Clostridium septicum (Malignant Edema)

Doug Stearn, DVM
Staff Veterinarian

Malignant edema is caused by an anaerobic gram-positive rod shaped bacteria called Clostridium septicum. All ages and species of animals are susceptible and the disease occurs worldwide. Clostridium septicum is found in the soil and intestinal tracts of animals. Typically infection occurs through contamination of wounds by the bacteria. Wounds caused by lacerations, injections, head butting, shearing, tail docking, castration and parturition may become infected.  Once the organism gains entry into a wound the bacteria can release toxins that cause severe local tissue necrosis and systemic signs.

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Clostridium novyi (Black Disease)

Doug Stearn, DVM
Staff Veterinarian

Black disease is caused by the bacteria Clostridium novyi.  This disease causes acute toxemia in cattle, sheep and occasionally pigs and horses.  It is always fatal in cattle and sheep.  The bacteria is found worldwide, but the disease is most prevalent  in areas where liver flukes are found.  Black disease gets its name from the dark or black appearance under the skin due to rupture of the capillaries in the subcutaneous tissue.

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Serum Hepatitis in the Horse & When to Use TETANUS ANTITOXIN vs. TETANUS TOXOID

Randall J Berrier, DVM
Senior Staff Veterinarian
Technical Service

There is a disease syndrome called “serum hepatitis” that affects horses.  This is a very rare event and is linked to administration of equine serum origin products.  About 20% of horses with idiopathi (unknown cause) acute hepatic disease (IAHD) show clinical signs  of liver failure (anorexia, lethargy, jaundice) within 4 – 10 weeks after receiving an equine origin biologic – hence the name “serum” hepatitis 1.  One of the most common equine serum origin products used in the field today is tetanus antitoxin.  Many other equine serum products, including normal horse plasma, have also been linked to serum hepatitis 2, 3, 4.
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Leptospirosis

Karalee Gehl, DVM
Staff Veterinarian
Technical Service

What is Lepto?
Leptospira is a spirochete in the Leptospiraceae family. A spirochete is a slender, motile bacteria with a multi-layered membrane containing flagella on each end which give it the ability to move spontaneously. It’s an aerobic bacterium, meaning it needs oxygen to survive and it favors temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees F.

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WEST NILE VIRUS

Doug Stearn, DVM
Staff Veterinarian

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a Flavivirus that can cause encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the nervous system) or potentially death in horses and humans.  It was first noted in the United States in 1999 on Long Island , New York .  Since that time it has spread across the United States .

While horses become infected with WNV through the bite of infected mosquitoes, not all will show clinical signs associated with the virus once they are bitten.  The clinical signs typically associated with infection are due to inflammation of the spinal cord and brain and include:  ataxia or stumbling, weakness, muscle tremors, depression, difficulty swallowing and potentially death.

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Bluetongue Disease

Randall J Berrier, DVM
Senior Staff Veterinarian
Technical Service

Bluetongue is an insect-transmitted, non-contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild ruminants.  The worst affected domestic species is sheep.  Goats and cattle usually have mild, self-limiting cases.  White-tail deer and pronghorn are among the wild species that can be affected by bluetongue virus.

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Pasteurellosis in Livestock

Randall J Berrier, DVM
Senior Staff Veterinarian
Technical Service

Pneumionic Pasteurellosis is a major cause of economic loss in the cattle feedlot industry.  It is responsible for the largest cause of mortality in feedlots in North America .  The disease causative organisms, Mannheimia (formerly Pasteurellahaemolytica and Pasteurella multocida, are part of a complex group of bacteria and viruses which together cause the syndrome “Shipping Fever.”  Fibrinous pneumonia, caused by Mannheimia haemolytica, is the most common lesion associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease in feedlot cattle.

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Basic Vaccinology

Randall J Berrier, DVM
Senior Staff Veterinarian
Technical Service

Vaccines have proven to be a major scientific advancement for people and animals for over a century. Vaccination is the most efficient, practical and cost effective means of controlling infectious diseases via prophylaxis.  The enormity of the benefit from vaccines is hard to comprehend and is one of the biggest reasons, if not the biggest reason we as a society currently enjoy our relative good state of health. Vaccination has been responsible for the eradication of small pox across the globe; the elimination of hog cholera and brucellosis from North America; and the control of diseases such as foot and mouth disease, pseudorabies, rabies, anthrax and rinderpest would not have been possible without the use of effective vaccines.

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Clostridium haemolyticum (Bacillary Hemoglobinuria or Red Water)

Randall J Berrier, DVM
Senior Staff Veterinarian
Technical Service

Red Water disease is caused by the gram-positive bacteria Clostridium haemolyticum.  This is a disease that affects cattle and sheep all over the world.  In the United States, Red Water is found primarily in the western part of the country and occasionally in the southern states.  The name Red Water disease or Bacillary Hemoglobinuria comes from the classic red color of the urine in the affected animals.  This is due to the presence of hemoglobin from lysed (ruptured) red blood cells.

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Brucella Abortus Vaccine, Strain RB-51 Receives Full Licensing

The USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics has issued a full license to Colorado Serum
Company for the manufacture and distribution of Brucella Abortus Vaccine, Strain RB-51, Live Culture.  For the past seven years, the vaccine (under conditional license) has served as a significant factor in the government’s 50-plus year effort to eradicate brucellosis from the United States.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that primarily affects cattle and bison and causes abortions and lowered milk production.  As part of the cooperative State-Federal Brucellosis Eradication Program, many states currently require each bovine heifer calf (4-12 months old) to be vaccinated with RB-51.

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