Some common diseases in livestock include bovine respiratory disease complex, clostridia, and bovine viral diarrhea. Bovine respiratory disease complex is a general term for a common pneumonia that occurs in calves that are shipped or stressed.
Stressors such as dehorning, weaning and weather changes can increase cattle's susceptibility to bacteria and viruses. Careful handling can help to minimize the disease. The best way to reduce risk is through vaccinations early in life.
Clostridia, a bacterial infection that occurs in young calves less than 2 years old, is highly fatal. The bacteria cause gangrene to develop in the muscles. Over 60 types of clostridia bacteria exist but not all cause disease. The disease can be passed from one calf to another and may cause loss of appetite, rapid breathing, fever and lameness. Vaccinations can protect cattle from a variety of illnesses caused by clostridia.
Bovine viral diarrhea of is a common cause of reproductive or respiratory problems in a herd. It can cause transient infections in young calves as well as adults. Symptoms of the disease can vary and include nasal discharge, diarrhea and decreased milk production. Calves may exhibit tremors and a wide stance and may fail to nurse.