diseases that affect livestock. Diseases that can be transferred from one species to another are called zoonotic diseases and some of the bacteria that cause scours in calves such as E. coli, Salmonella and Cryptospoidia can also infect the people treating the calves, so it is very important to follow good hygiene practices like thoroughly washing your hands after feeding or treating sick calves. Another important component of an effective biosecurity strategy is identifying and stopping disease transmission. Knowing what disease symptoms look like and quickly treating and isolating sick cattle is essential to stopping a potential outbreak. Any cattle that die suddenly, without any obvious cause, should be examined thoroughly to see if the cause of death could be an infectious disease and a threat to the rest of the herd. If possible, samples should be submitted to a diagnostic lab to identify the cause of death. That information may be helpful to determine if there is a risk to the rest of the herd and design an effective prevention or treatment plan for other members of the herd.
The carcass should be removed and properly disposed of quickly to remove the potential of infecting additional animals or scavengers scattering the body parts and spreading the pathogens.
Records I know we harp on records, records, records but records are essential for many reasons including biosecurity which is a part of herd health. Records are a reference point for determining what is normal and what is not and what issues need to be corrected. Herd monitoring such as timely pregnancy diagnosis helps identify potential reproductive problems sooner than waiting to find open or late cows at the time of calving. Early recognition and treatment are critical to minimize the spread and damage of disease. Biosecurity is an old but important topic and an essential component of a successful cattle operation. Just like a good fence is necessary to keep what you want in and what you donâ€™t want out , a good biosecurity program makes good sense. GC
G E O R G I A C AT T L E M A N â€˘
July 2011 61
The official July 2011 publication of the Georgia Cattleman.