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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Polycystic kidneys, a haemorrhagic abomasal ulcer & subdural haemorrhage among findings in RVL report

Pneumonia and enteritis were the most common diagnoses at necropsy in cattle in Regional Veterinary Labs (RVL) during April 2023, a report from The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine indicates.

Bacteraemia/septicaemia, intestinal torsion/volvulus, abomasal ulcer/perforation, navel ill/joint ill complex, peritonitis, ruminal acidosis, pleuropneumonia and abomasitis, were chronologically among the other diagnoses confirmed for cattle submitted for necropsy.

Regional Veterinary Laboratories (RVLs) conducted necropsy examinations on 601 carcases and 61 foetuses during April 2023.

Additionally, 1,806 diagnostic samples were tested to assist private veterinary practitioners with the diagnosis and control of disease in food-producing animals.

Labs can conduct 283 different tests, with VAT-exclusive (charged at 23%) prices starting from as little as €1.25/test and submissions can take the form of bloods, skin, fluids, swabs and/or carcass parts.

When submitting forms, veterinary practitioners must provide clinical signs, duration of illness, treatment given and a tentative diagnosis.

Tests available are divided into serology, bacteriology, blood biochemistry, parasitology, neonatal enteritis package, tissue biochemistry, virology, urinalysis, haematology, and histopathology.

The six-strong RVL network consists of Athlone, Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Kilkenny, and Silgo.

The objective of the report, which is published in the Veterinary Ireland Journal, is to provide feedback to veterinary practitioners on the pattern of disease syndromes at this time of the year by describing common, and highlighting unusual, cases.

Moreover, the reports aim to assist with future diagnoses, encourage thorough investigations of clinical cases, highlight the available laboratory diagnostic tools, and provide a better context for practitioners when interpreting laboratory reports.

The report describes a selection of cases investigated by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine’s (DAFM) veterinary laboratories in April 2023 and in this article, www.thatsfarming.com re-shares some of those including a case of:

  • Subdural haemorrhage;
  • Polycystic kidneys;
  • Haemorrhagic abomasal ulcer.
Subdural haemorrhage

A six-week-old calf was submitted to Sligo RVL after having been reported to hit its head while being loaded.

Instantly after the accident, the report shows, it showed some disorientation, then became recumbent with muscle spasms and kicking.

A post-mortem examination revealed an “extensive subdural haemorrhage which was likely to have caused the observed clinical signs and subsequent death”.

Polycystic kidneys

Meanwhile, the report also contains a case of polycystic kidneys, which was diagnosed by Athlone RVL who examined a seven-month-old weanling.

He had a history of having been sick for two weeks, with a “grossly” swollen abdomen. It was examined and treated several times but without response and eventually died.

On post-mortem examination, according to the report, there were marked ascites in the peritoneal cavity and both kidneys were enlarged and polycystic. On foot of this, the lab made a diagnosis of polycystic kidneys.

Haemorrhagic abomasal ulcer

Meanwhile, Limerick RVL examined a four-week-old Friesian bull calf from a 130-cow dairy herd, which was being bucket-fed on whole milk and had been in “good health” up to one week before death.

It had stopped drinking and developed diarrhoea and while it received treatment, the calf failed to improve, weakened and died.

On post-mortem examination, it was anaemic and the abomasal and intestinal contents were dark in colour.

The lab, the report added, identified lesions of focally extensive ulceration of the pyloric region of the abomasum with haemorrhage.

See more farming news on www.thatsfarming.com

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