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White muscle disease leads to deaths in housed bullocks in Northern Ireland

Statistics from

Northern ireland disease surveillance headlines, October to December 2018

  • Adenoviral enteritis in cattle

  • White muscle disease in cattle

  • Cerebrocortical necrosis in sheep

  • Johne’s disease in sheep

  • Exertional myopathy in deer


Respiratory diseases

Respiratory disease was identified in 86 cattle postmortem submissions between October and December 2018. The most common pathogens identified included Mycoplasma bovis (21 cases), Dictyocaulus viviparus (14 cases), Mannheimia haemolytica (14 cases), Pasteurella multocida (12 cases), respiratory syncytial virus (10 cases) and Trueperella pyogenes (nine cases).

Pulmonary thromboembolism was diagnosed on postmortem examination of a 10-year-old dairy cow that had died following respiratory signs. Phlebitis of the left milk vein was detected with localised cellulitis, skin ulceration and spread to the lungs of thrombi containing bacterial organisms. T pyogenes was recovered from the lesions.

Parasitic pneumonia (husk)

Parasitic pneumonia due to D viviparus was diagnosed in a group of calves being reared in calf paddocks that had been grazed by similar animals the previous season. Parasitic gastroenteritis (PGE) was also diagnosed in the group and it was considered that the paddocks had likely been contaminated by the previous year’s calves.

A total of 14 outbreaks of parasitic pneumonia were investigated through the submission of carcases for postmortem examination during the reporting period. This was in addition to the testing of 151 faecal samples from cattle in different herds for the presence of lungworm larvae.

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

Control of lungworm was a topic covered during a number of late autumn and early winter farmers’ group meetings involving AFBI Veterinary Sciences Division staff and reference was …

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