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Case notes on veterinary investigations in sheep, cattle and other species

District Veterinarian Conference 2012


Abomasal emptying defect of sheep
Written by: Colin Peake, Riverina Livestock and Pest Authority, Hay and Patrick Staples, NSW State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Menangle
Abomasal emptying defect is an idiopathic syndrome of abomasal distension and impaction described in Suffolk and Hampshire sheep primarily ... Read more

Dermatosparaxis in a white dorper flock
Written by: Jillian Kelly, District Veterinarian, Central West Livestock Health & Pest Authority, Coonamble & Nyngan
Dermatosparaxis is an inherited connective tissue disorder that results in the deposition of abnormal collagen in the skin, leading to the skin losing its strength, and becoming fragile ... Read more

Dorsal skin lesions after ram shearing in far northwest: a complex aetiology
Written by: Greg Curran, Veterinary Officer, DPI, Broken Hill
While testing for ovine brucellosis in two ram flocks in Far Northwestern NSW in December 2011, a high prevalence of back lesions was observed. The lesions varied from severe to trace, with some rams not affected. The lesions involved loss of wool and skin, with some crusting ... Read more

Drench resistance survey - Lachlan LHPA
Written by: Eliz Braddon, SDV Lachlan LHPA
Within the Lachlan LHPA there is increasing concern, real or perceived, amongst ratepayers that the highly expensive anthelmintics they are using are failing to adequately control these parasites ... Read more

Drought lot Listeria abortions and some unexpected other diseases
Written by: A G Morton, District Veterinarian, Hume Livestock Health and Pest Authority
A series of drought years had degraded the lucerne based pastures on a property north of Wagga Wagga. As a result the sheep enterprise relied on stubbles for summer feed and drought lots in late autumn utilising pea and canola pit silage and grain ... Read more

Hypocalcaemia in sheep
Written by: Gabe Morrice, Riverina Livestock Health and Pest Authority, Narrandera
Hypocalcaemia in sheep is a non-seasonal, feed related condition that occurs predominantly in late pregnant and lactating ewes and weaner lambs. There is an increased incidence in older ewes and in multiparous ewes ... Read more

Hypoagnesaemia in sheep
Written by: Steve Whittaker and Brigit Pitman, Hume LHPA
Metabolic diseases have been identified as a cause of sheep deaths in NE Victoria since the 1960s. Metabolic diseases cause mortalities in Hume Livestock Health and Pest Authority sheep flocks each year ... Read more

Larval hypobiosis Teladorsagia (Ostertagia) circumcincta
Written by: Dan Salmon, SDV Deniliquin
Inhibited fourth-stage larvae (L4) of Ostertagia ostertagi are an important factor in the development of clinical ostertagiasis of cattle in southern Australia before the development of anthelmintics effective against the larvae embedded in the abomasal mucosa ... Read more

Epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep grazing irrigated summer pastures
Written by: Dan Salmon, SDV Deniliquin
The epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes in summer rainfall and winter rainfall and even the uniform rainfall area has been fairly well described. This paper is a belated report on trial work done many years ago ... Read more

Ovine hypocalcaemia conundrums
Written by: Bruce Watt, Tablelands Livestock Health and Pest Authority, Bathurst
Hypocalcaemia while sporadic, occasionally causes major losses especially in pregnant and lactating ewes. It was estimated for example that between 100,000 and 300,000 pregnant ewes die from hypocalcaemia each year in Victoria ... Read more

Ovine metabolic conditions encountered in Central West LHPA
Written by: Greg McCann BVSc, Senior District Veterinarian, CWLHPA
Sheep at the best of times don’t give a lot away when being assessed by a clinician. This can be a daunting trait when the examining clinician does not have the benefit of experience ... Read more

Phosphorus deficiency in sheep - a case report
Written by: Bill Johnson, District Veterinarian, Tablelands LHPA, Goulburn
Symptoms of primary phosphorus deficiency are seen frequently in NSW cattle, when grazing mainly native pastures in coastal, rangelands, and more recently tablelands areas ... Read more

Photosensitisation caused by st john's wort
Written by: Evelyn Walker, District Veterinarian, Central West LHPA, Dubbo
A sheep producer from the Yeoval area reported problems with severe sunburn in one mob of 350 adult Merino ewes with 200 lambs at foot in late November 2011. The owner first noticed droopy ears and scabby faces ... Read more

Polioencephalomalacia in adult ewes in the tablelands of NSW
Written by: Nicole Burns, Charles Sturt University Veterinary Science Student
Alan Taylor, Central West Livestock Health and Pest Authority, Molong

Polioencephalomalacia (PEM) is a histological description of a neurological disease in ruminants that is a result of various aetiologies, including high sulphur intake, altered thiamine status, salt poisoning/water deprivation and lead poisoning ... Read more

Post-mulesing arthritis
Written by: Greg Curran, Veterinary Officer, DPI, Broken Hill
About a week after mulesing, flockowners saw lambs with large swollen joints, were lame and found it difficult to move, feed and water ... Read more

Rickets in lambs on grazing cereal crops
Written by: Belinda Edmonstone, DV Lachlan LHPA Forbes
Rickets is a disease of young growing animals characterised by defective calcification of growing bones. Bones are subject to pressure distortion and fractures. Rickets can be caused by a deficiency in vitamin D, calcium and/or phosphorus or an imbalance of the calcium: phosphorus ratio ... Read more

Sheep lice treatment trial: imidacloprid (avenge) resistance or faulty product application?
Written by: Ian Masters, District Veterinarian, Gundagai
In August 2011, a producer from the Illabo district discussed his concerns with DV Wagga about possible imidacloprid resistance in sheep that had been treated with Avenge off shears the previous year ... Read more

Welfare revolution of topical anaesthesia on wool sheep farms in Australia: is there a place for zylazine and / or NSAIDs ?
Written by: Peter Windsor, Crystal Espinoza, Sabrina Lomax, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camden
Mulesing of Australian Merino lambs with the skin wrinkle phenotypes, provides effective life-long protection against the risk of breech strike caused by Lucilia cuprina, the sheep blowfly. It is estimated that at least 2million sheep would die annually of flystrike if mulesing were banned ... Read more


Bobby calf welfare at Bega saleyards
Written by: Ian Lugton, District Veterinarian, SELHPA, Bega and Camellia Leong, Veterinary Intern, University of Sydney
Bobby calves, mostly males under 2 weeks of age, are often considered to be low-value products of the dairy industry. Bega has the only saleyard on the far south coast selling bobbies ... Read more

Diarrhoea in calves: advances in research and diagnosis
Written by: Andrew Thompson, Peter D. Kirkland, John House, Paul Sheehy, Alison Gunn (Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney and NSW Department of Primary Industries, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle)
Neonatal calf diarrhoea (NCD) is a common problem in Australian beef and dairy enterprises. The disease epidemiology is complex and traditionally diagnosis is difficult ... Read more

Failure to feed - RSPCA welfare case: lessons
Written by: Shaun Slattery, Senior District Veterinarian, North West LHPA
In 2007 the then Narrabri RLPB was requested by the RSPCA to provide advice in a failure to feed case. This was the start of RSPCA enforcement and legal proceedings that continued for four years ... Read more

FMD control in the Mekong region using village-based approaches to vaccination and biosecurity
Written by: Peter Windsor, Faculty of Veterinary Science,
University of Sydney

There has been dramatic progress in addressing poverty in southern Asia in recent years (FAO, 2009) although the region still contains the highest prevalence of underweight people in the world ... Read more

Grass tetany (hypomagnesaemia) in beef cattle: a selective review
Written by: Bill Johnson, District Veterinarian, Goulburn
Grass tetany (hypomagnesaemia) kills more adult beef cows than any other disease in south-eastern Australia (Champness 2007). Sackett et al. (2006) considered grass tetany the fourth most significant disease affecting southern beef production ... Read more


Animal welfare case and lice offences
Written by: A G Morton, District Veterinarian, Hume Livestock Health and Pest Authority
After 35 years it still amazes me how long (10 years in this case) neighbours will tolerate welfare or stock disease problems before bringing the issue to anyone's attention ... Read more

Australian wildlife health network
Written by: T. Grillo, Australian Wildlife Health Network and G. Curran, NSW Wildlife Health Coordinator, NSW DPI
The Australian Wildlife Health Network (AWHN) links, informs and supports people and organisations who deal with wildlife disease, and work or have an interest in wildlife health across Australia ... Read more

Can livestock animal welfare reform come fast enough ?
Written by: Glenys Oogjes, Executive Director, Animals Australia
Animals Australia is a non-profit charitable organisation financed through community support. It is a federation of 40 groups, and also has a large individual membership and supporter base. We have representation on all major state and national animal welfare committees ... Read more

DPI NSW perspective on animal welfare issues
Written by: Amanda Paul, Veterinary Officer, Animal Welfare, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Animal welfare is an issue that generates significant media interest and also generates a significant amount of Ministerial correspondence in NSW ... Read more

Emerging infectious diseases of bats
Written by: Rod L. Reece, NSW Department of Primary Industries, State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle
Approximately two thirds of the well-recognised diseases of humans are zoonoses; however, many of the high profile and significant new and emerging human diseases of recent years have derived from animals ... Read more

Environmental survival of MAP across New South Wales
Written by: J Eppleston, DJ Begg, G Curran, N Dhand, B Watt, RJ Whittington
Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map), the cause of Johnes Disease (JD), is defined as an obligate parasite of animals, meaning its survival outside of animals is finite ... Read more

Epidemiology of 2011 hendra virus spillover events: Queensland perspective and general overview
Written by: Nina Kung & Hume Field, Queensland Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
Periodic spillover of Hendra virus (HeV) from its natural host (fruit bats, flying-foxes) results in catastrophic disease in horses and occasionally the subsequent infection of humans ... Read more

Exotic theileriosis
Written by: David Thomson, North Coast LHPA
Various forms of Theileriosis are widely recognized as possibly the most economically significant vector-borne diseases affecting ruminant livestock production worldwide ... Read more

Faecal PCR test for Johnes disease: a new and improved semi-automated test
Written by: Ian B. Marsh, Karren M. Plain, Francesca Galea, Anna Waldron, Ann-Michele Whittington, Richard J. Whittington (NSW Department of Primary Industries, EMAI and Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camden
The development of a direct faecal polymerase chain reaction (DPCR) test for both ovine Johnes disease and bovine Johnes disease has been a goal in Johnes disease research since the mid 1990s ... Read more

Foot-and-mouth disease in Kenya: an overview of key features
Written by: Paul Freeman, Regional Veterinary Officer, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Foot-and-mouth Disease is a highly contagious disease of cloven footed animals. It is economically significant affecting both production and trade access ... Read more

Genetics testing advances for livestock
Written by: Brendon A. O’Rourke, NSW Department of Primary Industries, State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, EMAI
Technical advances are facilitating the application of molecular genetics to enhance productivity in the livestock industries. This is being served by two pathways ... Read more

Hendra risk management and preclinical animals
Written by: Therese Wright, Department of Primary Industries, Orange
Understanding the potential risks of viral shedding posed by animals that may be infected with Hendra virus but are not showing clinical signs allows these animals to be appropriately managed ... Read more

Hendra virus experiences - 1
Written by: Ian Poe, Mid Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority, Kempsey
Hendra virus was first isolated in Queensland following an outbreak at a racing stable in Hendra, Brisbane. Prior to 2011 there had been 14 incidents in Queensland and a single case in NSW ... Read more

Hendra virus experiences - 2
Written by: Matt Ball, District Veterinarian Lismore
During the winter of 2011 the North Coast of NSW had multiple properties diagnosed with Hendra virus (7 Infected Premises) and an unprecedented number of Hendra exclusions (over 60) ... Read more

Hendra virus experiences - 3
Written by: Phillip Kemsley, District Veterinarian, Casino
This case report reviews experiences with Hendra Virus disease in horses on an affected property at Wollongbar in June / July 2011. It also explores flying fox movements and weather events at the suspected time of virus spillover ... Read more

Hendra virus update
Written by: Deborah Finlaison, Veterinary virologist, Virology Laboratory, EMAI, Menangle
This presentation will review the history of Hendra virus outbreaks, give an overview of the characteristics of the virus, and discuss the diagnostic tests for identification of Hendra virus infection and the samples that should be collected for exclusion testing ... Read more

Human metapneumovirus: zoonosis or reverse zoonosis ?
Written by: Jim McDonald, District Veterinarian, Tablelands LHPA, Yass
The World Health Organisation defines zoonosis as an infection shared in nature by man and animals. This is an elegant way of describing it and implies that there is no need to coin terms to define the direction of transmission ... Read more

New compulsory animal welfare standards
Written by: Dr Kevin de Witte, Animal Health Australia
The development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for land transport of livestock, cattle and sheep represents a significant collaboration between governments, the industry councils and animal welfare non-government organisations ... Read more

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) too early to panic but too late to ignore
Written by: Bruce Watt, Tablelands Livestock Health and Pest Authority, Bathurst
Gareth Bath, Dept Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Pretoria

Perversely ... as one morbillivirus of farm animals ceases to be important, another moves to centre stage. Deaths among small ruminants due to PPRV continue to mount in the form of rolling epidemics moving across international borders ..." Read more

Rabies - a timely reminder
Written by: Alan Taylor, Central West LHPA
More than 55,000 people (mostly in Africa and Asia) die of rabies each year - that equates to one person every ten minutes ... Read more

Veterinary diagnostics - the future: more than the laboratory
Written by: Adrian W. Philbey, NSW Department of Primary Industries, State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, EMAI
We are moving into the age of molecular diagnostics, with potential for high throughput, rapid turnaround and highly specific molecular detection of pathogens in veterinary species ... Read more



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