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Clinical signs: Be aware of botulism in cattle when feeding silage

Now most beef and dairy cattle are housed, be vigilant for signs of botulism when feeding silage.


Laura   Bowyer

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Laura   Bowyer
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Clinical signs: Be aware of botulism in cattle when feeding silage

Cases of botulism occur mainly in cattle and are thought to be caused by poultry litter spread on pasture, the feeding of ensiled poultry manure, bird carcases in silage clamps and bakery waste.


Clinical disease resulting from the ingestion of the toxin clostridium botulinum can range from sudden death or recovery within 14 to 21 hours.


Cattle are particularly susceptible and all ages can be affected, being sensitive to very small amounts of the toxin.


The bacteria will grow to high levels in the environment and in decaying organic matter including animal and bird carcases.

 

There is no effective treatment. It can be vaccinated against but is likely to require a specific vaccine.

 

Clinical signs can include:

  • Affects the nervous system and it can affect the hind legs
  • Weakness can progress over four to seven days to affect the forelegs, head and neck
  • Progressive weakness
  • Drooling
  • Animals are generally alert
  • Death
  • Cattle can have trouble chewing and swallowing and paralyisis of the tongue




Read More

'It was absolutely horrific' - heartbroken farmer loses 50 cows to botulism 'It was absolutely horrific' - heartbroken farmer loses 50 cows to botulism

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