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Disease surveillance in Northern Ireland, October to December 2017

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Northern ireland disease surveillance, October to December 2017

  • Mycoplasma bovis infection in calves and cows

  • Fungal rumenitis in young calves

  • Fasciolosis in sheep

  • Larval paramphistomosis in sheep

  • Ionophore toxicity in turkeys


Respiratory diseases

Respiratory disease was identified in 99 cattle postmortem submissions between October and December 2017. The most common pathogens identified included Mycoplasma bovis (36 cases), Mannheimia haemolytica (17 cases), Pasteurella multocida (15 cases), Trueperella pyogenes (nine cases), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) (eight cases), Histophilus somni (seven cases) and parasitic pneumonia, including disease in adult animals (six cases).

Bronchointerstitial pneumonia, a significant feature of which was the presence of syncytia in the alveolar walls, was detected on histological examination of the lung from a young calf from a group being fed indoors on milk, concentrates and haylage. BRSV was demonstrated in association with the lesions by immunofluorescence.

‘Honker’ syndrome is a condition of unknown aetiology, characterised by extensive oedema of the tracheal mucosa and submucosa. A seven-month-old heifer, which had shown marked stridor and dyspnoea before collapsing while being put into a crush, was submitted for postmortem examination.

About this report

This summary has been compiled by the Veterinary Sciences Division of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland (AFBI), and is based on diagnostic submissions to the AFBI’s veterinary laboratories at Stormont, Belfast and Omagh, County Tyrone. The AFBI operates a farm animal disease surveillance service on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland

There was submucosal haemorrhage and focal submucosal necrosis affecting the trachea. These changes had resulted in considerable narrowing of the tracheal lumen and were considered similar to some of the changes described in tracheal oedema and haemorrhage syndrome (honker syndrome) of feedlot cattle.

While the aetiology of the condition is unknown, it is speculated that the effort of coughing and negative intratracheal pressures during inspiration may be involved. The …

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