Wyoming Veterinary Medical Association

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Animal Health Alert: TAHC Update on Health Issue in Dairy Cattle

March 19, 2024 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) shared the following information on an animal health issue noted in dairy cattle in Texas. TAHC and USDA are working to monitor and evaluate reported cases. 

*Cases have also been reported in eastern New Mexico.*

Dairy Cattle Situation Update

Clinical Signs:

  • Decreased herd level milk production
  • Acute sudden drop in production with some severely impacted cows experiencing thicker, concentrated, colostrum like milk
  • Decrease in feed consumption with a simultaneous drop in rumen motility
  • Abnormal tacky or loose feces
  • Fever in some animals

Impacted herds have reported older cows in mid-lactation may be more likely to be severely impacted than younger cows and fresh cows or heifers. Dry cows and heifers do not appear to be affected. In addition, some herds have reported pneumonia and clinical mastitis cases as secondary sequelae.

Current Efforts:
The TAHC, USDA, Texas A&M Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL), and dairy veterinarians, along with other partners, are working closely to coordinate an efficient plan to monitor and evaluate affected dairy cattle, develop a case definition, and conduct additional diagnostics.

A strong emphasis on enhanced biosecurity measures is encouraged. As monitoring and evaluation is underway, limiting people on and off premises, and prioritizing diligent biosecurity practices is critical. When more information is available, additional guidance regarding preventative measures at the dairy level will be shared.

Collection of EDTA whole blood, serum, feces, urine, and milk from sick and paired healthy animals from the same herd may be advised. Veterinarians should collect and document detailed production information on the affected dairy cattle.

Updated information regarding the situation and case definition will be provided along with next steps. We encourage checking the TAHC website, https://www.tahc.texas.gov/, for situational updates and additional guidance as more information becomes available.

Additional Information:

Additional guidance on enhanced biosecurity practices for milk producers is available at https://securemilksupply.org/. Contact your veterinarian if you have further questions on developing an appropriate biosecurity plan.

If any dairy cattle producers notice these signs in their animals, please consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the Wyoming Livestock Board at 307-840-1389 or lsbforms-applications@wyo.gov.

The WLSB will send situation updates via GovDelivery, when notified of any additional information. 

Wyoming Livestock Board

Wyoming Livestock Board
1934 Wyott Drive
Cheyenne, WY 82002

PO Box 241
Timnath, CO 80547
P: 307.316.0916
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