By Sara Brown
A few days ago, one of my family’s neighbors noticed some of his cows were listless, weren’t eating well and were having trouble standing and grazing. The vet diagnosed his herd with anaplasmosis, a parasitic disease that is spread by ticks, mosquitoes, flies and other blood-sucking insects.
It was cause for concern for us, as the disease can cause abortions, decreased milk production, jaundice, fever, severe anemia and even death. While our herd is located more than a mile away from our neighbors, we have become even more vigilant of checking the health of our cow herd.
There are vaccines to treat anaplasmosis, but it will not prevent the disease. Tests to identify the disease require blood samples from the animals. Once an animal has been diagnosed, the most effective treatments usually include vaccinations of oxytetracycline, or other remedies suggested by your veterinarian.
While this is a new concern for us in central Missouri, it is a nation-wide problem. Anaplasmosis has been found in 40 out of the 50 U.S. states, mostly in the gulf and Western states. If you have seen problems with anaplasmosis or other diseases, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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