Saturday, May 25, 2013

Australia: Botulism breakout

THERE have been a number of cases of botulism diagnosed in cattle in the North Coast in recent months.

Botulism is a deadly disease that affects the nerves that control movement. The good news is that a vaccine is available (separate from a 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 vaccine).

Talk to your local LHPA veterinarian to find out if your herd is at risk and if you should be vaccinating.

The toxin that causes botulism is produced by a bacteria found in dead and decaying plant and animal matter. Animals fed silage or that chew bones as a result of phosphorous-deficient soils are at increased risk. Dead animals should be buried or removed from areas where cattle graze.

Affected cattle often drool and walk with a stiff gait before going down and dying because the muscles for breathing become paralysed.