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Bovine herpesvirus respiratory disease affecting weaned calves

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SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, February 2020

  • Congenital lymphoma as a cause of bovine abortion.

  • Abomasal tympany and mural emphysema associated with Sarcina species colonisation in Suffolk lambs.

  • Multiple abortions due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in an outdoor pig herd.

  • Ongoing losses due to avian tuberculosis in a backyard poultry flock.

The mean temperature in Scotland in February was 0.4°C above the long-term average and it was the second wettest February in a series from 1862. Rainfall was near average in the north east but most other parts of the country had well over twice the normal amount. Sunshine was 104 per cent of average but generally below average in the west, and well above normal in Aberdeenshire.


Alimentary tract disorders

Two calves, born to heifers following assisted calvings, died within six hours of birth. The second calf failed to stand and was tubed with colostrum, but then deteriorated and died.

Postmortem examination detected evidence of dystocia, with petechiation in the conjunctiva and sclera, and bruising of the muscles over the shoulders and rib cage. A large volume of colostrum was found within the thorax as a result of a linear tear in the oesophagus at the level of the heart base (Fig 1).

Fig 1:

Iatrogenic oesophageal tear in a neonatal calf

SRUC VS advises checking the end of the stomach tubes that have been used previously, as chewing can create sharp edges.

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.

SRUC VS monthly reports are available online at from the first of every month.

A four-year-old Shetland cow from …

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