It's not just a packer issue — liver abscesses reduce feedlot cattle performance
Elanco’s Liver Check Service — understanding the Tylan® difference
Losses due to liver abscesses can be significant to feedyards and packers, with estimated annual losses of $15.8 million to the U.S. beef industry.1 Severe liver abscesses lead to both reduced live performance and decreased carcass performance in cattle.1
To support feedyards in managing liver abscesses, Elanco offers the Liver Check Service for qualified customers. Our Liver Check Service helps identify the prevalence of liver abscesses at your feedyard, providing individual, regional, and historical data and analytics to help you make data-driven management decisions with confidence.
Understanding the contributing factors that lead to liver abscesses, such as days on feed and feed type, a feedyard can make adjustments in bunk management practices — by increasing roughage levels, managing feed additives or modifying days on feed — to impact their abscess rates.
Since 1985, Elanco has checked livers on more than 42 million head of cattle.2 This commitment to capturing data and understanding liver abscess prevalence is what allows Elanco to work with customers to determine solutions to improve both cattle performance and their bottom lines. With Elanco’s analytic capabilities — including the liver check data and Benchmark® comparisons — Elanco can help you find actionable insights for continuous improvement in your operation.
Liver abscess classification
Liver abscesses can occur at all ages and in all types of cattle. At harvest, livers are visually evaluated by trained professionals on size and occurrence of abscesses, which correlates to abscess severity (0, A, A+). Liver abscesses lead to lower-yielding beef carcasses.3 More severe liver abscesses typically involve more carcass trimming, directly affecting profitability.
With O: No abscesses — a normal, healthy liver
With A: One or two small abscesses, or up to two to four well-organized. abscesses, which are generally under one inch in diameter. The remainder of the liver is healthy in appearance
With A+: One or more large abscesses are present, along with inflammation of liver tissue surrounding the abscess. Often, portions of the diaphragm are adhered to the surface of the liver and have to be trimmed to separate the liver from the carcass