CASE NOTES


A REVIEW OF THE RECORDS OF CHLAMYDIA AND SBE DIAGNOSES IN THE WAGGA WAGGA RLPB

Tony Morton, District Veterinarian Hume LHPA and Megan McGrice CSU 6th year vet student and Joss Hoogstraten CSU 6th year vet student

Posted Flock & Herd March 2011

HISTORY / INTRODUCTION

This paper has been prepared as one of the four district veterinarian (DV) contributions on Chlamydial diseases at the 2011 District Veterinarians Conference. As the other speakers are likely to concentrate on the clinical disease I thought it may be of some interest to report from our computerised records which includes surveillance data since 1994.

The data presented in this paper has been recorded in three separate software systems. It includes cases investigated by DVs and private practitioner laboratory reports.

Diagnosis reports were created from our EZY software for Chlamydia, sporadic bovine encephalitis (SBE) and arthritis. It is inevitable that there were some discrepancies in the choice of the appropriate diagnosis for data entry due to a lengthy diagnosis list available and seven different DVs or locum DVs over the period from 1994 making the call as to the 'diagnosis' for data entry. In a few cases there were multiple diagnoses for the one case and one of the diagnoses was either Chlamydia or SBE. The Chlamydia and SBE reports were added together, the arthritis reports were checked against the comments and/or property records and those that deserved to be called Chlamydia were retained and added to the composite spreadsheets for sheep and cattle that form the basis for this report.

FINDINGS

There were 27 sheep investigations recorded with 11,505 sheep at risk, 516 sheep affected (includes deaths) and 44 deaths.

Table 1: Sheep cases
Date At Risk Cases Dead Sex Age Category Problem
1/01/1995 340 11 3 Mixed Weaned Lameness
17/09/1998 350 4 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
13/09/1999 370 6 0 Mixed Unweaned Lameness
2/08/2001 400 12 0 Mixed Unweaned Lameness
10/09/2003 900 35 1 Mixed Weaned Lameness
31/10/2003 560 10 0 Mixed Weaned Illthrift
13/10/2004 450 15 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
18/11/2004 0 0 0 Male Unweaned Lameness
23/05/2005 840 150 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
6/09/2005 230 6 5 Mixed Weaned Death
9/09/2005 1200 60 3 Mixed Mixed Lameness
10/10/2005 40 4 0 Mixed Young Adult Lameness
19/10/2005 215 15 0 Mixed Unweaned Lameness
2/02/2006 0 0 0 Male Weaned Lameness
6/02/2006 0 0 20 Mixed Unknown Lameness
13/06/2006 400 1 2 Mixed Young Adult Depression
9/01/2007 170 15 0 Mixed Young Adult Lameness
24/01/2007 300 50 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
16/08/2007 160 8 0 Mixed Mixed Lameness
20/02/2008 1300 40 3 Mixed Young Adult Lameness
18/07/2008 1600 15 0 Mixed Unknown Lameness
9/10/2008 200 2 1 Mixed Unknown Lameness
16/02/2009 140 7 6 Mixed Unknown Fever
11/02/2010 240 6 0 Mixed Unknown Lameness
21/12/2010 200 12 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
6/01/2011 300 12 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
27/01/2011 600 20 0 Mixed Weaned Lameness
Totals 11505 516 44

There were 21 cattle investigations recorded with 829 cattle at risk, 76 affected (includes deaths) and 14 deaths.

Table 2: Cattle cases
Date At Risk Cases Dead Sex Breed Age Category Problem
1/01/1994 130 8 2 Unknown Unknown Unknown Lameness
25/09/1997 60 4 0 Unknown Unknown Unknown Lameness
1/08/2000 12 1 1 Unknown Unknown Unknown Nervous Problem
4/09/2002 60 3 0 Mixed Beef Shorthorn Weaned Lameness
22/07/2004 0 0 0 Unknown Unknown Unknown Lameness
12/10/2004 72 1 1 Mixed Hereford Mixed Weakness
26/10/2005 100 3 4 Mixed Angus Unweaned Nervous Problem
29/11/2005 50 6 1 Mixed Angus Unweaned Nervous Problem
7/02/2007 19 4 0 Female Mixed Adult Nervous Problem
15/03/2007 30 12 2 Male Hereford Weaned Death
15/03/2007 30 12 2 Male Hereford Weaned Death
13/09/2007 28 4 0 Mixed Hereford Young Adult Lameness
12/02/2008 40 3 0 Female Angus Young Adult Lameness
23/02/2008 0 2 0 Female Angus Mixed Lameness
20/05/2008 12 1 0 Mixed Hereford Young Adult Nervous Problem
17/12/2008 1 1 0 Male Holstein Friesian Adult Ill thrift
15/01/2009 20 3 0 Mixed Murray Grey Weaned Fever
16/04/2009 28 4 0 Mixed Mixed Unweaned Nervous Problem
18/02/2010 120 2 1 Female Mixed Adult Death
1/03/2010 1 0 0 Male Unknown Unknown Fever
10/08/2010 16 2 0 Unknown Hereford Young Adult Fever
Totals 829 76 14

The apparent upsurge in investigations from 2003 might be related to the lengthy drought.


It is unknown whether there are real peaks in spring and late summer or whether farmers are less likely to report disease during haymaking and harvest during November and December.


Weaners and young adults made up the bulk of cases investigated.


While the presenting problem listed can reflect the veterinarian's choice of options from the computer list, it is interesting that sheep most consistently present as lameness whereas cattle most commonly present with lameness or neurological symptoms.

DISCUSSION

I was surprised by how few farms actually had Chlamydial diagnoses recorded over a 16 year period. Sometimes our impressions (of Chlamydial arthritis in sheep) are not matched by our records. However arthritis in sheep appears to be quite common when you talk to some local industry leaders. It's interesting to note however that in the MLA final report 'Assessing the economic cost of endemic disease on the profitability of Australian beef cattle and sheep producers', arthritis is eighth on the list for sheep (page 68) and it would not only include Chlamydia but also post-marking arthritis , erysipelothrix etc. Perhaps Chlamydia in sheep (apart from studs) does not hit profits hard enough for most producers to make a call for veterinary assistance.

The ability to collate the data presented in this paper highlights the necessity for disease surveillance data to be recorded and maintained on a computerised recording system. To be effective, this computerised system must allow ready access to data collected over many years and across all of NSW.

REFERENCES

  1. Sackett and Holmes et al MLA final report 'Assessing the economic cost of endemic disease on the profitability of Australian beef cattle and sheep producers' April 2006

 


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