Prevention and Control of Specific Feeder Cattle Diseases

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Foreign Animal Diseases

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD):

Risk: The risk in the USA is very low. The FMD risk in feeder cattle is associated with visitors with a history of foreign travel.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify FMD symptoms. Be observant for any unusual situations such as strangers lurking around, loose pigs, etc. FMD symptoms include blisters or ulcers in the mouth and between the toes. Cattle will salivate, appear depressed and move stiffly. The disease spreads very rapidly so expect several cattle to exhibit the same symptoms either at the start or within 24 hours.

Resistance: No vaccines are available for use in the United States.

Isolation: Isolate incoming cattle for 72 hours and observe for FMD symptoms. Optimally, isolate new cattle for two weeks. The cattle may be processed as needed, but processing facilities and equipment should be cleaned and sanitized after use with each set of new cattle.

Traffic Control: People with a history of foreign travel should be kept away from livestock for one week. Wash and disinfect (bleach according to label directions) clothes after travel. Thoroughly clean and disinfect footwear worn during travel.

Sanitation: Wash and sanitize processing equipment and facilities between each set of incoming cattle.

Action Trigger: FMD symptoms, (salivation, depression and stiff movement – with erosions or ulcers in the mouth or between the toes).

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: When the symptoms of FMD are found, notify a member of the Biosecurity Rapid Response and Security Team. They will contact the veterinarian and the operations manager, which in turn will contact the state USDA-APHIS official. Stop all movement and handling of cattle immediately, including cattle on the outside of the operation. Stop all movement of people and vehicles in the vicinity of the suspect cattle. Clean and sanitize all facilities and equipment that may have been exposed to the cattle. Implement all controls as directed by the operations veterinarian and state USDA-APHIS official.

Comments: FMD typically has a short, 72-hour incubation, but may be as long as twelve days. It is highly contagious and rapidly spread by animals and inanimate objects.

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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) – Mad Cow Disease:

Risk: The risk is very low in feeder cattle. The source is incoming feed ingredients, which is highly regulated.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify the symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Symptoms may include behavioral changes, seizures, tremors, and partial or complete loss of muscle coordination. Notify veterinarian for sample collection of cattle that meet USDA-APHIS targets.

Resistance: No vaccines are available.

Isolation: Special traffic control is not needed. CNS diseases are not easily transmitted, but caution should always be exercised when dealing with animals exhibiting CNS signs. Remember rabies is a CNS disease and is transmissible to humans.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed. CNS diseases are not easily transmitted.

Sanitation: Employees should AVOID contact with excretions and secretions for all cattle with CNS disease (think rabies).

Action Trigger: CNS symptoms.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: None. However, notify management/veterinarian for all CNS cases. Necropsy all cattle that die from CNS disease (sample as directed by the operations veterinarian).

Comments: BSE is not an issue for feeder cattle, but important in herd replacement livestock development. Focus on prevention. Do not feed ruminant derived proteins. Question is raised from feeding beef tallow. Know your suppliers and ask for signed letter of FDA compliance. Ingredient testing and on-site inspection is possible but not practical.

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Domestic Diseases Being Eradicated Nationally

BRUCELLOSIS (BANGS)

Risk: Relative to the source of the feeder heifers in a feedlot. Feeder heifers from brucellosis free states would present a relative low risk of brucellosis. Feedlots that are identified by the USDA-APHIS as a “Brucellosis Quarantine Feedlot” are allowed to bring known bangs positive females on to the operation for feeding with the packer as the only approved market location.

Training: Train employees to understand the disease and the importance of personal protection and sanitation when working around aborted fetuses

Resistance: A vaccine is available, but has little utility in a feedlot.

Isolation: Isolate all cattle that abort until released by the operations veterinarian.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed. Isolation of the aborting animal is required and attention must be paid to preventing cross contamination of excretions and secretions from aborting animals to other cattle.

Sanitation: Strictly sanitize all equipment and instruments that may transfer the biological organisms causing the abortion.

Action Trigger: A single or multiple abortion(s).

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Rapid Response Team about the abortion case. Discuss the aborting animal with the operation’s veterinarian.

Comments: Brucellosis is virtually eradicated in the U.S. but still should be considered. Brucellosis can cause a serious disease in humans called “undulant fever”. It is important to protect yourself and others from abortion-associated fluids. Carnivores such as dogs and coyotes most commonly transfer Neospora. Therefore a strict control program is important to minimize cattle exposure to carnivores. There are other diseases that may be associated with abortion besides the ones listed above including IBR, BVD and Lepto. Minimizing stress, avoiding commingling cattle, adequate nutrition and proper vaccination are important in controlling abortion diseases.

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TUBERCULOSIS (TB)

Risk: Relatively low in cattle from the U.S., but cattle imported from Mexico, including roping steers may present a significant risk.

Training: Train employees to understand the disease. Most cattle affected with TB do not display visible symptoms. Occasionally, animals with long standing TB infections will become unthrifty and lose body condition. There is very little risk of transmission from TB infected feeder cattle to feedlot employees. Meat harvested from feedlots for employees should be inspected by a USDA Food Safety Inspection Service officer before releasing for consumption.

Resistance: There is no vaccine available and infected animals can not be successfully treated.

Isolation: Isolate unthrifty cattle until released by the operations veterinarian.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control in a feedlot is not needed. Imported cattle, including roping steers, must not be allowed to leave the feedlot to mix with other cattle without USDA-APHIS approval.

Sanitation: Strictly sanitize all necropsy equipment.

Action Trigger: A single or multiple unthrifty animals.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Rapid Response Team and discuss the cases with the operation’s veterinarian.

Comments: Tuberculosis is virtually eradicated in the U.S. but still should be considered, especially in Mexican imported cattle.

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Heifer Development Diseases

Johne’s Disease:

Risk: The risk is low in feeder cattle. Clinical signs rarely develop in cattle less than two years of age.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea and weight loss. Include training that emphasizes the importance of minimizing fecal contamination and proper sanitation. Training should include but good management practices (GMP) designed to help decrease fecal cross contamination, especially in heifer development feedlots

Resistance: No vaccine is available.

Isolation: Isolate all cattle with symptoms of Johne’s. Avoid fecal-oral contamination in the hospital area (minimize the use of oral instruments – such as balling guns, stomach tubes, oral fluid pumps, etc).

Traffic Control: Restrict movement of sick cattle to within the hospital area. Restrict movement of people who work in the hospital area to the hospital area unless sanitizing footwear.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from Johne’s suspects contaminate the oral cavity of other animals. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment & snakes after handling Johne’s suspect cattle.

Action Trigger: Johne’s symptoms, (chronic diarrhea)

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Response Team that an animal has been identified exhibiting clinical symptoms of Johne’s. They will communicate the need for intra operation traffic control. Discuss the case with the operation’s veterinarian.

Comments: Johne’s disease has an extremely long incubation period. Most cattle that develop clinical Johne’s were infected as calves, but older animals can become infected with Johne’s. Therefore detailed attention to preventing fecal-oral contamination is the best defense.

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Bovine Enzootic Leucosis (BEL):

Risk: The risk is low in feeder cattle but can be very important in herd replacement cattle. Transferring blood between cattle increases the risk of infecting cattle with bovine leucosis.

Training: Train employees to understand this viral disease and to avoid transferring blood between cattle during examination or treatment. This includes needles, rectal sleeves, nose tongs, etc. Symptoms include swelling in the lower neck and enlarged lymph nodes or tumors under the skin.

Resistance: No vaccines are available.

Isolation: Special isolation is not needed.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed.

Sanitation: Strictly sanitize all equipment and instruments that may transfer blood between cattle. This includes needles, instruments, ob sleeves, nose tongs, oral speculums, etc. Use disinfectant sponges for needles and disinfectant buckets for other items.

Action Trigger: Leucosis symptoms, (swelling in the lower neck and enlarged lymph nodes or tumors under the skin).

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Discuss the suspect animal with the operation’s veterinarian.

Comments: Not typically an issue for feedlot cattle, but may be important in replacement livestock development. Focus on prevention by not transferring blood between cattle through needle use or palpation sleeves.

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Infectious Diseases Associated with Respiratory Infection

Respiratory Disease Complex - IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, Pasteurella, Mannheimia, Haemophillus, Mycoplasma

Risk: Assume all cattle are exposed to these inherent diseases. Vaccines may be appropriate for control or to decrease the severity of some of these diseases.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of these diseases. Include training on health management of clinically affected cattle. Most cattlemen are familiar with the symptoms of these common inherent diseases. Specific questions should be directed to the operation’s veterinarian.

Resistance: Good husbandry and management especially when weaning and shipping cattle can have great benefit in prevention and control of respiratory disease. Properly vaccinating cattle at proper times with a modified live virus (MLV) will protect from the viral diseases. Newer pasteurella vaccines are available and when used prior to a disease challenge can moderate the disease. Other vaccines have not provided documented protection from the respiratory disease complex.

Isolation: Special isolation is not needed. Cross contamination of excretions and secretions from clinically ill cattle should be avoided.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed; however a measure of common sense is required. Equipment, such as loaders used to move sick or dead animals must be cleaned and sanitized before using around healthy cattle or feed supplies. The dead cattle pick up area should be located at the perimeter of the operation and weighed across the truck scales used to weight feed trucks.

Sanitation: Clean and sanitize instruments, equipment and facilities after working with clinically ill or dead cattle.

Action Trigger: Bovine respiratory disease symptoms, the hallmark of which includes depression and appetite loss.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: A member of the Biosecurity Response Team should daily review the sick cattle pulls with the hospital supervisor.

Comments: Minimizing stress by proper care and handling techniques improves the ability of cattle to resist infectious disease. The symptoms of these diseases may mimic the symptoms of other diseases that would be a biosecurity threat. Be on guard for any differences in the signs presented by an animal that may be an indication of a biosecurity threat. If in doubt, contact a member of the Biosecurity Response Team, who will then notify the operation’s veterinarian. Review all cases with the operation’s veterinarian.

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Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD)

Risk: Commonly, carrier animals are born as “persistently infected” (PI) with BVD. The risk of cattle becoming BVD carriers after birth is extremely low.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify the symptoms of BVD. Symptoms may include non-responsive pneumonia or diarrhea. Other diseases to consider are salmonella or toxicosis due to oral or gastrointestinal irritants. BVD-PI animals most often become clinical cases when they develop the “Mucosal” form of the disease. Oral erosions and ulcers may be noted and therefore could be confused with FMD.

Resistance: Vaccines are available and MLV vaccines work well. Vaccines have no effect and do not prevent BVD in cattle born as BVD persistently infected carriers.

Isolation: Special traffic control is not needed. Clean and sanitize all working facilities and equipment after handling cattle with chronic diarrhea or severe illness. Prevent fecal-oral contamination.

Traffic Control: Restrict the movement of sick cattle to within the hospital area. Restrict movement of people who work in the hospital area to the hospital area unless sanitizing footwear.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from scouring animals contaminate the oral cavity of other animals or humans. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment and snakes after handling cattle with diarrhea.

Action Trigger: BVD symptoms, (diarrhea or non-responsive pneumonia with or with out oral erosions and ulcers).

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Bring all cases of severe diarrhea or cases with oral erosions/ulcers to the immediate attention of a member of the Biosecurity Rapid Response Team. They will contact the operation’s veterinarian. Necropsy all cattle that die from chronic diarrhea as directed by the operation’s veterinarian.

Comments: BVD carriers (BVD-PI) are a concern in breeding herds and operations that raise herd replacements. Focus on proper vaccination in breeding replacement cattle. Typically, cattle that receive two to three modified live virus (MLV) BVD vaccinations before entering the breeding herd with yearly boosters will not be susceptible to giving birth to BVD carriers provided they were not born as BVD carriers. Breeding replacements should be tested to confirm free status before entering the breeding herd.

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Infectious Diseases Associated with Gastro-intestinal Syndromes

Infectious Diseases Associated with Gastro-intestinal Disease - Salmonellosis

Risk: The risk is high in feeder cattle. Salmonella is spread via fecal-oral contamination. Proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination greatly reduces the risk.

Training: Train employees to appreciate the risk to themselves and their family. Understand the importance of proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination. Provide employee education to identify symptoms of the disease.

Resistance: Vaccines do not provide protection.

Isolation: Isolate, as possible, all cattle with symptoms of salmonella. This includes animals with severe depression and diarrhea. Avoid fecal-oral contamination in the hospital area by minimizing the use of oral instruments such as balling guns, stomach tubes, and oral fluid pumps.

Traffic Control: Restrict sick cattle movement to within the hospital area. Restrict movement of people who work in the hospital area without sanitizing footwear.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from salmonella suspects contaminate the oral cavity of other animals or humans. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment and snakes after handling salmonella suspect cattle.

Action Trigger: Salmonella symptoms include severe depression, high fever and diarrhea.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Response Team that an animal has been identified exhibiting clinical symptoms for salmonellosis. They will communicate the need for intra operation traffic control.

Comments: Salmonella can kill anything from cattle to humans! Detailed attention to preventing fecal-oral contamination is the best defense.

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Coccidiosis

Risk: Assume all cattle are exposed to coccidiosis. Young feeder cattle eating infected bedding in feedlot pens.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. Include training on health management of clinically affected cattle and supportive therapy for severely dehydrated young cattle. They need to understand the importance of proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination. Train employees to realize their personal risk and the potential risk to their families from fecal-oral contamination.

Resistance: Cattle become more resistant to coccidiosis as they mature.

Isolation: Isolate, as much as possible, all cattle with symptoms of diarrhea. This includes animals with severe depression and diarrhea. Avoid fecal-oral contamination by minimizing use of oral instruments such as balling guns, stomach tubes, and oral fluid pumps.

Traffic Control: Restrict the movement around cattle affected with a scouring disease.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from scouring cattle contaminate the oral cavity of other animals or humans. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment calves with diarrhea.

Action Trigger: Symptoms of profuse and/or bloody scours in young cattle.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Preventing fecal oral contamination between animals, especially true the in young cattle.

Comments: Review all cases with the operation’s veterinarian.

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Other Infectious Diseases

Anaplasmosis:

Risk: The disease risk in feeder cattle is typically very low. Cattle less than 24 months of age are not likely to develop clinical infections. Calves may suffer mild infections. Yearlings may exhibit severe symptoms but normally recover. In adult cattle the death rate can be high.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. It is important for employees to understand the importance of avoiding the transferring of blood between cattle during treatments. Anaplasmosis symptoms include depression, fever, rapid breathing and anemia. Early the cattle’s membranes may pale and later the membranes turn yellowish.

Resistance: A vaccine is available.

Isolation: Special isolation is not needed. Anaplasmosis suspect cattle should be treated with a topical pesticide to decrease the likelihood of blood transfer between cattle by insects.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed.

Sanitation: Sanitize all equipment and instruments that may transfer blood between cattle. This includes needles, instruments, ob sleeves, nose tongs, oral speculums, etc. Use disinfectant sponges for needles and disinfectant buckets for other items.

Action Trigger: Anaplasmosis symptoms, (depression, fever, anemia, rapid breathing). Ask the veterinarian to examine all suspect animals.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: None

Comments: Not typically an issue for feedlot cattle, but may be important in replacement livestock development. Focus on prevention, by not transferring blood between cattle through needle use or palpation sleeves.

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Leptospirosis (Red Water)

Risk: The risk is low to high depending on the environment. Leptospirosis is transmitted through urine contamination, usually of water. Standing water in pens, especially in hot periods of the year is frequently associated with symptoms of leptospirosis in feeder cattle.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. It is important for employees to understand types of conditions associated with transmission of the disease. Do not allow the collection of water where cattle would be tempted to drink. The noticeable symptoms are fever, labored breathing, appetite loss, extreme depression, weakness and exhaustion. Employees must be award of the potential for human infection and be trained to avoid exposure and to properly sanitize equipment.

Resistance: Vaccines have not consistently provided protection, but should be used in some circumstances.

Isolation: Special isolation is not needed. The water supply of cattle housed with leptospirosis suspect cattle should be protected from urine contamination.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed.

Sanitation: Sanitize equipment and instruments contaminated from leptospirosis suspect urine.

Action Trigger: Leptospirosis symptoms, (depression, fever, anemia, rapid breathing, and red/dark urine). Ask the operation’s veterinarian to examine all leptospirosis suspect cases.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Response Team. They will discuss the environmental associations with leptospirosis and the appropriate corrections.

Comments: Controlling standing water that cattle may drink from will control the spread of leptospirosis. There is a potential for humans to become infected from cattle that have the disease.

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