Kerry Rood DVM

Rood

It is important for youths involved in the 4-H livestock program to have a basic understanding of what signs and symptoms to watch for to prevent illness in their steers or heifers. Recognizing animal behaviors and signs of illness can greatly help 4-H participants and their parents become better caretakers. Always have contact information for a local veterinarian available. Keep this information written down and located with your first-aid kit. Also, keep on hand contact information for one or two people from the community who know about cattle and can give you advice or assistance. A printable Cattle First Aid and Basic Care flip book is free to download at tinyurl.com/CattleFirstAid. Bovine respiratory disease is the most common disease affecting the beef cattle industry. BRD refers to any disease of the upper or lower respiratory tracts. It is commonly associated with infections of the lungs causing pneumonia in recently weaned, nursing and housed calves, along with feedlot cattle. Symptoms include fever of higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, eye discharge and diminished appetite. Contact a veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will prescribe the necessary antibiotic and dosage. Bloat is the buildup of gas in the rumen without a proper method of expulsion. This gas is produced during digestion and is lost by belching. There are two types of bloat. The least-common type is gassy bloat, which occurs when the animal can’t burp. The second and most common type is frothy bloat, which happens when a stable foam develops on top of the rumen liquid, which blocks the release of the gas. Some symptoms of bloat include a distended left abdomen, no grazing, reluctance to move, straining to urinate or defecate and rapid breathing. Keep the animal up and moving to pass gas. Bloat can be very serious. Do not hesitate to call your veterinarian right away. Ringworm is an infection of the skin and hair and is caused by a spore-forming fungi. Spores are shed from the lesion by broken hairs or scabs from the lesion. The spores remain alive for years in a dry environment, and equipment and barns can remain infective for years. Symptoms include gray-white areas of skin and lesions that are circular and slightly raised. In calves, ringworm is commonly found around eyes, ears and back. In adult cattle, infections on the chest and legs are more common. Once detected, contact your veterinarian. Topical treatment is the usual procedure. Medication cannot penetrate the crusts; the crusts should be removed by scraping. Collect the crusts and burn the tissue to avoid more contamination. Lesions should be treated at least twice, 3 to 5 days apart. Raising cattle is a good way to teach youths about markets, feed and nutrition, compassion and proper care for animals. It’s important we don’t miss the opportunity to teach them about basic health and caring for injuries as this is a common and important part of raising and owning cattle. Matt Garcia, USU assistant professor and Extension beef specialist; Karah Nay, Extension assistant professor; and Chelsea Walker, USU student intern contributed to this column.

It is important for youths involved in the 4-H livestock program to have a basic understanding of what signs and symptoms to watch for to prevent illness in their steers or heifers. Recognizing animal behaviors and signs of illness can greatly help 4-H participants and their parents become better caretakers.

Always have contact information for a local veterinarian available. Keep this information written down and located with your first-aid kit. Also, keep on hand contact information for one or two people from the community who know about cattle and can give you advice or assistance. A printable Cattle First Aid and Basic Care flip book is free to download at tinyurl.com/CattleFirstAid.

Bovine respiratory disease is the most common disease affecting the beef cattle industry. BRD refers to any disease of the upper or lower respiratory tracts. It is commonly associated with infections of the lungs causing pneumonia in recently weaned, nursing and housed calves, along with feedlot cattle. Symptoms include fever of higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, eye discharge and diminished appetite. Contact a veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will prescribe the necessary antibiotic and dosage.

Bloat is the buildup of gas in the rumen without a proper method of expulsion. This gas is produced during digestion and is lost by belching. There are two types of bloat. The least-common type is gassy bloat, which occurs when the animal can’t burp. The second and most common type is frothy bloat, which happens when a stable foam develops on top of the rumen liquid, which blocks the release of the gas. Some symptoms of bloat include a distended left abdomen, no grazing, reluctance to move, straining to urinate or defecate and rapid breathing. Keep the animal up and moving to pass gas. Bloat can be very serious. Do not hesitate to call your veterinarian right away.

Ringworm is an infection of the skin and hair and is caused by a spore-forming fungi. Spores are shed from the lesion by broken hairs or scabs from the lesion. The spores remain alive for years in a dry environment, and equipment and barns can remain infective for years. Symptoms include gray-white areas of skin and lesions that are circular and slightly raised. In calves, ringworm is commonly found around eyes, ears and back. In adult cattle, infections on the chest and legs are more common. Once detected, contact your veterinarian. Topical treatment is the usual procedure. Medication cannot penetrate the crusts; the crusts should be removed by scraping. Collect the crusts and burn the tissue to avoid more contamination. Lesions should be treated at least twice, 3 to 5 days apart.

Raising cattle is a good way to teach youths about markets, feed and nutrition, compassion and proper care for animals. It’s important we don’t miss the opportunity to teach them about basic health and caring for injuries as this is a common and important part of raising and owning cattle.

Matt Garcia, USU assistant professor and Extension beef specialist; Karah Nay, Extension assistant professor; and Chelsea Walker, USU student intern contributed to this column.

Dr. Kerry Rood, DVM, teaches at the Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He may be contacted at Kerry.Rood@usu.edu or 435-797-1882.

Dr. Kerry Rood, DVM, may be contacted at Kerry.Rood@usu.edu or 435-797-1882.

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