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20 May, 2021

Be on the lookout for pestivirus

Darling Downs Vets are urging farmers to be on the lookout for pestivirus among their herd, with the disease extremely common among cattle.

More than 70 per cent of cattle herds are affected by pestivirus.

Clinical signs that would lead you to suspect pestivirus include:

• early-term abortion or embryonic loss;

• temporary infertility;

• increased susceptibility to other diseases;

• weak, stunted or deformed calves;

• diarrhoea;

• respiratory disease;

• Ill-thrift and wastage.

An integrated approach to prevent pestivirus should consider the following:

• Developing and implementing a farm biosecurity plan.

• Only purchasing cattle from other uninfected properties.

• Defining the pestivirus status of a herd by serological testing of herds.

• Identifying and culling persistently infected animals in conjunction with a veterinarian.

• Keeping newly purchased cattle away from the breeding herd, especially if in early pregnancy.

• Ensuring replacement females have developed a strong immunity before joining.

• Pestigard vaccination prevents nasal shedding of pestivirus to safeguard your heifers and cows reproductive potential.

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