Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by infectious agent, either a virus or bacteria.
Pneumonia in cattle is a complicated disease with multiple factors that can impact its onset.
Pneumonia often occurs following the interaction of stress (i.e. handling, transport) and an infectious agent (bacteria, virus).
Pneumonia is commonly linked to Bovine Respiratory Diseases especially in Feedlot cattle.
A combination of factors can cause pneumonia in cattle such as an infectious agent (bacteria, virus, or a combination of both); weather or environmental conditions; animal management; type of cattle; and poor cattle immune system.
Viruses that initiate pneumonia in cattle are infectious bovine rhinotracheitis IBR, bovine respiratory syncytial (BRSV), parainfluenza 3 (P13), bovine virus diarrhoea (BVD), and certain rhino viruses.
Bacteria that are involved in pneumonia in cattle are Mannheimiahemolytica, Pasteurellamultocida, Histophilussomni, Salmonella spp., and Mycoplasma spp.
Affected animals may display the following signs: nasal/ocular/oral discharge, depression, lethargy, emaciated body condition, laboured or rapid shallow breathing, coughing, extended head and neck, and droopy ears.
In addition, animals may have decline in weight or growth rate and will have reduced feed intake.
Based on history, clinical signs and reports from feedlot and meat works.
Isolate affected animals in a well-ventilated area protected from excessive cold or heat; maintain hydration, andprovide easy access to water and feed.
It is important to keep physical stress of an animal affected by pneumonia to a minimum.
Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment may aid recovery.
- Preventive strategies should be aimed at minimising adverse effects of potential stressors that may increase susceptibility to clinical infection, as well as reducing pathogen exposure and transmission.
- To prevent pneumonia in cattle the following should be taken into consideration:
- Avoid moving stock in extreme conditions: heat, cold, very dusty
- Avoid overcrowding in all situations: grazing, stockyards, transportation.
- Avoid immediate and sudden diet changes.
- Minimise the mixing of herds.
- Provide appropriate shelter from extreme conditions.
- Ensure continual access to clean water.
- Separating affected animals from non-infected.
- Alternatively, there are number of measures that can be implemented on farm to prepare cattle for feedlots to help prevent pneumonia including:
- yard weaning
- introduction to trough feeding and watering
- vaccination against a range of diseases such as Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) pathogens (both bacterial and viral).
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