Monitor cows for abortions and stillbirths
Vets in the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority are advising cattle producers to closely monitor their calving cows after the Young Veterinary Clinic reported 2 confirmed cases of theileriosis in 2 separate herds around Young.
Lachlan LHPA senior district vet Elizabeth Braddon says that the disease is normally seen on the coastal areas of NSW, where it is spread by ticks.
"The cases around Young are unusual because we do not normally have a lot of the host tick – the common Bush Tick - present this far inland," Ms Braddon said.
"The tick carries the parasite, Theileria sp, in its saliva and passes it to the cow when feeding, thereby infecting the cow.
"Clinical signs in affected cattle are severe anemia; pale, jaundiced mucus membranes; obviously increased respiratory rates (‘breathing up’); fever and lethargy."
Ms Braddon said that the main sign reported by the two producers that prompted them to seek veterinary attention was late term abortions or stillbirth calves. On both farms, the numbers of animals affected so far have been high with significant losses.
"The full picture of why we are seeing this disease locally is still being investigated, but treatment of affected animals needs to be undertaken very early in the course of the disease for the best success," Ms Braddon said.
Producers are asked to closely monitor their cattle and notify either their private vet or district veterinarian, if they suspect any of these signs are occurring in their herds.
Media contact: Kylie Dunn 6391 3720 / 0428 465 378