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Information Sheets

Cattle - Botulism

Botulism is a bacteria that can cause a fatal paralysis. It can be vaccinated against.

There are a number of potential sources of botulism poisoning:


2)Contaminated Water Sources

3)Fertilizing Pasture With Chicken Manure

All farmers who feed out sileage should consider using this vaccine. We do see outbreaks in this area of botulism. There is no treatment for Botulism, and will often affect large numbers in the herd. It is often found in dead carcasses, but can also be found in some birds and around watering holes.

Cattle - Bovine Ephemeral Fever (Three day sickness)

This is a virus spread by mosquitos. It commonly causes problems in Summer.  Animals that are affected will commonly seek shade and become stiff in the joints. They can become so ill that they won't get up and some animals can die. Most animals that recover from the disease have a long lasting immunity. Animals that are worth considering vaccinating are valuable animals and bulls. Vaccination must be carried out yearly to stay effective.

Cattle - Buffalo Fly

Is a common parasite in this area. It can cause production loss by fly worry, It can cause severe damage to animals that are sensitive to it and spend large amounts of time scratching themselves and can also spread disease like Pink eye.

Treatments that can be used are sprays, back rubs and ear tags.

It is also important to keep a healthy population of dung beetles on your farm as this will reduce the number of flies that hatch out.

This is the link to the dpi fact sheet on buffalo fly control.

Cattle - E Coli

Is a bacteria that will often cause calves to present with an extremely watery yellow to white diarrhoea that is maloderous. Dehydration must be managed in these calves. It can also cause disease in other parts of the body as well. Vaccination is available and recommended when this bacteria has been confirmed to be a problem on your farm. Confirmation can be made through laboratory testing.

Cattle - Feeding

Supplemental nutrition can be very important in certain times of the year. It is important to maintain cows in good body condition to avoid many of the diseases that we will commonly see. An animal with good nutrition is more likely to have a good immune system and more likely to recover from diseases without intervention.

Cattle - Flood Mud Scours (Yersinia)

Cattle - Intestinal Worms

This includes Barbers pole worm, Cooperia, Nematodirus, Ostertagia.

It is really important to have a good worming protocol to control these worms.

These are the NSW DPI recommendations for cattle worm control

Basics Of Cattle Worm Control

Cattle - Liver Fluke

Is a common parasite that we see, especially in the low flat countryside where you can get pooling of water and the cattle can access creeks and rivers.

The most important time to drench is in Late autumn when there are both immature and mature worms around. Most drenches containing triclabendazole will kill Liver fluke down to about 2 weeks of age.

Cattle - Manheimia

Is a bacteria that causes respiratory disease. This vaccine should be considered to be used in feedlot situations or where their has been a confirmed diagnosis of Manheimia on the farm.

Cattle - Paralysis Tick (Ixodes Holycyclus)

The Paralysis tick can cause signs in young animals and animals that are newly introduced to this area from an area that does not have the Paralysis tick. Animals that are affected may initially appear slow, and calves may stop feeding. Most animals start with weakness in the hindlegs, with the paralysis quickly affecting the animals front legs and possibly their breathing muscles. The Paralysis tick can be fatal in calves and non immune older cattle.

Cattle - Pestivirus

Is an extremely common virus in Australian herds. It is a disease that can manifest in many different ways including abortions, dummy calves, deformed calves and illthrifty calves that may suffer from pneumonia and diarrhoea. it is estimated that 80% of australian herds have this disease on it. It often becomes endemic on a herd. Whether to institute a vaccination protocol is a difficult question to answer. It depends on your individual circumstances.

Cattle - Pink Eye

Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacteria called Moraxella bovis. There is currently a trivalent vaccine that has been released to help prevent disease. The bacteria commonly invades the eye and causes ulceration of the eye and without treatment cows can become completely blind. The bacteria is spread easily by Flies, dust, grass and close contact. 

Prevention: Preventative tactics can include isolating affected animals, maintaining shorter pastures to avoid damage to the eye from grass seeds, limiting yarding during very dry dusty periods and implementing vaccination.

Cattle - Poisonous Plants

Plant poisonings occur relatively commonly in our area

Peak times that plant poisonings occur are during or just following drought when available pasture becomes scarce and animals are forced to eat whatever vegetation is available.

In order to prevent poisonings supplementary feeding should be undertaken during these times of limited pasture availablity, and animals should be restricted from grazing areas with known poisonous plants.

Cattle - Salmonella

Is a bacteria that can cause severe diarrhoea and septicaemia (blood infection). It is also a zoonotic disease, this means that people are able to contract it from infected animals. Vaccination is recommended when you have this disease diagnosed on your farm.

Cattle - Vaccinations

In this area, all farmers should vaccinate with '5 in 1' at least. This covers against the five fatal Clostridial diseases that we can see. The vaccine is not particularly expensive, and well worth using.