A veterinary practitioner has urged farmers to be mindful of botulism in cattle.
Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces dangerous toxins under low-oxygen conditions. Consuming material contaminated by these toxins results in the fatal disease, botulism.
Wildlife and poultry carcasses can produce particularly high levels of type D and C toxins and inappropriate storage or disposal of poultry litter or poultry carcasses can pose a risk of botulism for animals.
While poultry manure is a valuable soil fertiliser containing nitrogen and phosphorus, if not re-used properly it can pose a huge risk.
“Sometimes, it takes a bit of investigation along with clinical signs to come to a diagnosis.
“Anytime around now when cows are out, and you go to an animal down or in distress, have botulism as a differential. Ask if any chicken houses near-by and if any chicken litter has been spread.”
“I have seen cases where the chicken litter was spread 4 fields away so I assume it’s wildlife that can transfer it.”
“Sadly, there usually is no treatment for botulism so prevention is better than cure along with vaccination options.” the vet concluded.
Image source: John Fitzpatrick Instagram