Beef Animal Health Week 1 9.24MB

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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
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Shiny coat

Steady breathing

Bright eyes

Body temperature
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Clear warm nose

Normal behaviour
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Pricked ears
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Feed intake
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Normal faeces
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Thrive
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Dull coat
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Laboured breathing
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Sunken eyes
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High/Low temp
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Runny nose
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On its own
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Droopy ears
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Off feed
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Diarrhoea
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Hunched
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Loss of production

Welfare issues

Loss of health status
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Antibiotic use / resistance

Financial losses

Sickness/death

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
http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/animal-health-and-welfare/animalwelfare/farmed-animal-welfare.htm
Biosecurity
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
Weather
Water
People
Stock
Animals
Vehicles
Feed
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
http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/animal-health-and-welfare/diseasecontrol-prevention/biosecurity.htm
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
stock
Buying in Cattle
Important points:
 Buy from as few sources as possible
 Buy from reliable source (know health history if
possible)
 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
HOST
AGENT/
PATHOGEN
ENVIRONMENT
Disease is multifactorial
Calf Scour (Neonatal calf diarrhoea)
 Accounts for ~50% of deaths in calves < 1 month old
Symptoms






Diarrhoea
Temperature (fever)
Dull
Weak
Reluctant to eat or drink
Dehydration
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
}
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more common
virus
bacteria
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.
Colostrum

First milk produced by dam after giving birth

Immunoglobulin (antibody) rich

Essential source of antibodies for newborn calves
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Newborn calves have no immunity
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Absorbed during first 6 hours
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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
calving
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Minimum 5 weeks dry cow period
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Cows exposed to pathogens on farm
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Dry cow minerals fed prior to calving
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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
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Freeze soon after collection
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Freeze in quantities used ie 3 – 6 litres for calves
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Thaw slowly in warm water
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Pour & store sealable bags/pouches are ideal as
easily thawed
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Don’t microwave
Prevention is Cheaper than Treatment

Avoids treatment costs, loss of growth & labour
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Vaccination too late when outbreak occurs
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Vaccines available for Rotavirus, coronavirus &
E.coli
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Vaccinate within 12 and 3 weeks before calving
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Needs good colostrum management
Pneumonia

Lung inflammation
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Highly infectious
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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
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Temperature / Fever
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Depression
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Dullness
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Rapid, shallow breathing
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Coughing
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Nasal discharge
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Discharge from eyes
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Salivation
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis
 Clinical signs
 Involve the vet early on
Treatment
 Antibiotics (ineffective against viruses)
 Anti-inflammatories

Anthelmintics
Pneumonia – Risk Factors
Animal Health Ireland
Prevention of Pneumonia

Adequate colostrum in newborn calves
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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
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Ridge Width 5cm for every 3m of building width
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Inlet area 2 times to 4 times the outlet area
Ventilation of Cattle Housing
Ventilation of Cattle Housing
Vaccination

Discuss options with your vet
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Cover the most likely pathogens
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Get immunity in place before the challenge
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Vaccinate all in same air space - less disease & virus
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Overwhelming challenge still leads to disease
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Reduced immune response – purchased & stressed
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Prevention is better than cure

Maintain farm biosecurity
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Ensure good colostrum intakes
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Good housing design will reduce the
incidence of pneumonia
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