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Chlamydia abortus the most common finding in ovine abortions in early 2019

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SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, March 2019

  • Chlamydia abortus diagnosed in 47 per cent of ovine abortions in the first quarter of 2019

  • Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) abortion in a beef herd

  • Mulberry heart disease causing multiple deaths in growing pigs

  • Avian tuberculosis in a tawny owl (Strix aluco)

The mean temperature for March in Scotland was 1.1°C above the long-term average. It was a wet month, particularly in the Borders, with 131 per cent of average rainfall overall. Sunshine was 106 per cent of average and it was a very sunny month in Aberdeenshire, but duller in parts of the west and south west.

Cattle

Toxic conditions

Dumfries diagnosed chronic copper toxicity in a four-year-old Jersey cow with a 24-hour history of recumbency and pallor before death.

The carcase appeared jaundiced and a large amount of blood was found in the abomasum. This had originated from two areas of diffuse haemorrhaging in the mucosa.

Liver and kidney copper were elevated, at 13,700 μmol/kg dry matter (DM) (reference range 314 to 7850 μmol/kg) and 3640 μmol/kg DM (reference range 141 to 314 μmol/kg DM), respectively.

SRUC VS commented that a release of copper from the liver may have occurred secondary to the stress of abomasal haemorrhage.

Genetic differences have been confirmed in copper absorption and metabolism in Jersey cattle compared to Holsteins that may increase their susceptibility to chronic copper toxicity.1 A review of herd copper supplementation was advised.

Genetic differences have been confirmed in copper absorption and metabolism in Jersey cattle compared to Holsteins

About this report

This monthly summary is produced for Vet Record by Scotland’s Rural College Veterinary Services (SRUC VS) and is based on reports from its centres in Edinburgh, Perth, St Boswells, Ayr (Auchincruive), Dumfries, Aberdeen, Inverness and Thurso and in collaboration with the Moredun Research …

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