Bovine Veterinarian Top 10: Focus on Diseases and Diagnostics

Russ Daly, South Dakota State University Extension ( Teary eyes, redness around the eye's iris and squinting are among the symptoms of pinkeye.
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Here’s a recap of the most important animal-health related articles of 2019.

1. The Environmental Disease Called Pinkeye

Have you ever thought about how some years get labeled “bad years” for a certain animal disease? There is still talk of how early 2018 was a “bad year” for calf scours. Likewise, there are “bad years” for calf pneumonia and even “bad years” for breeding on pasture.

What is it about those “bad years”? Are there years when there are just a lot more germs around for some random reason? Read more.


2. EEE: Not Just a Horse Disease

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a mosquito-borne virus, most years presents a serious disease challenge to horses and other equines during the summer and fall months. But while the virus can affect other animals and humans, those cases typically are rare. This year, possibly due to wet conditions favoring populations of mosquito vectors, cases of EEE in humans have run higher than usual, according to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more.


3. How Metaphylaxis Controls Disease

Metaphylaxis works. Numerous controlled and blinded trials have shown that in high-risk calves arriving at feedlots or stocker operations, mass treatment with an antibiotic significantly reduces BRD sick pulls and mortality. However, as pressure mounts to reduce the use of antibiotics in food animals, it becomes increasingly important to understand how metaphylaxis works, and how changes in the practice might affect results. Read more.


4. Getting to the Heart of Brisket Disease

Scientists at Colorado State University first described bovine pulmonary hypertension (BPH), also known as brisket disease or high-mountain disease, more than 100 years ago. While the problem persists, researchers continue to gain better understanding of the genetic and environmental factors involved in the often-fatal condition.

During the recent Beef Improvement Federation annual research symposium, two CSU faculty members, veterinarian Tim Holt and geneticist Scott Speidel, discussed ongoing work to prevent losses associated with the heart condition. Read more.


5. Manage manure to contain Johne's Disease

While often considered a condition of dairy cows, Johne's Disease has increasingly been identified as a concern for beef producers. Animals affected by this disease show signs of diarrhea and progressive weight loss, often in the midst of a normal appetite. These animals are culled from the herd before they become debilitated, but worse yet, they serve as the source of disease to others within the herd. Read more.


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