Recognizing Respiratory Distress in Cattle

Respiratory disease and distress can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from viruses to drastic changes in diet. Signs and symptoms, though alike, often go undetected, their subtleties akin to those of other prey animals, who mask illness in order to fool predators. By the time producers or health professionals recognize symptoms, the ailment has often progressed to a point where even handling the animals may pose tremendous health concerns.

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In this video, Steve Hendrick, associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, explains some of the symptoms evident in animals affected by respiratory diseases, the differences in viral vs bacterial pneumonia and identifying atypical interstitial pneumonia or “fog fever,” seen most commonly in heifers on lush grass. Hendrick emphasizes the importance of working with your veterinarian or bovine health professional to create on-farm treatment protocol for affected animals.

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