General description
  • 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 Mannheimia hemolytica, Pasteurella multocidaHistophilus somni, Salmonella spp., and Mycoplasma spp.
Clinical signs
  • 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.
    • Drenching.
    • Dehorning.
    • Castration.
    • Vaccination against a range of diseases such as Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) pathogens (both bacterial and viral).
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