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Closantel toxicity causing blindness and death in hoggs

Statistics from

SRUC VS disease surveillance headlines, March 2020

  • Rickets and gastrocnemius tendon rupture in beef finishing bulls.

  • Ureteral atresia and pulmonary hypoplasia in an aborted calf.

  • Closantel toxicity in hoggs following the use of a combination drench.

  • Ovine abortion due to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in two flocks.

The mean temperature in Scotland in March was equal to the long-term average. Rainfall was 88 per cent of average overall, due to drier than normal conditions in the east. Sunshine was 110 per cent of average, and was generally above normal in the east, the far north and the Western Isles.


Nutritional and metabolic disorders

A large beef finishing unit purchased a group of 28 15- to 21-month-old Aberdeen Angus bulls from one source. Body condition on arrival was reported to be poor and they were introduced to a ration that included beans, molasses and potatoes. Three months later they had gained between 100 and 150 kg but were showing varying degrees of gait abnormality. The most severe cases were initially stiff before progressing to hindlimb knuckling and then recumbency.

Two animals were submitted for investigation of the problem. Multiple musculoskeletal lesions were identified, including unilateral gastrocnemius tendon rupture (Fig 1), rickets and osteochondrosis involving the occipital bone of one stirk and the stifle of the other.

Fig 1: Rupture of the gastrocnemius tendon in a fattening bull

Significant deficiencies of vitamin A and selenium were confirmed on analysis of liver, and the rib ash content was less than half the expected value. Bone phosphorus and magnesium content was lower than expected.

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 …

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