Articles on large animal and livestock health and disease.
The cattle tick is the most serious external parasite of cattle in Australia. It is widespread in many areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland and a small area of northeast NSW.
Grass seeds affect cattle and dogs, but are a particular problem in sheep. The seeds ruin fleeces and skin, cause eye and ear problems and can even penetrate muscle.
Blackleg, pulpy kidney (enterotoxaemia), black disease, tetanus, and malignant oedema are common causes of death in unvaccinated sheep and cattle. Other animals, particularly goats, are also susceptible.
Calves with scours lose many litres of fluid each day in the form of diarrhoea. Calf loss is usually due to dehydration, rather than the infection itself.
Arthrogryposis (joints fixed in abnormal positions) is a birth defect seen in cattle and sheep. Causes include viral infections of the dam as well as inherited defects.
Seen mostly in lactating beef cows in winter and early spring, grass tetany can lead to the death of most clinically affected animals. The disorder is associated with low levels of magnesium in the blood.
Feeding pets food that we enjoy is not only wrong, it can also be fatal. There are some foodstuffs that humans relish which cause illness and death if eaten by pets.
Bovine Ephemeral Fever (BEF) is a viral disease of cattle and buffalo. Typically, affected animals are only sick for a few days, hence the alternative name - Three Day Sickness.
Heliotropium europaeum, often referred to as potato weed, blue weed, or common or wild heliotrope, is a potential source of poisoning that affects wheat/sheep areas more than pastoral areas.
Warts occur quite commonly on beef and dairy cattle in Australia, especially on young cattle. Warts are contagious and can spread rapidly when cattle are in close contact.
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