Bovine Tuberculosis is a contagious disease of both animals and humans. It is caused by three specific types of bacteria that are part of the Mycobacterium group: Mycobacterium bovis, M. avium, and M. tuberculosis. Bovine TB, caused by M. bovis, can be transmitted from livestock to humans and other animals. Currently, this disease has been eliminated from the livestock population of the United States. However, our ultimate goal of eradication remains elusive as animal health officials continue to detect TB sporadically in livestock herds.
Many states require testing of livestock before moving across state lines to ensure that they maintain their “free” status. Both of our veterinarians are USDA-Accredited and able to perform the testing. If you know you need to be tested or are shipping animals to another and are unsure, call our office to find out about movement requirements and to schedule a time for our vets to come out.
Brucellosis is a contagious disease of cattle, bison, cervids, swine, and humans and the most common clinical sign is abortions. It is also known as Bang’s disease in animals or undulant fever in people. Other clinical signs include decreased milk production, weight loss, loss of young, infertility, and lameness. In cattle and bison, the disease primarily localized in the reproductive organs and/or the udder. Bacteria are shed in milk or via the aborted fetus, afterbirth, or other reproductive tract discharges.
Unfortunately, repeated attempts to develop a cure for brucellosis in animals have failed and while animals may recover after a period of time, they will remain constant sources of infection for other animals in the herd. There is a vaccine available called the RB51 vaccine or Bang’s vaccine. Only female calves can be vaccinated and only between 4 and 12 months of age. They are then tattooed in the ear to identify them as vaccinated.
Some states will not allow the importation of breeding animals if they are not vaccinated. Both of our veterinarians are USDA-Accredited and able to give the vaccine. If you know you need to be vaccinated or are shipping animals to another and are unsure, call our office to find out about movement requirements and to schedule a time for our vets to come out.
Anaplasmosis is a blood-borne disease of cattle, sheep, and goats and can cause a wide range of clinical signs. It is caused by the parasite Anaplasma marginale in cattle and Anaplasma ovis in sheep and goats. Ticks carry the parasite into the herd and sharing needles between animals can increase transmission throughout the herd. Unfortunately, anaplasmosis is present in our area and can cause a profound anemia, or loss of red blood cells. When this happens, the animal usually becomes so weak that it cannot get up. Overly stressed animals with anaplasmosis can actually collapse and die suddenly due to the lack of red blood cells.
Testing for Anaplasmosis must be performed by a USDA-Accredited veterinarian. Treatment is available and prognosis is variable depending on the severity of the anemia present in the herd. However, recovered animals will then become persistently infected carriers the rest of their lives and therefore remain a source of infection for new animals to the herd. There is no approved vaccine for Anaplasmosis. If you would like to test your herd, or you have questions about the risk of Anaplasmosis in your herd, please call our office.