Whisper is a diagnostic instrument that is specially designed to objectively diagnose Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). The Whisper system lung score can be used in a feedlot to determine BRD and indicate the probability of the animal dying from the disease. Whisper provides the indication needed to address the disease with effective treatment products.

Value propositions

  1. Determine severity of disease to select appropriate treatment regimens.
  2. Detect BRD early and treat early helping specific regimens be more effective.
  3. Determine severity of BRD before retreating animals by objectively measuring the recovery trend of the animal’s lungs even if clinical signs haven’t yet shown much improvement.
  4. Measure accurately the pull rate success from pens.
  5. Reduce misdiagnosis of BRD.
  6. Reduce overall death loss.

A Large Data Set of more than 6 million animals over three years showed that the mortality rates in feedyards that did not use manual stethoscope lung scores was 12.79% vs. yards that did use manual lung scores for assessment at 7.87%. A huge decrease in overall death loss of 38%! This data tells us that one animal can be expected to survive for every 18 to 24 animals where lung scores where obtained. Obviously the yards with lung scores had better information on the condition of the animals disease and treated them accordingly.

Whisper® Value Proposition


Auscultation is a 30% – 46% Mortality Rate Reduction

A comprehensive review of this data reveals that auscultating (listening with a stethoscope) pulled animals is associated with lower mortality rates. Animals from the entire PAC population since 2010 that were auscultated had an overall mortality rate of 7.87% while those not auscultated had a mortality rate of 12.79%. This represents a 38.5% mortality rate reduction.

Using these statistics; 1 respiratory disease feed yard animal is saved for every 20.3 animals auscultated.

Working Example
A feed yard with 10,000 animals can expect an average pull rate of 4 animals per day which would produce 20 BRD animals per week. An auscultating protocol would reduce the death loss by 52 animals per year = an estimated $62,400 – $78,000.


For more information, please see our study Comparison of BRD Protocols: Human Auscultation vs. No Auscultation.

Introduction to Whisper® by Watson IBM