The pork industry is expecting a shortage of Mecadox® (carbadox) that could last well into 2019. Should veterinarians and producers consider using Aureomix® S (chlortetracycline and sulfamethazine) as a replacement product?

TP: Absolutely. The indications for both products are similar. Aureomix S is also an easy product to manage.


Q: How does the label for Aureomix S differ from the Mecadox label?

TP: Aureomix S is indicated not only for treatment of bacterial swine enteritis but also for preventing this type of enteritis during times of stress (Figure 1). That provides veterinarians with some flexibility when recommending the medications because pigs can be stressed by a lot of circumstances — most notably, weaning. Other stressors are weather changes, commingling or sorting pigs. The indication for prevention is particularly important because bacterial enteritis is a common problem that has clearly been linked to stress.1

Click to enlarge

Q: Do the required withdrawal periods before processing differ?

TP: The withdrawal time for both 12Aureomix S 10/10, a Type B Medicated Article, and Aureomix S 40/40, a Type A Medicated Article, is 15 days.  Compare that to 42 days for Mecadox.  That’s a 27-day difference — nearly 4 weeks. That also translates to more flexibility for pork producers.


Q: Is a veterinary feed directive (VFD) required to use Aureomix S?

TP: Yes, but that’s not an obstacle. Swine veterinarians and the pork industry recognize the importance of increased veterinary supervision and have already adapted well to the new VFD regulations.


Q: What about the Aureomix S indication for maintaining weight gain in pigs with atrophic rhinitis. Is that too narrow an indication?

TP: Not really. Atrophic rhinitis isn’t as common as it once was, but we often see Pasteurella multocida and Bordetella, which cause atrophic rhinitis. If a herd had an outbreak of respiratory disease and I knew one of those pathogens was involved, I wouldn’t hesitate to issue a VFD for Aureomix S. I would consider that a responsible use of antibiotics when prescribed in the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.


Q: Do feed mills need to make changes before switching to Aureomix S?

TP: No. The same standard operating procedures for sequencing and flushing that are used for Mecadox should be followed to comply with FDA guidelines.


Q: Should feed mills be concerned about sulfa spikes in flush feeds?

TP: That’s not a big concern with Aureomix S because it’s an all-granular formulation.  Years ago, the pork industry experienced some problems with sulfa spikes with products  that weren’t granulated. Fecal contamination of pigs with sulfas was also a concern when  more pigs were on dirt or concrete, but now most commercial pigs are on slatted floors,  so it’s seldom a problem.


Q: Are there any other reasons to use Aureomix S?

TP: The granular formulation of Aureomix S distributes really well in feed. It’s not dusty,  and there’s good stability under high temperatures.

Caution: Federal law restricts medicated feed containing this veterinary feed directive (VFD) drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

Withdraw Aureomix fifteen (15) days prior to slaughter.

All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company  or a licensor unless otherwise noted. 

Mecadox is a registered trademark of Phibro Animal Health.

1 McLamb B, et al. Early Weaning Stress in Pigs  Impairs Innate Mucosal Immune Responses to  Enterotoxigenic E. coli Challenge and Exacerbates  Intestinal Injury and Clinical Disease. PLoS One.  2013 Apr 24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC3634819/

TOOLBOX, Issue 12
Toolbox is a series of interviews with veterinarians about their experiences managing antimicrobials, vaccines and other tools for swine health. It is produced by the editors of Pig Health Today on behalf of the US Pork Business of Zoetis.
May 2019
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When producers face a shortage of Mecadox® (carbadox), Aureomix® S (chlortetracycline and sulfamethazine) is a suitable, easy to manage replacement, says veterinarian Thomas Painter of Zoetis.

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Posted on May 13, 2019

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It’s not unrealistic to say that if you checked the nasal cavities or tonsils of any group of pigs, you would find Strep suis. While the strain and impact can vary widely, this commensal bacterium is on virtually every hog farm.

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