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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, November 2018

Statistics from

APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Congenital cardiac abnormalities in calves

  • Changed antimicrobial sensitivity of Mannheimia haemolytica isolates from sheep

  • An upward trend in swine dysentery diagnoses

Highlights from the scanning surveillance network


Congenital cardiac abnormalities in calves

Congenital cardiac abnormalities were identified on postmortem examination in two Holstein calves submitted to the APHA Carmarthen Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIC) from a large dairy herd. The calves were weak from birth and were unwilling to suck, one of the calves having been fed by stomach tube since birth. They were slow to grow and exhibited increased respiratory rates.

Clinical examination of one calf, which was presented alive, revealed a loud bilateral heart murmur, a heart rate of 140 beats per minute, a palpable ‘thrill’, increased respiratory rate and pale mucous membranes.

Postmortem examination of both animals revealed similar pathology, with a globoid shape to the heart, persistent truncus arteriosus (a common arterial trunk instead of separate aorta and pulmonary artery), ventricular septal defect, patent foramen ovale and right ventricular hypertrophy (Fig 1).

About this report

This report is produced each month by the APHA Surveillance Intelligence Unit and the six Species Expert Groups (livestock and wildlife). The international horizon-scanning summaries are produced by the Defra/APHA International Disease Monitoring (IDM) team, notifiable disease reports by the APHA Veterinary Exotic and Notifiable Disease Unit (VENDU), and threat analysis by the cross-agency Veterinary Risk Group (VRG). The report is drawn from scanning surveillance information, data and reports produced by the APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres and non-APHA partner postmortem examination providers contributing to the VIDA database and complying with standardised diagnostic and laboratory testing criteria. Other livestock and wildlife scanning surveillance reports may also be found at

Fig 1: (a) Heart of a calf with congenital cardiac abnormalities – note the globoid shape and single arterial trunk; (b) The heart opened showing a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and right ventricular hypertrophy; (c) The common arterial trunk opened showing the aorta, pulmonary arteries (aa), coronary artery and ventricular septal defect (VSD)

In addition there was generalised pulmonary oedema, the livers were enlarged and there was oedema within the connective tissues of the abdomen, findings consistent with congestive heart failure.

Seven more affected calves were identified in the …

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