9 February 1996

Rare illnesses

PNEUMONIA in dairy cows has been reported to a number of Vet Investigation Centres this winter.

The infection, identified as pasteurella pneumonia, is rare in adult cattle, claims Wincester VI vet David Harwood.

"Cows suffer a rapid onset of pneumonia and become ill quickly unless steps are taken to treat them," says Mr Harwood. "Recovery depends on speed of treatment and cows respond quite well unless the lungs are damaged.

"Producers suspecting pneumonia in adult cattle that have recently suffered stress must seek vet advice quickly for cows will deteriorate rapidly."

Antibiotic treatment must be given to infected cows.

and for some cases preventative antibiotic treatment for the rest of the herd may be recommended. Vaccination for pasteurella pneumonia is available but the effectiveness is unproven, he claims.