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Large Animal Health Topics

Animals included: Horses, Cows, Goats and other small ruminants
This is of importance especially in Dairy production. Did you know after Mastitis, Lameness contributes as a major constraint to milk production ? This farmer informed us that this cow was initially producing 15 litres the production was cut by more than half to 6 litres in a week's time...
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Castration of male goats or kids is usually done during the first 7 – 14 days of their life. Castration of young animals produces less stress because they are more tolerant to pain at this age and have less chance of complications occurring during this procedure. Castration is usually performed...
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Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an acute arthropod-borne viral disease that can cause severe disease in domestic animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep, camels and buffalo. Rift Valley fever is also an important zoonosis that can cause severe disease in humans. Aetiology Rift Valley fever virus is...
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Jaundice or icterus is characterized by the yellow discoloration of unpigmented skin, mucosal and conjunctival membranes, as well as membranes over the sclera and is caused by elevated blood bilirubin concentrations. Jaundice often arises in diseases of the liver and biliary system. However...
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It is usually recommended to ‘replace like with like’. This statement means that whatever fluid has been lost from the body should be replaced with fluid of the same type. For example, a cat that has had a road traffic accident and lost blood should receive blood during its fluid therapy...
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Proper placement of a nose ring helps prevent subsequent loss of the ring associated with ripping the ring through the muzzle during restraint. Rings are commonly placed in young bulls as they reach puberty and begin to show dominant or aggressive tendencies. It may be necessary to install a...
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Aetiology Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small colony (SC) (MmmSC) is the cause of the contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). MmmSC is very similar culturally and antigenically to the causative organism of caprine contagious pleuropneumonia, but the two can be differentiated culturally...
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Lateral deviation of the head is a common cause of dystocia in cows; the calves are often dead. Clinical Presentation Both fore feet are presented in the maternal pelvis (and possibly at the vulva). Occasionally, the cervix may not be fully dilated. Differential Diagnosis Farmers often...
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Sheep, cattle, and goats are all affected by species of the nematode genus Haemonchus. H. contortus is the species most commonly found in sheep and goats, but H. placei is the usual species in cattle. Molecular studies have confirmed that these are distinct taxa. Even so, cross infection may...
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Cattle are indiscriminate eaters and may inadvertently ingest wire, nails or needles if present in feed. If these sharp metal objects are longer than 2.5 cm, they may become trapped in and penetrate the reticulum. Piercing of the heart by these sharp objects results in traumatic...
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Laminitis refers to inflammation and failure of the soft tissues that suspend the distal foot bone from the inner hoof wall. It may occur in individuals after any toxic infectious condition such as pneumonia or metritis, or after ruminal acidosis. In intensive commercial units, it is most...
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A repeat breeder cow is a cow that has failed to become pregnant following three or more consecutive serves at normal inter-estrus intervals. An incidence of 10–18% is reported, but these figures depend on the herd pregnancy rate. For example, in a 100-cow herd with a 40% pregnancy rate, 22 cows...
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Haematoma formation, with swelling at the base of the sheath anterior to the scrotum, due to rupture of the tunica albuginea. Ruptured penis is a sporadic problem in stock bulls. It normally occurs during the mating period. Aetiology Rupture of the tunica albuginea commonly occurs around...
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FMD is endemic throughout many parts of the world, but much of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand is free of the disease. Disease incursions are eliminated by stringent herd and flock slaughter programmes and livestock movement bans. Aetiology FMD is an extremely contagious...
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Teat obstructions are encountered relatively commonly in dairy herds. They interrupt the milk flow, resulting in teat end damage and an increased risk of mastitis. Aetiology Occasionally, newly calved heifers are presented with blind quarters, which may be a consequence of congenital...
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Traumatic teat injuries are not uncommon in dairy cows with pendulous udders and are usually caused by treading on the teats. Most teat injuries are treated conservatively, but surgical repair can be attempted. Aetiology Teat lacerations are usually caused by treading injuries. Occasionally...
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Sandcracks are vertical fissures or cracks in the wall of the claw. There is loss of continuity of horn fibers of the plantar hoof wall extending for a variable distance from the coronet toward the bottom of the hoof wall. Aetiology: Sandcracks result from damage to the periople and...
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Ketosis is a metabolic disorder that occurs in cattle when energy demands (e.g. high milk production) exceed energy intake and result in a negative energy balance. Ketotic cows often have low blood glucose (blood sugar) concentrations. When large amounts of body fat are utilised as an energy...
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These worms live in the conjunctival sac (eyelid) of the eye in many species of livestock, in many countries. Cattle, sheep, horses, camels, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, birds, and humans can be affected. The most common species is Thelazia rhodesii, which parasitizes cattle and sheep. The worms...
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Introduction Animals require energy and proteins for different body functions. Energy is required for maintenance (to maintain the body, respiration and digestion), production (growth, milk and workforce) and reproduction (pregnancy). An animal derives energy from dietary carbohydrates. Proteins...
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