• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Need a diagnosis

Help Support CattleToday:

shaddowddancer

New member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
My neighbor is losing a huge number of cows (41 in 8 months!) His vet has been unable to diagnose. All lab tests have come back normal. I am concerned that this could cross the fence to my cows. Any suggestions for treatment or prevention would be appreciated. The cow I observed appeared to be fine at 4 pm - eating, no cough, etc. At 11 am the next day she was dead and bloated like she had been in the sun for 5 days. Small amount of blood in her ears, eyes, and mouth. No apparent signs of convulsive activity, no nasal discharge, she had vomited and evacuated her bowels. Loose stools, but no apparent blood. Neighbor says this is how he has found all the adult cows who have died except the vomiting - that is new. The calves that have died were found down, unable to stand, do not bloat like the adults, usually live for a day or two and have a severe white, mucopurulent nasal discharge, but no rattling with their breathing. This started in one pasture 8 months ago, but now the cows in a different pasture are dying and the first pasture has been fine for the last 3-4 months. Help!
 

cowman30

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
289
Reaction score
0
Blood in ears, eyes, and mouth. This would indicate hemmorahging. Sounds like black leg to me. Sounds like that fella needs a new vet. That would also explain the fine one minute dead the next deal. The calves probably have something else other than the black leg. Does your neighbor vaccinate his cows at all?
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,440
Reaction score
10
Location
Heart of Texas
I might be looking for poisonous plants in the pasture. But it could be a number of things.
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Messages
1,310
Reaction score
1
Location
MN
With that many head lost already, can we assume there are other vets involved along with a university? I am also curious about vaccination history.
 

TC Cattle

Active member
Joined
Feb 7, 2009
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
I second Black Leg. If they hayed the place, it could be in the feed and explain why it's "pasture jumping". To prevent anything happening to yours, you could always vaccinate preemptively. We use Ultrabac-8.
 

bigbull338

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
16,565
Reaction score
0
Location
texas
the way to check an see if its blackleg.is to move her front legs.an see if you hear a crackling sound.or to feel her shoulders an briskit area.if its mushy its blackleg.the only thing you can do is vacc all the cows an calves.an then give emm a booster shot in 3wks.loosing 41hd that guy is going broke.
 

redcowsrule33

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
921
Reaction score
0
Location
Wisconsin
Clostridial disease or anthrax.

Have these cows been posted at a lab or on the farm with samples sent in? Sometimes sending the whole carcass gets you farther.
 

KNERSIE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
7,058
Reaction score
0
Location
3rd World
redcowsrule33":of8j61oj said:
Clostridial disease or anthrax.

Have these cows been posted at a lab or on the farm with samples sent in? Sometimes sending the whole carcass gets you farther.

Certainly sounds like it could be clostridial related. Isn't anthrax a controlled disease in the USA? I would have thought that the vet would have reported this to the authorities long before now incase it might be anthrax?
 

cowman30

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
289
Reaction score
0
KNERSIE":3au1m2q9 said:
redcowsrule33":3au1m2q9 said:
Clostridial disease or anthrax.

Have these cows been posted at a lab or on the farm with samples sent in? Sometimes sending the whole carcass gets you farther.

Certainly sounds like it could be clostridial related. Isn't anthrax a controlled disease in the USA? I would have thought that the vet would have reported this to the authorities long before now incase it might be anthrax?


Anthrax is nearly un heard of these days. Granted it rears its ugly head in the western states from time to time but is rare. They do supposedly make an anthrax vaccine.
 

redcowsrule33

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
921
Reaction score
0
Location
Wisconsin
cowman30":3vftj2ig said:
KNERSIE":3vftj2ig said:
redcowsrule33":3vftj2ig said:
Clostridial disease or anthrax.

Have these cows been posted at a lab or on the farm with samples sent in? Sometimes sending the whole carcass gets you farther.

Certainly sounds like it could be clostridial related. Isn't anthrax a controlled disease in the USA? I would have thought that the vet would have reported this to the authorities long before now incase it might be anthrax?


Anthrax is nearly un heard of these days. Granted it rears its ugly head in the western states from time to time but is rare. They do supposedly make an anthrax vaccine.

There are outbreaks in the US every year. It is uncommon enough that a vet may not think of it as a differential. Floods and drought cause soil erosion that brings the spores out from the soil. Just because it is rare doesn't mean it can't happen.

From : http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ansci/beef/v561w.htm
"Symptoms
Symptoms associated with anthrax depend to a certain degree on the species involved and the route of infection. When the anthrax organism enters the animal's body through the mouth or nostrils, the symptoms occur soon after infection (acute form) and death follows rapidly. When infection takes place through the skin because of injury or insect bites, it appears localized at the site of injury in the initial stage.

The affected area initially is hot and swollen and becomes cold and insensitive. Later, the infection can become generalized.

Anthrax usually is a fatal disease with no symptoms observed. Upon or near death, blood oozes from the body openings. This blood is heavily laden with anthrax organisms. The carcass has a marked bloating and decomposes rapidly.

If the infection is less acute, the animal may stagger, have difficulty breathing, tremble, collapse and die. In horses, colic may be observed. Edema and swelling may be seen over the body, particularly at the brisket. Illness is observed for one or two days, but it may last five days; symptoms are preceded by fever, with a period of excitement in which the animal may charge anyone nearby. This is followed by depression in cattle or sheep.

Sometimes the anthrax organism localizes itself in the throat area. The tongue, throat and neck are extremely swollen and a frothy blood-tinged discharge comes from the mouth. Though this is the typical form of anthrax observed in swine, it also may occur in cattle and sheep."

If you are compiling a differential list, you have to include it. I agree that black leg or malignant edema are far more likely but you have to consider everything. That's why I asked if the entire carcass has ever been submitted as the labs see more odd problems than the average vet.
 

shaddowddancer

New member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thanks for all the feedback! I have encouraged him to try a different vet. I can't believe after 41 of 'em, the vet has no answers!!! He has contacted a university...don't know the outcome of that yet. Almost all the cows on this property were purchased in the last year. They came from all over the country. I do not know if he re-vaccinated or not. I'll pass it on and certainly will re-vaccinate mine.
 

Running Arrow Bill

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
3,439
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas Panhandle On US 83
shaddowddancer":2yeei077 said:
Thanks for all the feedback! I have encouraged him to try a different vet. I can't believe after 41 of 'em, the vet has no answers!!! He has contacted a university...don't know the outcome of that yet. Almost all the cows on this property were purchased in the last year. They came from all over the country. I do not know if he re-vaccinated or not. I'll pass it on and certainly will re-vaccinate mine.

I'd definitely keep your cattle a distance from neighbor's fence! That many cattle dead in short time with rapid onset of symptoms and death. What part of the country are you located???

IF it is anthrax, bad news... Dead ones must be disposed of, burned and remains buried. There have been some suspected cases in extreme South central Texas the past year, near the border. Wild ruminants can acquire anthrax and contaminate or pass on to domestic cattle.

If the Vets haven't a clue...somethings amiss. I'd definitely suspect something amiss ANYTIME an animal (especially several, many) dies for strange, rapid onset reasons. Definitely reason for postmortem. Until a diagnosis is made, DO NOT touch any carcass without using disposable gloves and protection on your boots. IF it turns out to be blackleg (even before diagnosis is made), I'd definitely booster your own cattle with a vaccine for clostridium species (e.g., Ultrabac 7 or Covexin 8 ).

Keep us posted on what you find out!!
 

hillsdown

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
9,925
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta, Canada
Anthrax was the first thought that came to mind after reading this..

Like RCR said although uncommon it does resurface every once and a while. You can vaccinate your cattle for it.

Good luck and I hope they find the culprit.
 

syork

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
134
Reaction score
0
There is a weed here in WV and VA that is deadly poisonous to cattle. I seen firsthand what happens and if the vet isnt there quick to drench them they die a horrible death. They will bloat and stagger and sometimes you see the blood if they ate to much of it. If Im not mistaken its a thistle weed or something like that. We have to spray our pastures if we have it. Thank goodness I made sure there wasnt any in there. Also if we have any cherry trees around the pastures we make sure we keep the branches trimmed good in the summer that can kill them to if they eat to much green cherry twigs and bark. It dont hurt them none if its dry.
 

grannysoo

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
4,813
Reaction score
0
Location
The Briar Patch
41 dead cows in 8 months and the vet can't find the answer???

I would be jumping up and down by the time the 2nd one had died looking for the answer or another vet. Something fishy is going on here....
 

cowman30

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
289
Reaction score
0
syork":2cd8tuyk said:
There is a weed here in WV and VA that is deadly poisonous to cattle. I seen firsthand what happens and if the vet isnt there quick to drench them they die a horrible death. They will bloat and stagger and sometimes you see the blood if they ate to much of it. If Im not mistaken its a thistle weed or something like that. We have to spray our pastures if we have it. Thank goodness I made sure there wasnt any in there. Also if we have any cherry trees around the pastures we make sure we keep the branches trimmed good in the summer that can kill them to if they eat to much green cherry twigs and bark. It dont hurt them none if its dry.


Thistle wont do that but horse nettle and pig weed will.
 

ctlbaron

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
0
Location
midtenn
Sounds like blackleg to me too. Tests should have shown it though. I think I'd get a different vet and testing facility.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
11,560
Reaction score
80
Location
Central Upstate New York
This tells me a lot about the neighbor - either totally dumb or stupid. How you could not get every vet - university - health group around involved? As a neighbor with cattle, I sure would be calling EVERYONE to get an answer. Two cows is TOO MANY! 41 plus calves :shock:
I agree - something's fishy.
 

Latest posts

Top