Bovine viral diarrhoea is a viral infection of cattle.
- makes animals more susceptible to other diseases
- decreases the amount of milk produced
- reduces conception rates
- causes significant economic loss
Suspicion and confirmation
Cattle infected with bovine viral diarrhoea virus may show few clinical signs. These include:
- loss of appetite
- ocular discharge
- nasal discharge
- oral lesions
- decreasing milk production
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus infection lowers immunity to other diseases such as:
- respiratory infections
Chronic infection can lead to:
- weak/premature calves being born
- fatal mucosal disease
Transmission, prevention and treatment
The infection is usually spread by persistently infected cattle. These animals are born with the disease after becoming infected in the womb. They will have bovine viral diarrhoea all their lives, infecting cattle around them. Yet they have no obvious signs of disease and can go on to live into adulthood.
It is possible to control and eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea through:
- whole herd blood testing to identify persistently infected cattle
- culling the identified persistently infected cattle
Effective vaccination is also available and should be discussed with your vet.