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Fungal abortion in dairy cattle

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SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, January 2020

  • Lichtheimia corymbifera as a cause of abortion in a block-calving dairy herd.

  • Enteric listeriosis in a blue-faced Leicester tup.

  • Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli K88 causing acute postweaning colibacillosis in pigs.

  • Outbreak of trichomonosis in wood pigeons.

The mean temperature for January was 2.1°C above the long-term average, making it the fifth warmest January in a series from 1884. Overall, Scotland had 119 per cent of average rainfall and 72 per cent of average sunshine, with central and western areas duller than usual.


Alimentary tract disorders

Six neonatal dairy calves in a herd that generally experienced good calf health died after developing diarrhoea. Cryptosporidial oocysts had been detected in a faecal sample, but losses continued despite prophylactic treatment with halofuginone.

Calves remained with their dam to suckle colostrum and were only stomach-tubed if a problem was identified. They were then fed colostrum for a further two to three days, followed by 2 litres of cow’s milk twice a day. The submitted calf had started to scour at two to three days of age and died one week later.

Postmortem examination confirmed diarrhoea and a zinc sulfate turbidity result of 5 units indicated hypogammaglobulinaemia (>19 units are considered adequate). Screening for salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, rotavirus and coronavirus proved negative.

Histopathology identified a multifocal hepatitis and leukocytoclastic enterocolitis orientated on smooth muscle, suggesting the possibility of infection with Listeria monocytogenes. The detection of small Gram-positive bacilli within the focal hepatic lesions and the muscularis mucosa supported a diagnosis of enteric listeriosis.

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 surveillance centres in Edinburgh, Perth, St Boswells, Ayr (Auchincruive), Dumfries, Aberdeen, Inverness and Thurso and in collaboration with the Moredun Research Institute and the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine.


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