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

District Veterinarian Conference 2013





Anthelmintic resistance survey in the Central West LHPA
Written by: Evelyn Walkera, Neil Charmanb, Jillian Kellya, and Susan McClurea
a. District Veterinarian, Central West LHPA, Dubbo
b. Veterinarian, Pfizer Animal Health Australia

Internal parasites are ranked the highest costing disease in the Australian sheep industry followed by flystrike, lice, and post weaning mortality ... Read more

Barbervax: Potentially a new tool for the control of barber's pole worm of sheep
Written by: Smith, W.D*., Newlands, G.F.N*., Fitzpatrick, J.L*, Dobson, R.# and Besier, B+.
*Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Edinburgh, UK.
#Murdoch University, Western Australia.
+Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Albany WA.

An application is about to be submitted to the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) seeking authority to launch "Barbervax", a novel vaccine to aid in the control of Barber's pole worm ... Read more

Branhamella ovis and Chlamydia pecorum isolated from a case of conjunctivitis (with some polyarthritis) in lambs
Written by: Evelyn Walker, District Veterinarian, Central West LHPA, Dubbo
The eye lesions consisted of bilateral conjunctivitis, an ocular discharge ranging from clear to yellow, yellow crusts, and swollen conjunctivial membranes with or without hyperaemia ... Read more

Drench resistance on the northern tablelands
Written by: Andrew Biddle, New England LHPA (Glen Innes)
Resistance to anhelminthics is not a new phenomenon and starts the very first time a drench is used. In fact, the only way not to select for drench resistance in sheep is not to drench them at all ... Read more

Lachlan drench resistance trial
Written by: Elizabeth Braddon, SDV Lachlan
In September 2011, the Lachlan LHPA undertook a targeted surveillance project to assess the drench resistance profile of our commonly used drenches against the three sheep internal parasite pathogens ... Read more

Reflections of an ethologist
Written by: Geoff Green, Livestock Health Ranger, New England LHPA
The majority of our work was with sheep with excursions into research on cattle and wombats. Most of our sheep work was done with merinos with some small projects branching into work with the British breeds and merino crossbreds ... Read more

Selected respiratory tract diseases of sheep in Spain
Written by: Delia Lacasta, Veterinary Faculty of Zaragoza, Spain
In part because of geography and in part because production systems are more intensive, respiratory diseases, while of some importance in Australia, are the most important cause of disease and mortality in Spanish sheep ... Read more

WormBoss: capturing the information from Integrated Parasite Management in sheep
Written by: Lewis Kahn, Animal Science (W49) school of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale NSW
Gastrointestinal nematode parasites impose the largest animal health cost to the Australian sheep industry. The majority of this cost is associated with production loss which occurs despite control strategies implemented on farm by sheep producers ... Read more


An apparently new syndrome of chlamydia infection of cattle in the southern Riverina
Written by: David Petersen, Finley Veterinary Clinic
Dan Salmon Riverina Livestock Health and Pest Authority
Matthew Petersen, Finley Veterinary Clinic

Historically infection by Chlamydia spp has been a relatively infrequent diagnosis in the southern Riverina. When it has been diagnosed it has been seen as a sporadic infection of young cattle. Morbidity has usually been less than 5%. Affected animals have presented as febrile and lame with variable swelling and pain in most joints ... Read more

Bovine besnoitiosis, an emerging disease
Written by: Bruce Watt (Tablelands Livestock Health and Pest Authority)
Bovine besnoitiosis (elephant skin disease) is a costly endemic disease in the Middle East, Asia, tropical and subtropical Africa and is also emerging as a significant problem in Europe ... Read more

Cattle worms - update
Written by: Stephen Love, Veterinarian / State Worm Control Coordinator, NSW DPI Armidale
As with other grazing livestock, use of anthelmintics plays an important role in worm control, although integrated parasite management, including nutrition and grazing management, is vigorously promoted, but variably adopted ... Read more

Changes in the epidemiology of bovine leptospirosis in the Narrabri district from 1991 to 2012
Written by: Shaun Slattery, Senior District Veterinarian, North West LHPA
This paper describes the change in the annual incidence of bovine leptospirosis in the Narrabri district from 1991 to 2012. Bovine leptospirosis changed from a frequently diagnosed cause of infertility in the early 1990s, to rare by 2000 ... Read more

Eradication of enzootic bovine leucosis in national dairy herd
Written by: Dr Diane Ryan, Department of Primary Industries, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
In the mid-1990s, a scheme to eradicate Enzootic Bovine Leucosis (EBL) infection from Australia's dairy herds began as voluntary State based programs. A National Dairy Enzootic Bovine Leucosis Eradication Program (NDEBLEP) was established in 2008 ... Read more

New concepts in the use of trace minerals in cattle
Written by: Ann Kenny Ph.D. Technical Product Manager, Virbac Australia
Deficiencies in trace minerals can cause severe abnormalities and in some cases death. Conversely, high concentrations of trace minerals can cause acute or chronic toxicity, also leading to death in some cases ... Read more

A novel case of fat toxicity in holstein-friesian cows following the consumption of dessicated coconut
Written by: Rebecca Hallett, CSU intern, Ben Schulz CSU intern,
Colin Peake DV Riverina Livestock Health and Pest Authority

This report details a novel case of fat toxicity in an 800 cow Holstein-Friesian dairy causing widespread mortality over a period of approximately one week, associated with the inclusion of desiccated coconut into the fed ration ... Read more

PositiveTheileria blood smears. What does it mean?
Written by: Steve Eastwood, Senior District Veterinarian, New England LHPA (Armidale)
The increase in incidence of Theileriosis in beef cattle over the past few years has realised a need to better understand the underlying prevalence of Theileria spp. in beef cattle and allow the clinician to interpret laboratory results in context ... Read more

Review of tick fever outbreaks in NSW 2011-2012
Written by: Paul Freeman, NSW DPI, Wollongbar
NSW has been using regulation to restrict the entry of cattle tick into NSW for over 100 years as a means of controlling outbreaks of tick fever. Outbreaks of tick fever occur periodically in NSW ... Read more

Investigating risk factors for two histophilus outbreaks in grass-fed cattle
Written by: Bill Johnson, District Veterinarian, Goulburn office Tablelands LHPA
Histophilus somni caused significant mortalities in a pasture-based cattle enterprise on the Southern Tablelands during winter 2012. The same property experienced further losses in summer 2012-2013. Potential risk factors associated with the two outbreaks were compared in an attempt to prevent future losses ... Read more

Investigating a reproductive problem in a beef herd - when do you stop?
Written by: Paul Freeman, NWW DPI
The investigation of reproductive problems in beef cattle herds can be problematic. Rarely is suboptimal performance due to a single cause and the challenge in investigating problems is to be able to define the stages of the reproductive cycle when suboptimal performance is occurring ... Read more

Schmallenberg virus - what is all the fuss about?
Written by: P.D. Kirkland, Virology Laboratory, EMAI, Camden NSW
Animal health authorities were astounded by the incursion of bluetongue viruses into Western Europe. However, few expected another vector borne virus to emerge so quickly and close to the focus of emergence of BTV-8 ... Read more

Smartweed (Persicaria spp.) poisoning in cattle
Written by: Ian Lugton, District Veterinarian, SELHPA, Bega
Deaths occurred during one of the worst summer dry periods experienced in the Bega valley. Prevailing conditions led stock to graze green forbs at the edge of drying dams and swampy areas. As it transpired, these were dangerous places to go for a green pick after hot weather ... Read more

Theileria research findings
Written by: Graeme Eamens and Cheryl Jenkins, Microbiological Diseases and Diagnostics Research, EMAI Camden NSW
In Australia, bovine theileriosis is caused by the haemoprotozoan Theileria orientalis that infects erythrocytes, and can result in clinical signs of lethargy, fever, anaemia, jaundice, abortions and mortalities in naive cattle. Many outbreaks of clinical disease have occurred in NSW since 2007 ... Read more

Theileriosis research on the mid north coast of NSW 2011
Written by: Allan Glassop and Jim Kerr, Mid Coast LHPA, Wingham
This article describes field research to record the progress and outcome of theileria infection in a group of ten dairy heifers introduced into a Taree dairy herd from South Australia in October 2011 ... Read more


Bluetongue viruses - the current situation in Australia and beyond
Written by: P.D. Kirkland, Virology Laboratory, EMAI, Camden NSW
The most recent large scale epizootic with a high morbidity and mortality occurred on a number of the Mediterranean Islands and later in most of the countries bordering the northern Mediterranean coast between 1999 and 2002 ... Read more

Cross-sectional disease surveillance and control: Rabies in Uganda as a case study
Written by: Siobhan M. Mor - Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Australia
In this presentation I will share the highlights from the PMA Conference as well as the findings from our ongoing work on rabies in Uganda. Rabies provides a unique opportunity to consider proof of concept for cross-sectoral approaches to disease surveillance and control ... Read more

Developments in animal welfare
Written by: Amanda Paul, Veterinary Officer, Animal Welfare, NSW DPI
A number of issues have arisen in the last 12 months that have raised questions around the participation of LHPA vets in animal welfare. The first is the Crown Solicitor's advice regarding functions of LHPAs ... Read more

Emerging zoonotic issues with leptospirosis & brucellosis
Written by: Peter D Massey, DrPH, GCPH, RN, Program Manager Health Protection,
Hunter New England Health, NSW

There are more than 40 zoonotic diseases currently recognised of public health significance in NSW (Adamson et al., 2011). People with a zoonotic illness frequently present with non-specific symptoms so under-diagnosis may occur ... Read more

EU FMD real time training - Nepal
Written by: Andrew Biddle, District Veterinarian, New England LHPA and Libby Guest, District Veterinarian, North West LHPA
The experiences of each individual involved in EU FMD Real-time Training in Nepal are dependent on the village and enterprises they visited. A few of the practical lessons learned in Nepal are outlined ... Read more

FMD eradication dreaming
Written by: Peter Windsor DVSc, Specialist Veterinary Surgeon (Pathobiology, Small Ruminant Health Management), Professor of Livestock Health and Production (Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camden, NSW)
From a global perspective, FMD is more correctly considered a failure of the food security system affecting over 20million cattle and 4million pigs per annum, severely compromises international trade in animals and animal products, causes considerable financial losses ... Read more

Hendra virus developments 2012
Written by: Therese Wright, Biosecurity NSW
In 2012, 12 horses died of Hendra virus in 9 incidents. All these incidents were confined to Queensland and all occurred on properties north of Gladstone ... Read more

Leptospirosis in the Riverina
Written by: Dan Salmon, Senior District Veterinarian, Deniliquin
Leptospirosis became a serious disease of cattle during the early 1970's, at which time it was also a significant zoonotic infection. After several years, leptospirosis became a less significant disease of cattle to the point of being a very rare diagnosis ... Read more

Mareks disease in Australia - developments in monitoring and control
Written by: Stephen Walkden-Brown1 and Peter Groves2
School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale NSW
Zootechny P/L, Bringelly NSW

Early studies into the virulence of Australian isolates of MDV using non-standardised methods, suggested that some isolates were highly virulent and able to overcome the protective effects of vaccination ... Read more

New faecal PCR test for paratuberculosis
Written by: Richard Whittington1, Karren Plain1 and Ian Marsh2
1Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Camden and
2Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle

In this report the results of validation of a new faecal PCR for detection of Mptb are described. This test is called the High Throughput Johnes (HT-J) test and will be offered through animal health diagnostic laboratories in Australia following approval ... Read more

Oyster farming and inputs from veterinay science
Written by: Richard Whittington and Ika Paul-Pont, Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Camden
Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing industries producing animal protein to feed a growing global population. FAO predicts that in the next decade, the total output from capture fisheries and aquaculture will be greater than that of livestock or poultry ... Read more

PPMV1, Melbourne to Sydney reflections on the tales of two cities
Written by: George Arzey, Senior Veterinary Officer, NSW DPI, Elizabeth Macarthur Agric. Institute Menangle, NSW
PPMV1 (Pigeon paramyxovirus) was first reported in Shepparton, some 200 km from Melbourne in a flock of Persian High Flyers. On 2/9/2011 a veterinarian in Melbourne, that had consulted Persian High Flyer pigeon lofts suffering high mortality for a week since the 27/8/11, was alerted by a call from Vic DPI informing him about the diagnosis of PPMV1 in Shepparton ... Read more

Respiratory disease in small poultry flocks - differential diagnosis
Written by: George Arzey, Senior Veterinary Officer, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle NSW
Considering that the avian respiratory system served dinosaurs well 175-250 million years ago, at a period when low environmental oxygen and high temperature affected the planet; this combination of flow-through ventilation and crosscurrent exchange allows birds to extract up to 160% more oxygen from the air than mammals ... Read more

Role of vaccination in foot-and-mouth (FMD) control
Written by: Therese Wright, Biosecurity NSW
As vaccinated animals are less likely to be infected and, if they are infected can be expected to shed less virus, vaccination can be used to minimise spread of disease particularly in areas at high risk of rapid transmission or in an outbreak ... Read more

Science and research within the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities: a few tips from experienced practitioners
Written by: Ian Lugton, District Veterinarian, SELHPA, Bega and Greg Curran, Veterinary Officer, DPI, Broken Hill
As District Veterinarians you will always be in the best position to do something significant, a research project perhaps, that someone else can’t easily do or would find more difficult to achieve. All good research starts with field observations, which puts field veterinarians in the box seat ... Read more

A survey of leptospiral exposure in livestock and feral pigs - interim results - Central West LHPA
Written by: Jillian Kelly, District Veterinarian CWLHPA, Coonamble & Nyngan
Susan McClure, Research Veterinarian CWLHPA, Dubbo
Neil Charman, Strategic Technical Manager-Extensive Livestock Business Unit,
Pfizer Animal Health Australia

Leptospirosis causing clinical disease has been diagnosed infrequently by veterinarians over the last five to ten years; however cattle producers in the area often enquire whether vaccination is necessary. This study aims to address this question ... Read more

Surveillance of swine brucellosis and leptospria spp. in feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and the potential risks to humans and livestock in northern NSW, Australia
Written by: Camila Ridoutt1, Amanda Lee1, David Jordan1, Barbara Moloney1 and Peter Massey2
1 New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
2 Hunter New England Population Health

Zoonotic diseases such as swine brucellosis and leptospirosis are infections of near global distribution with serious health implications for humans and animals. Swine brucellosis exposure in humans follows occupational and recreational activities such as feral pig hunting or laboratory work as well as food borne infections from inadequately cooked feral pig meat ... Read more

Veterinarian attitudes towards infection control practices
Written by: Navneet Dhanda, Karen Dowda, Mel Taylorb, Claire Hookera and Jenny-Ann Toribioa
aThe University of Sydney; bUniversity of Western Sydney

Animal health professionals have inherently high risks of exposure to zoonotic diseases. They are likely to be amongst the first people to encounter animals infected with zoonotic pathogens and to engage in high-risk interactions with them ... Read more



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