Unexplained Cattle Illnesses and Deaths

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Anonymous

Reading the board the past months I keep hearing about multiple incidents of very serious cattle illnesses and other problems that "may" be due to poor breeding stock, poor environmental conditions (e.g., dirty facilities, etc.), multiple and/or sequential debilitating illnesses and/or deaths, etc. As most folks should recognize, these situations are NOT normal for livestock! Additionally, as we all know, we are living under a threat of Bioterriorism from Iraq and other terrioristic cells and individuals. First line of defense when you find an animal that is dying or looks very strange or if you and/or your neighbors have more than one dying or seriously ill from something, then you should CALL THE VET ASAP and, follow-up with a post-mortem exam. The livestock, water, and other food crops would be "ideal" targets for Terriorists. If something strange is happening, first rule out "natural causes" or other "common" cattle problems. If the VET isn't informed promptly, then he/she can't notify the CDC in Atlanta if there is some form of bioterriorism going on here. We all need to be extremely alert in these times to anything unusual or weird going on with our animals (two or four legged). Then there is this mysterious "pneumonia like" illness that is spreading all too fast throughout the world. Just a few disasterous diseases and pathogens occuring that could be expedited by Terriorism: Hanta Virus, Ebola, AIDS, Anthrax, Bubonic Plague, Blackleg, Botulism, Smallpox, and others with potentially fatal consequences. Terriorists place no value on human or other life...their sick "cause" is more important than any global consequencies....
 
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Anonymous

I agree with Bill on this one. We have a trailer for our cows and I'm not afraid to take one to the vet just to be sure. That is the best thing that a new owner or person can do to be sure nothing serious is going on with the animal. When I get back from the vet and there is a problem, I have a corral behind that house that I quarantine the animal in so that I can observe it and make sure it is getting better and not worse. It also helps prevent the spreading of anything that might be communicable. I'm amazed at the number of "new owners" on this board that try to use this forum instead of the vet. A trip to the vet for $20 is well worth it considering I can get $1,000 to $5,000 for my cows. Brian.



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Anonymous

Thanks for your support on this one Brian! While this board and others can be a valuable resource of opinion and information from others, it is no substitute for a trip to the Vet if something mysterious is happening. Regardless of the breed, or "average" quality of care for an animal, any unusual or unexpected event should always be suspect. It is not normal for calves and others to die unexpectedly; and, if more than one does (and/or happens to your neighbors too) that is definitely a reason to "Dial 911". If the animal in question cannot be saved, then it is very important to determine the "cause" if possible and take measures to (hopefully) ensure it doesn't happen again.
 
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Anonymous

While this all makes common sence to us, for the new owners WE must describe for them in detail WHY it is critical to have a good relationship with a vet,or several vets as in my case, where you can draw from all of their experience and expert opinions, I use a really seasoned vet for cow stuff, a young vet for surgical (experimental) stuff, the TVMDL and Vet school for stuff that none of us can figure out so we can all learn together and prevent it in the future if possible. New producers have no idea and no concept of all the bad stuff that is out there and that can affect cattle, we need to be the ones who teach it, they are not doing a very good job of it in the Universities that teach Animal Sci., and furthermore most Ag. kids don't ever go into production, it is older retired folks who want something to do, and pick up 20-30 head or less and have Pet cows.

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Anonymous

I was taken to task severly a while back for stating that your vet (good vet) is almost a partner in your operation. He/she/it(if in CA) has nearly as much interest in the health and well being of your cattle as you do. They also can provide that little bit of "damn why didn't I think of that" which is sometimes required. Glad to see that at least one other person has the same opinion.

dun

> While this all makes common sence
> to us, for the new owners WE must
> describe for them in detail WHY it
> is critical to have a good
> relationship with a vet,or several
> vets as in my case, where you can
> draw from all of their experience
> and expert opinions, I use a
> really seasoned vet for cow stuff,
> a young vet for surgical
> (experimental) stuff, the TVMDL
> and Vet school for stuff that none
> of us can figure out so we can all
> learn together and prevent it in
> the future if possible. New
> producers have no idea and no
> concept of all the bad stuff that
> is out there and that can affect
> cattle, we need to be the ones who
> teach it, they are not doing a
> very good job of it in the
> Universities that teach Animal
> Sci., and furthermore most Ag.
> kids don't ever go into
> production, it is older retired
> folks who want something to do,
> and pick up 20-30 head or less and
> have Pet cows.
 
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Anonymous

The above posts on this topic are all good! Nothing every wrong with seeking 2nd or 3rd opinion. No one individual has all the answers. Agree that the newcomers to livestock need more info about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options as well as "what if" issues and rationales. Finally, Dun, was amused (positively) about your comment about (in California)--"he/she/it" for your Vet. Especially in San Francisco (so I've heard)...never been to or intend to go to "Earthquake Country" (I'll stick with randomized Texas Tornados and hail anytime...lol).
 

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