Beef Animal Health Week 1 9.24MB

Level II Agricultural Business Operations
To recognise animal signs of good and ill health
To know how to prevent and treat calf scours
and pneumonia
To identify on-farm biosecurity measures
Shiny coat
Steady breathing
Bright eyes
Body temperature
Clear warm nose
Normal behaviour
Pricked ears
Feed intake
Normal faeces
Dull coat
Laboured breathing
Sunken eyes
High/Low temp
Runny nose
On its own
Droopy ears
Off feed
Loss of production
Welfare issues
Loss of health status
Antibiotic use / resistance
Financial losses
Consumer perception
Animal Welfare
There are moral, ethical and economic reasons
for taking animal welfare seriously
Welfare – 5 Freedoms
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Freedom from discomfort
Freedom from pain, injury or disease
Freedom from fear or distress
Freedom to express normal behaviour
Welfare Codes of Practice
Biosecurity is the prevention of disease
causing agents entering or leaving any place
where they can pose a risk to farm animals,
other animals, humans, or the safety and
quality of a food product.
The same principles apply within the farm,
preventing disease spreading between
animals and groups
Would you allow?
A neighbour to borrow your bull
Visitors, without disinfection
Meal to be stored uncovered
A neighbour to use your cattle trailer
A dead lorry near your cattle
Cattle to drink downstream from
another herd
Guidance on Biosecurity
Why Bother with Biosecurity?
Safeguard the herd against disease reducing stress
on animals and farmer
Safeguard human health
Improve production efficiency by reducing the
spread of disease within farm
Stops the spread of disease to other farms
Protects export markets
What Can You Do?
Maintain a closed herd
Pre-test and isolate purchased animals
Restrict visitor access
Provide boot washing/disinfection facilities
Use common sense when moving around farm
Restrict access to water courses/neighbouring
Buying in Cattle
Important points:
 Buy from as few sources as possible
 Buy from reliable source (know health history if
 Quarantine bought-in animals for at least 2 weeks
 Screening: Ideally, test for main diseases (e.g. BVD) before
mixing with the rest of your herd
 Treatments: Vaccinations, Dose for fluke/worms
Common Diseases on Beef Farms
 Name some common diseases on beef farms
 The diseases looked at will provide a general guide
to animal health
 Starting with neonatal (new born) calf
Principles of Disease
Disease is multifactorial
Calf Scour (Neonatal calf diarrhoea)
 Accounts for ~50% of deaths in calves < 1 month old
Temperature (fever)
Reluctant to eat or drink
o Sunken eye
o Skin elasticity
Nutritional Calf Scour
If calves are bucket fed ensure:
 Regular feeding times
 Milk substitute is fed at correct strength & temperature
 Correct positioning of feed buckets
 Buckets are thoroughly cleaned after use
 Feeding through a teat can help
Infectious Causes of Calf Scour
 Cryptosporidium (parasite)
 Rotavirus
 Coronavirus
 Salmonella
 E. Coli K99
more common
less common
How Infectious Agents Cause Calf Scour
1. Agents attacks gut wall.
2. Gut cannot absorb milk
3. Scour
4. Dehydration
5. Collapse / prolonged recovery
Early Diagnosis is Important
 Take a dung sample
o So appropriate treatment can be started
and losses saved
o Cause has often disappeared by the
time you go to look for it, although
damage is done and symptoms remain
Treatment of Calf Scours
1. Rehydration
 Manage milk intake
 Alternate electrolyte and milk feeds (4 per day)
 Intravenous fluids if very weak
2. Antibacterials etc to combat agents
Consult Vet
3. Isolate, dry bedding & heat lamp
Host Factors
1. Age – younger calves more susceptible
2. Nutrition – high milk intake, milk replacer, erratic
feeding, overfeeding, poor hygiene
3. Immunity – inadequate colostrum
4. Mixing of calves – less risk after 8 weeks provided
enough fibre is offered.
First milk produced by dam after giving birth
Immunoglobulin (antibody) rich
Essential source of antibodies for newborn calves
Newborn calves have no immunity
Absorbed during first 6 hours
Lines gut and protects it
The 3 Q’s of Colostrum Feeding
1. Quantity
2. Quality
3. Quickly
Colostrum Quantity
 2 litres within 6 hours
 In total 10 % of calf’s birth weight with 12 hours
 Generally 3 to 6 litres
 20 min suckling = 3 litres intake!!
Quality – Cow Management
To ensure optimum colostrum quality...
Cow Body Condition Score of 2.5 - 3 prior to
Minimum 5 weeks dry cow period
Cows exposed to pathogens on farm
Dry cow minerals fed prior to calving
Vaccination against specific causes
Colostrum Quickly
 Antibody absorption decreases after birth and
stops by 24hrs
Antibody Absorption
Colostrum Options
 Suckle the dam (quantity?)
 Suckle from teat on bucket
 Stomach tube
 Source from dairy herd (Biosecurity)
 Commercial substitutes
Colostrum Storage
Freeze soon after collection
Freeze in quantities used ie 3 – 6 litres for calves
Thaw slowly in warm water
Pour & store sealable bags/pouches are ideal as
easily thawed
Don’t microwave
Prevention is Cheaper than Treatment
Avoids treatment costs, loss of growth & labour
Vaccination too late when outbreak occurs
Vaccines available for Rotavirus, coronavirus &
Vaccinate within 12 and 3 weeks before calving
Needs good colostrum management
Lung inflammation
Highly infectious
Can be difficult to treat – multi-factorial disease
Loss in animal performance greatest cost
Causes of Pneumonia
Viruses eg IBR
Bacteria eg Pasteurella
Parasites eg lungworm
Most often: primary agent = virus
secondary agent = bacteria
Clinical Signs of Pneumonia ?
Clinical Signs of Pneumonia
Reduced appetite
Temperature / Fever
Rapid, shallow breathing
Nasal discharge
Discharge from eyes
Diagnosis and Treatment
 Clinical signs
 Involve the vet early on
 Antibiotics (ineffective against viruses)
 Anti-inflammatories
Pneumonia – Risk Factors
Animal Health Ireland
Prevention of Pneumonia
Adequate colostrum in newborn calves
Reduce Stress
o Introduce concentrate prior to weaning
o Avoid dehorning or castration around weaning
o After weaning - calves in same place for 1 wk
Prevention of Pneumonia
Suitable housing
o Dust & noxious gases irritate respiratory tract
o Warm , humid conditions favour agents
o Enough air space & ventilation reduces illness
o Avoid draughts
o Air inlets should be above animal height
o Dry, comfortable bed, “knee test”
o Avoid mixed ages esp. Calves & adults
Ventilation of Cattle Housing
The Stack Effect
Heat from livestock warms the air
which rises, to be replaced by
fresh air coming in at a lower
level through the eaves.
Maximising the Stack Effect
Roof Pitch between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3
Ridge Width 5cm for every 3m of building width
Inlet area 2 times to 4 times the outlet area
Ventilation of Cattle Housing
Ventilation of Cattle Housing
Discuss options with your vet
Cover the most likely pathogens
Get immunity in place before the challenge
Vaccinate all in same air space - less disease & virus
Overwhelming challenge still leads to disease
Reduced immune response – purchased & stressed
Prevention is better than cure
Maintain farm biosecurity
Ensure good colostrum intakes
Good housing design will reduce the
incidence of pneumonia
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