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What are some common cattle illnesses?

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Common cattle illnesses include bovine respiratory disease complex, or shipping fever; clostridial disease, or blackleg; bovine viral diarrhea; and bovine respiratory syncytial virus, according to Tractor Supply Company. Cattle under stress develop shipping fever, which is pneumonia due to events including weather changes and weaning. Clostridial disease, a bacterial infection, affects cattle under 2 years old when gangrene develops in their muscles, often due to colostrum deficiencies. Fever, cough, nasal discharge and scours are signs of bovine viral diarrhea.

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Bovine respiratory syncytial virus is stress-related and causes cattle deaths, explains Tractor Supply Company. High fever, runny nose and eyes, and coughing are signs of the infection, which causes respiratory disease and suppresses the bovine immune system. Bovine respiratory disease complex results from various disease-causing factors. Stresses including dehorning and shipping can make the cattle more vulnerable to illness-causing bacteria and viruses. Sanitary practices and gentle handling reduce stress.

Contaminated vaccine needles can cause clostridial infections in older cattle, notes Tractor Supply Company. A severe form of bovine viral diarrhea, Type 2 BVD, can cause adults and calves to hemorrhage, and it is an expensive disease for cattle owners to handle. Cattle owners should implement a schedule of vaccines to protect their animals from bovine viral diarrhea, clostridial disease and bovine respiratory syncytial virus, all of which can lead to bovine respiratory disease complex.

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