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Bonn, Germany

Wernike K.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Holsteg M.,Bovine Health Service | Schirrmeier H.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Hoffmann B.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Schmallenberg virus (SBV), an orthobunyavirus discovered in European livestock in late 2011 for the first time, causes premature or stillbirth and severe fetal malformation when cows and ewes are infected during pregnancy. Therefore, cattle of two holdings in the initially most affected area in Germany were closely monitored to describe the consequence for fetuses and newborn calves. Seventy-one calves whose mothers were naturally infected during the first five months of pregnancy were clinically, virologically, and serologically examined. One calve showed typical malformation, another one, born without visible abnormalities, was dead. Two cows aborted during the studied period; spleen and brain samples or meconium swabs were tested by real-time PCR, in none of the fetuses SBV-specific RNA was detectable and the tested fetal sera were negative in a commercially available antibody ELISA. In contrast, in nine clinically healthy calves high SBV-antibody titers were measurable before colostrum intake, and in meconium swabs of six of these animals viral RNA was present as well. The mothers of all nine seropositive calves were presumably infected between days 47 and 162 of gestation, which is within the critical timeframe for fetal infection suggested for SBV and related viruses. © 2014 Wernike et al.

Becker J.,University of Bern | Reist M.,University of Bern | Friedli K.,Center for Proper Housing of Ruminants and Pigs | Strabel D.,Bovine Health Service | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2013

The attitudes of bovine practitioners, claw-trimmers and farmers towards painful therapeutic claw-trimming of dairy cattle were surveyed and differences between the respondents were assessed. A total of 77 farmers and 32 claw-trimmers were interviewed, and 137 bovine practitioners completed an equivalent online survey. No veterinary consultation for common painful interventions in the feet of cattle was reported by 52% of farmers (i.e. procedures in these herds were performed without local anaesthesia). Only ≈30% of practitioners always carried out such interventions under local anaesthesia and, in general, practitioners considered pain reduction to the lowest possible level less important than did farmers. Furthermore, 47% of practitioners and 33% of claw-trimmers, compared to only 11% of farmers, agreed with the statement that the cost of pain management was a major concern for farmers. There was a particular lack of awareness by farmers regarding the obligation to carry out painful therapeutic claw-trimming under analgesia and the application of local anaesthesia during the trimming of sole ulcers was considered reasonable by significantly fewer farmers (41.6%) and claw-trimmers (46.9%), than practitioners (78.6%). Overall, the attitudes of those involved in painful therapeutic claw-trimming contrasted with Swiss national legislation and with farmer opinion on the importance of reducing pain to the lowest level possible. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Fischer U.R.,Institute of Animal Health | Hofmeister B.,Bovine Health Service
Tierarztliche Praxis Ausgabe G: Grosstiere - Nutztiere | Year: 2013

A 5-year-old Brown Swiss cow being 8 months pregnant became recumbent and died. Postmortem examination revealed a multiple pregnancy with six normally developed fetuses and an amorphous globosus. The cow's internal organs were displaced and compressed the lungs. Fatty liver caused by metabolic disturbances was diagnosed. A multiple pregnancy with more than two fetuses is very rare in cattle. It could be induced by treatment with exogenous hormones, but it could also be the result of genetic selection.

Tschopp A.,University of Bern | Reist M.,University of Bern | Kaufmann T.,Bovine Health Service | Bodmer M.,University of Bern | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

The aims of this study were to quantify the effectiveness of specialist advice about udder health in Swiss dairy herds and to compare 3 different udder health improvement strategies against a negative control group. In 2010, 100 Swiss dairy herds with a high (between 200,000 and 300,000 cells/mL) yield-corrected bulk milk somatic cell count (YCBMSCC) were recruited for a 1-yr multiarm randomized field trial. The herds were visited between September and December 2011 to evaluate udder health-management practices and then randomly allocated into 1 of 4 study arms containing 25 herds each. The negative control study arm received neither recommendations for improving udder health nor any active support. The remaining 75 farmers received a herd-specific report with recommendations to improve udder health management. The positive control study arm received no further active support during 2012. The veterinarian study arm received additional support in the form of monthly visits by their herd veterinarian. Finally, the study group study arm received support in the form of bimonthly study group meetings where different topics concerning udder health were discussed. One year later, implementation of recommendations and changes in udder health were assessed. Of the recommendations given, 44.3% were completely implemented, 23.1% partially, and 32.6% were not implemented. No differences in implementation of recommendations were noted between the 3 study arms. At study enrollment, farmers were asked for the study arm of their preference but were subsequently randomly assigned to 1 of the 4 study arms. Farmers that were assigned to the study arm of their preference implemented more recommendations than farmers assigned to a study arm not of their preference. No decrease in the within-herd prevalence of cows that had a high (≥200,000 cells/mL) composite somatic cell count was observed in herds that had a YCBMSCC ≥200,000 cells/mL at the start of intervention. However, the 3 study arms with intervention (positive control, the veterinarian, and the study groups) prevented an increase in the within-herd prevalence of cows that had a high somatic cell count in herds with a low YCBMSCC at the start of the intervention compared with the negative control study arm. In the year after sending the report, herds assigned to the study group study arm had a reduced incidence rate of treated mastitis cases in comparison with the year before sending the report. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.

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