This study describes the transmission of border disease virus (BDV) from a persistently infected calf to seronegative heifers in early pregnancy, resulting in persistently infected fetuses. On day 50 of pregnancy (= day 0 of the infection phase), six heifers were co-housed in a free stall with a bull calf persistently infected with BDV (pi BVD) for 60 days. The heifers underwent daily clinical examination, and blood samples were collected regularly for detection of pestiviral RNA and anti-pestivirus antibodies. After day 60 (= day 110 of pregnancy), the heifers were slaughtered, and the fetuses and placentae underwent post-mortem and immunohistochemical examination and RT-PCR for viral RNA detection.
Three heifers had mild viraemia from day 8 to day 14, and by day 40 all heifers had pestivirus antibodies identified as anti-BDV antibodies in the serum neutralisation test. The placenta of the three viraemic heifers had histological evidence of inflammation, and fetal organs from these heifers were positive for pestivirus antigen by immunohistochemical examination and for BD viral RNA by RT-PCR and sequencing. Thus, co-housing of heifers in early pregnancy with a pi-BDV calf led to seroconversion in all heifers and persistent fetal infection in three.
Considering that pi-BDV cattle can infect other cattle and lead to persistent infection of the fetus in pregnant cows, BDV should not be ignored in the context of the mandatory BVDV eradication and monitoring program. This strongly suggests that BDV should be taken into account in BVD eradication and control programs.
Cattle; Border disease; Early pregnancy; Persistent infection; BVDV; Pestivirus
Eating and rumination variables were recorded in ten healthy cows over 5 days (group A) to generate reference intervals for comparison with the same variables recorded in ten cows in advanced pregnancy from ten days prepartum to ten days postpartum (group B). A pressure sensor integrated into the noseband of a halter recorded individual chewing movements. The endpoints calculated on a daily basis for each cow included duration of eating and rumination, number of eating and rumination phases, number of chewing cycles during eating and rumination, number of regurgitated cuds and number of chewing cycles per cud.
The following reference intervals were established in the cows of group A: duration of eating, 212 to 394 min; number of chewing cycles during eating 13‘101 to 26‘515; number of eating phases 10 to 24; duration of rumination 304 to 471 min; number of regurgitated cuds 366 to 611; number of chewing cycles per cud 53 to 57; and number of rumination phases 9 to 18. In the cows of group B, duration of eating was 186 min and below the normal range ten days prepartum and decreased to 114 min on the day of calving, after which time it increased significantly to 266 min by day 10. The number of chewing cycles during eating had the same profile as duration of eating. Duration of rumination was in the normal range except for the day of parturition. It varied from 329 to 391 min prepartum, decreased significantly to 214 min on the day of parturition and then more than doubled by day 10. The number of regurgitated cuds had a profile similar to the duration of rumination. The number of chewing cycles per cud was lowest on the day before and the day of parturition and ranged from 45 to 61.
This study showed that eating and rumination variables decrease from ten days before parturition to a minimum on the day of parturition, after which time they increase.
Cattle; Eating; Rumination; Parturition; Prepartum; Postpartum
An increased incidence of nasolacrimal duct fistula in the offspring of dam J and three of her sons (bulls A, B and C) prompted a study to investigate the prevalence and clinical manifestation of this anomaly. The dam J, bull B, 255 direct offspring of bulls A, B, and C and eight other direct and indirect offspring of cow J were examined. The periocular region of each animal was examined for unilateral or bilateral nasolacrimal duct fistula and the location, appearance and size of the lesions.
Of 265 cattle examined, 54 had unilateral (n = 24) or bilateral fistula (n = 30). The prevalence of affected offspring differed significantly among the three bulls. The fistulae were located medial to the medial canthus of the eye and were 1 to 10 mm (median, 1 mm) in height and 1 to 12 mm (median, 2 mm) in length. The shape of the opening was circular in 58, oval in 23 and slit-like in three. One other animal had a large opening with an atypical shape and another had an abnormal medial canthus with several fistulous openings. Seventy openings were pigmented and 52 were hairless. The fistulae were clinically significant in 12 animals.
The findings suggest a hereditary cause of nasolacrimal duct fistula in Brown Swiss cattle.
Cattle; Nasolacrimal duct; Nasolacrimal duct fistula; Congenital anomaly
An automated technique for recording eating and rumination behaviour was evaluated in ten lactating Brown Swiss cows by comparing data obtained from a pressure sensor with data obtained via direct observation over a 24-hour period. The recording device involved a pressure sensor integrated in the noseband of a halter. The analysed variables included number and duration of individual rumination, eating and resting phases, total daily length of these phases and number of cuds chewed per day.
Eating and rumination phases were readily differentiated based on characteristic pressure profiles. Chewing movements during rumination were regular and generated regular waveforms with uniform amplitudes, whereas eating generated irregular waveforms with variable amplitudes. There was complete or almost complete agreement and no significant differences between data obtained via direct observation and pressure sensor technique. Both methods yielded an average of 16 daily eating phases with a mean duration of 28.3 minutes. Total time spent eating was 445.0 minutes for direct observation and 445.4 minutes for the pressure sensor technique. Both techniques recorded an average of 13.3 rumination phases with a mean duration of 30.3 (direct observation) and of 30.2 (pressure sensor) minutes. Total time spent ruminating per day, number of cuds per day and chewing cycles per cud were 389.3 and 388.3 minutes, 410.1 and 410.0 and 60.0 and 60.3 for direct observation and pressure sensor technique, respectively. There was a significant difference between the two methods with respect to mean number of chewing cycles per day (24′669, direct observation vs. 24′751, pressure sensor, P < 0.05, paired t-test). There were strong correlations between the two recording methods with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.98 to 1.00.
The results confirmed that measurements of eating and rumination variables obtained via the pressure sensor technique are in excellent agreement with data obtained via direct observation.
Cattle; Eating and rumination behaviour; Automated recording
This study describes the ultrasonographic findings of the rumen in 45 healthy dairy cows.
The cows were scanned on both sides using a 5.0 MHz transducer. The dorsal visible margin of the rumen ran parallel to the lung from cranioventral to caudodorsal. It was furthest from the dorsal midline at the 9th intercostal space (48.3 ± 9.24 cm) and closest at the 12th intercostal space (22.4 ± 3.27 cm). The longitudinal groove, which could be clearly identified at all examination sites because it appeared as a triangular notch, formed the ventral margin of the dorsal sac of the rumen. The dorsal sac of the rumen was largest at the caudal flank (40.3 ± 6.33 cm), where it was adjacent to the abdominal wall. The ventral sac of the rumen extended across the ventral midline into the right hemiabdomen and its ventral margin had a largely horizontal craniocaudal course. The height of the ventral sac of the rumen exceeded that of the dorsal sac at all examination sites; the maximum height was measured at the 12th intercostal space (62.6 ± 9.53 cm). The dorsal gas cap, characterised ultrasonographically by typical reverberation artifacts, was visible in all cows from the 12th intercostal space to the caudal flank. It was largest at the 12th intercostal space (20.5 ± 7.03 cm). The transition from the gas cap to the fibre mat was marked by the abrupt cessation of the reverberation artifacts. It was not possible to differentiate a fibre mat and a ventral fluid phase. The rumen could be imaged from the right side in 21 cows (47%).
Ultrasonography is well suited for the detailed examination of the rumen of cows. The reference values obtained from this study add to the diagnostic tools that are available for the assessment of bovine patients.
Laterality defects are rare in cattle and usually manifest as asplenia or
polysplenia syndrome. These syndromes may be associated with situs ambiguus,
which is a dislocation of some but not all internal organs. The objective of
this report was to describe the clinical and post-mortem findings including
the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of selected organs in a cow with
polysplenia and situs ambiguus.
A 3.5-year-old Brown Swiss cow was referred to the Department of Farm
Animals, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, because of poor appetite
and recurrent indigestion. A diagnosis of situs ambiguus was based on the
results of physical examination, ultrasonography, exploratory laparotomy and
post-mortem examination. The latter revealed that the rumen was on the right
side and lacked compartmentalisation. There were two spleens, one on the
left (26.5 x 12.0 cm) and one on the right (20.5 x 5.5 cm), and the omasum
was located craniolateral to the ruminoreticulum on the left. The abomasum
was located on the right, although it had initially been displaced to the
left. The three-lobed liver occupied the left and central cranioventral
aspect of the abdominal cavity (cavum abdominis). Only the right and left
hepatic veins (vena hepatica dextra and sinistra) drained into the thoracic
segment of the caudal vena cava (vena cava caudalis), and histological
changes in the liver were indicative of impaired haemodynamics. The
mesojejunum was not fused with the mesentery of the spiral loop (ansa
spiralis) of the ascending colon (colon ascendens). The latter was folded
and the transverse colon (colon transversum) ran caudal to the cranial
mesenteric artery (arteria mesenteria cranialis). Fibrotic constrictions
were seen in the lumen of the caecum and proximal loop (ansa proximalis) of
the ascending colon. Both kidneys were positioned retroperitoneally in a
lumbar position. The lumbar segment of the caudal vena cava did not descend
to the liver and instead drained into the right azygous vein (vena azygos
Recurrent digestive problems and poor production in this patient may have
been caused by a lack of rumen compartmentalisation, abnormal abomasal
motility, constrictions in the large intestine (intestinum crassum) and
fibrosis of the liver. The abomasum had abnormal motility most likely
because it was anchored inadequately and only at its cranial aspect to the
liver by the lesser omentum (omentum minus) and to the dorsal abdominal wall
and rumen by a short greater omentum (omentum majus).
This retrospective study describes the clinical and laboratory findings, treatment and outcome of 461 cattle with caecal dilatation.
The general condition and demeanor were abnormal in 93.1% of cases, and 32.1% of the patients had colic. Ruminal motility was reduced or absent in 78.3% of cattle. In 82.6% of cases, swinging and/or percussion auscultation were positive on the right side, and 82.4% had little or no faeces in the rectum. Caecal dilatation could be diagnosed via rectal palpation in 405 (88.0%) cattle. There was caudal displacement of the dilated caecum in 291 patients, torsion around the longitudinal axis in 20 and retroflexion in 94. The most important laboratory finding was hypocalcaemia, which occurred in 85.1% of cases. Of the 461 cattle, 122 (26.5%) initially received conservative therapy (intravenous fluids, neostigmine, calcium borogluconate) and 329 (71.4%) underwent surgical treatment. Ten patients were slaughtered or euthanased after the initial physical examination. Of the 122 cattle that received conservative treatment, 42 did not respond after one to two days of therapy and required surgical treatment. The final number of cattle that were operated was 371 (80.5%). Because of a grave prognosis, 24 cases were euthanased or slaughtered intraoperatively. Another 24 cattle did not respond to one or more operations and were euthanased or slaughtered. Of the 461 patients, 403 (87.4%) responded to either conservative or surgical treatment and were cured, and 58 were euthanased or slaughtered.
Caecal dilatation can usually be diagnosed based on clinical findings and treated conservatively or surgically. Swinging and percussion auscultation as well as rectal examination are important diagnostic tools. Conservative treatment is not rewarding in cattle considered surgical candidates with suspected caecal torsion or retroflexion and surgery should not be delayed in these patients.
Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a fatal herpesvirus infection, affecting various wild and domestic ruminants all over the world. Water buffaloes were reported to be particularly susceptible for the ovine herpesvirus-2 (OvHV-2) causing the sheep-associated form of MCF (SA-MCF). This report describes the first case of possibly caprine-associated malignant catarrhal fever symptoms in a domestic water buffalo in Switzerland.
The buffalo cow presented with persistent fever, dyspnoea, nasal bleeding and haematuria. Despite symptomatic therapy, the buffalo died and was submitted to post mortem examination. Major findings were an abomasal ulceration, a mild haemorrhagic cystitis and multifocal haemorrhages on the epicardium and on serosal and mucosal surfaces. Eyes and oral cavity were not affected. Histopathology revealed a mild to moderate lymphohistiocytic vasculitis limited to the brain and the urinary bladder. Although these findings are typical for MCF, OvHV-2 DNA was not detected in peripheral blood lymphocytes or in paraffin-embedded brain, using an OvHV-2 specific real time PCR. With the aid of a panherpesvirus PCR, a caprine herpesvirus-2 (CpHV-2) sequence could be amplified from both samples.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of malignant catarrhal fever in the subfamily Bovinae, where the presence of CpHV-2 could be demonstrated. The etiological context has yet to be evaluated.
This report describes the results of clinical, ultrasonographic and computed tomographic examination of a 16-year-old goat with extraskeletal osteosarcoma of the thorax.
The lead clinical signs were abnormal condition and demeanour, fever, tachycardia, tachypnoea, dyspnoea and dilated jugular veins. Ultrasonographic examination of the thorax revealed a precardial mass, measuring 16.4 by 11.4 by 14.2 cm. Computed tomographic examination showed dorsocaudal displacement of the trachea, heart and lungs to the right. A tentative diagnosis of mediastinal or pleural neoplasia was made, and the goat was euthanased and necropsied. A definitive diagnosis was based on histological examination of the mass.
To our knowledge, this case report is the first description of extraskeletal osteosarcoma of the thorax in goats and serves to broaden the diagnostic spectrum of thoracic diseases in this species. Extraskeletal osteosarcoma should be part of the differential diagnosis in goats with thoracic tumours.
This is the first description of the ultrasonographic findings in a cow with vascular hamartoma of the liver.
Ultrasonographic examination of a six-year-old Swiss Braunvieh cow revealed an excessive number of hypoechogenic blood vessels in the liver parenchyma and a thrombus in the right hepatic vein. The activities of the liver enzymes and the concentration of bilirubin were within the reference ranges. At postmortem examination, a poorly delineated, non-encapsulated lesion, measuring approximately 10 cm × 10 cm in diameter, was found in the right liver lobe. The cut surface of the lesion was sponge-like and contained extremely dilated blood vessels, one of which was occluded with a branching red thrombus. A vascular hamartoma of the liver with thrombosis was diagnosed based on the histological findings.
To our knowledge, this is the first description of the ultrasonographic findings of vascular hamartoma of the liver in a cow. Hamartoma should be considered part of the differential diagnosis in cows with an abnormally large number of blood vessels in the liver parenchyma. This case report broadens the spectrum of liver diseases and ultrasonographic findings of the liver in cattle.
This case report describes the clinical and ultrasonographic findings in a Swiss Braunvieh cow with lymphosarcoma of the abomasum.
The main clinical findings were vomiting in response to eating and melena. The results of serum biochemistry and rumen fluid analysis were indicative of abomasal reflux syndrome. The main ultrasonographic findings were two enlarged lymph nodes caudal to the reticulum and a severely enlarged abomasum with thickening of the abomasal wall and folds. Based on all the findings, pyloric stenosis caused by lymphosarcoma was tentatively diagnosed and later confirmed at postmortem examination.
This is an interesting case, which broadens the spectrum of abomasal reflux syndrome.
Primary diseases of the omasum are uncommon in goats, although the omasum may be involved in various gastrointestinal disorders. Examination of the caprine omasum via ultrasonography requires a good understanding of the normal appearance of the organ. However, in contrast to cattle, there is a lack of reference information on this topic in goats. Thus, the goal of the present study was to describe the results of ultrasonography of the omasum in 30 healthy Saanen goats.
Ultrasonography was carried out in standing, non-sedated goats using a 5.0 MHz linear transducer. The location and size of the omasum, thickness of the omasal wall and visualisation of the abomasal laminae, contents and contractions were assessed. The omasum was visible from the 9th intercostal space (ICS) in all the goats, and from the 8th and 10th ICSs in 29 and 24 goats, respectively. The omasum was seen medial to the liver, but only the omasal wall closest to the transducer was visible. The dorsal omasal limit formed a dorsally convex curve running from cranioventral to caudodorsal and was furthest from the dorsal midline in the 6th ICS. The ventral omasal limit formed a ventrally convex curve. The size of the omasum was largest (10.2 ± 3.1 cm) in the 9th ICS and decreased cranially and caudally from this position. Active omasal motility was recorded in 20 goats with 0.3 to 2.0 contractions per minute.
The findings of this study provide reference ranges for the interpretation of the location and size of the omasum in goats with suspected omasal abnormalities. Ultrasonography is an ideal diagnostic tool for evaluation of the omasum, which is not accessible to conventional examination techniques, such as inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation.
The aim of this report was to describe duodenal obstruction caused by a rubber foreign body in a cow.
The clinical, biochemical and ultrasonographic findings in a five-year-old Swiss Braunvieh cow with duodenal ileus caused by a calf feeding nipple are described. The main clinical signs were anorexia, ruminal tympany, decreased faecal output and abomasal reflux syndrome. Ultrasonographic examination revealed reticular hyperactivity and a dilated duodenum. A diagnosis of duodenal ileus was made and the cow underwent right-flank laparotomy, which revealed a dilation of the cranial part of the duodenum because of obstruction by a pliable foreign body. This was identified via enterotomy as a calf feeding nipple. The cow was healthy at the time of discharge four days after surgery and went on to complete a successful lactation.
To our knowledge, this is the first description of duodenal obstruction by a calf feeding nipple. This is an interesting case, which broadens the spectrum of the causes of duodenal ileus, which is usually caused by obstruction of the duodenum by a phytobezoar.