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Current Animal Health News

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Current Animal Health News

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Current Animal Health News

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Current Animal Health News

Current Animal Health News


  • 2/5/2018: (NH and NY) Two cases of Dicrocoeliosis caused by the Little liver fluke or the Lancet fluke, Dicrocoelium dendriticum have been diagnosed at the AHDC in the past week. One case involved 100s of adult lancet flukes (<10mm long) recovered from the livers submitted of three dead sheep from a flock in NH. Clinical signs typically include loss of body condition in most domestic species but acute fatal infections in sheep have also been reported. The next case involved a bison who died with a history of chronic weight loss. Adult lancet flukes were once again recovered from the liver that was submitted and Dicrocoelium dendriticum eggs were detected in the feces by a fecal floatation test.

  • 2/1/2018: (NH) Bovine Leptospirosis abortion outbreak was diagnosed in a large dairy herd. This herd had experienced an unusually high rate of abortions over a 2-week period of time in cattle that were 6-8 months pregnant. Leptospira were detected by PCR of placenta from 2 abortions. Also, several dams who had aborted had L. Pomona MAT titers of 3200 and 1600. Some breeding bulls on the farm were also tested with the Lepto MAT and several had L. Pomona titers ≥ 12,800. Testing for other causes of infectious bovine abortions were unremarkable.

  • 1/22/2018: (CA, KY, OH) Canine Influenza (CIV) has been detected in multiple submissions to our laboratory during the last few weeks from California dogs. In addition, we continue to see positive cases from Kentucky and Ohio. All of the recent positives that have had their typing completed are N2 positive, consistent with Influenza A H3N2.To see a map of cases in the past 45 days, go to Canine Influenza Virus Update.

  • 1/9/2018: (NY; PA) Recently we have diagnosed Cache Valley Fever virus in two sheep flocks based on the presence of antibodies to the virus in heart blood or pleural fluid from stillborn fetuses. The positive serum neutralization tests on the fetal fluids, along with the gross fetal abnormalities, which have included arthrogyrposis, mandibular brachygnathism, scoliosis, and hydranencephaly together confirm the diagnosis of Cache Valley Fever. Positive antibody tests run on serum from the affected ewes only indicates exposure, but by itself is not enough to obtain a definitive diagnosis for the cause of the current abortion or stillbirth. This virus is a mosquito-transmitted cause of infertility, abortions, stillbirths and congenital abnormalities in sheep and goats. It is most commonly diagnosed in sheep and goats who are due to give birth in the winter, usually prior to February in the northeast. This corresponds to exposure of the pregnant dams (during the first 2 months of gestation) to infected mosquitoes during the late summer/early fall.

  • 1/2/2018: (NY) Three 3-5 month old beef calves were found dead in a small herd with about 10-12 adults. The animals did not have any prior signs of illness. A necropsy was performed on one of the calves and no gross abnormalities were detected. Histopathology of skeletal and heart muscle revealed moderate, multifocal, myocyte degeneration and mineralization. In addition, the selenium level in the liver was 0.38 ppm, consistent with a moderate to marked deficiency. All of the animals appeared to be in good body condition with a diet of hay only and access to a mineral block.

  • 1/2/2018: (NY; VT) Copper deficiency continues to be diagnosed in Northeast livestock, as exemplified in the following 3 recent cases.
    • The first (NY; Tioga County) was an adult bison with a history of chronic diarrhea and weight loss, submitted for complete necropsy and ancillary testing. The liver copper was 8.21 ppm with the normal range of 100-500 ppm, on a dry matter basis. Additional ancillary testing has not identified other causes for the diarrhea and weight loss, including testing for paratuberculosis, BVD, heavy parasitism, malignant catarrhal fever, or salmonellosis.
    • The second submission (NY; Cattaraugus County) included samples from 1 dead and 2 live adult Herford/Angus crossbred beef cattle with unexplained diarrhea, poor appetites and poor body condition. In addition to mild parasitism diagnosed in both live animals with fecal exams, the dead animal had marked copper deficiency (liver copper 5.26ppm w/ 100-500 ppm normal, on a dry matter basis) and moderate selenium deficiency (liver selenium 0.59 ppm w/ 1.0-2.5 ppm normal on a dry matter basis). The dead animal had evidence of terminal septicemia with E. coli, as well as Coronavirus infection. Other causes of diarrhea were ruled out.
    • A third submission (VT) included samples from 2 adult sheep euthanized and necropsied with a history of severe respiratory disease. Both had pneumonia and evidence of septicemia histologically. Both were seropositive for Ovine Progressive pneumonia (OPP) virus, however the pneumonia seen histologically was not consistent with OPP. In addition, liver copper levels were 12.54 and 17.0 ppm, w/ normal being 100-500 ppm on a dry matter basis.

Profound primary copper deficiency, or secondary copper deficiency associated with an excess of dietary molybdenum has been associated in ruminants with chronic diarrhea and weight loss, as well as a poor hair coat that may also exhibit changes in hair color. In addition, anemia, reduced fertility, and sudden death have been reported. Copper is also considered an important micronutrient for immune function. Adequate copper in diet formulations or trace mineral supplements provided to pasture-fed livestock contribute to providing adequate copper for livestock. NYS soils and forages are expected to be variable in copper content based on specific location. For a map with soil copper in the US, see:

  • 12/22/2017: (CT) Bovine Respiratory Syncytial virus (BRSV) infection was confirmed by PCR of lung tissue from a 5-month-old heifer that was representative of 10 sick calves with temperatures ranging from 103.4-105.5 and respiratory signs. In addition to the BRSV detection, Mannheimia hemolytica and Pasteurella multocida were cultured from lung tissue. This animal died spontaneously prior to treatment, briefly after being detected as sick. Others are being treated with antibiotics and some are reported to be responding favorably to treatment.

  • 12/18/2017: (NY) Selenium deficiency continues to be diagnosed in cattle in NY, as exemplified in the following 3 recent cases. The first (Lewis County) was a submission of tissues from a 3-day-old dead Holstein heifer calf with apparent septicemia and Cryptosporidium colonization described on histopathology examination of fixed tissue. Her liver selenium was 0.66 ppm with the normal range for her age 1.5-6 ppm, on a dry matter basis. The second submission (Herkimer County) included samples from a 5-yr-old cow and a 5-mo-old calf, both with unexplained weight loss and recumbency. In addition to mild parasitism diagnosed in both, and Johne’s disease confirmed by fecal PCR in the cow, both were deficient in whole blood selenium, with the calf’s selenium level being below the limit of detection of the assay. A third submission (Orleans County) requested screening of 4 adult beef cows for whole blood selenium. Two out of 4 animals were markedly deficient, and the selenium level in the third was also below the level of detection in the assay.

Adequate selenium in diet formulations, trace mineral supplements provided to pasture-fed livestock, and proper colostrum feeding all contribute to providing adequate selenium for livestock. Most NYS soils and forages are expected to be deficient in selenium. For a map with soil selenium by county in the Notheastern US, see:

  • 12/15/2017: (NY; Clinton county) Equine coronavirus infection was confirmed by PCR on fecal samples of 2 out of 3 horses submitted from an outbreak in which several horses presented with fevers and signs of mild colic for multiple days. Additional PCR testing for respiratory pathogens, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia risticii were all negative. There was one recent introduction of a new horse into the stable, as well as the return to the stable of one horse from temporary stabling elsewhere.

  • 12/15/2017: (NY) Anaplasma phagocytophilum was diagnosed via PCR on EDTA whole blood from a 7 month old foal. The foal was febrile (104 F) with soft, pale, fetid manure for one day. A hemogram and chemistry panel revealed a few mild abnormalities worth noting. A mild regenerative anemia, thrombocytopenia, toxic changes in neutrophils, and a mild hypoalbuminemia were detected. The serum amyloid A result was very elevated at 2149 (normal range 0-8) and the fibrinogen was also markedly elevated at 700 (normal range 0-200). This foal tested negative for coronavirus, rotavirus, salmonella and endoparasites.

  • 12/08/2017: (NY) Listeria welshimeri was isolated on Listeria culture of the brain of a fresh two-year old Holstein dairy cow. This animal was not quite right at 6 days fresh. She had difficulties eating and drinking. About 3 days later she became more neurologic and recumbent and was humanely euthanized. Her brain tested negative for Rabies. Histopathology of the brain revealed a lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalitis. Although this bacterium is not a common cause of meningoencephalitis in cattle, it has been described as a cause of neurologic disease in sheep, and the distribution and composition of the inflammatory infiltrates are similar to those seen in Listeriosis cases caused by Listeria monocytogenes.

  • 12/08/2017: (NY) Listeria monocytogenes was isolated on Listeria culture of the brain of a 3 year old Holstein dairy cow. The cow was in mid-lactation, with acute onset of neurologic signs. The cow was weak, ataxic, with hypersalivation. Menace response was lacking in one eye. The brain tested negative for Rabies.

  • 12/06/2017: (NY) Equine Leptospirosis abortion was presumptively diagnosed based upon extremely elevated titers on the Lepto MAT test acutely (L. pomona ≥ 12,800) and histologic placentitis. Leptospira were not detected by PCR of the placenta and no organisms were observed on histopathological examination. Testing for other infectious causes of equine abortion were unremarkable. Convalescent serology is pending and an update will follow.
    Update: Lepto PCR was added to lung tissue from the fetus and was positive at the Moderate level, confirming this as a Leptospirosis abortion.

  • 12/04/2017: (NY) Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi coinfection is likely in an 8 month old TB colt that presented with edema in all 4 legs. EDTA blood was positive by PCR, confirming the Anaplasmosis. Both Osp C and Osp F antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi were detected in the Lyme Muliplex assay, which is an indicator of subacute infection. Additionally, a Serum Amyloid A test was also requested and it was markedly elevated at 1391 ug/mL, with 0-8 being the typical reference interval.

  • 11/17/17: (NY) Canine Influenza was detected in a 10 week old puppy which had had a respiratory illness of approximately 10 days duration. The puppy probably entered NY already infected, based upon the travel history provided for the puppy, onset of illness, and low level of virus detected consistent with a sub-acute infection. The influenza virus in this case cannot be typed due to the extremely low viral load detected. Many positive cases have been detected recently in submissions from Kentucky and Ohio. Recent positives also include individual cases from Indiana and Illinois. To see a map of cases in the past 45 days, go to Canine Influenza Virus Update.

  • 11/16/2017: (NY; Tompkins County) Leptospirosis was diagnosed in a 3 year old male Labrador Retriever/crossbred dog by Lepto PCR on a free-catch urine sample. The dog presented sick with evidence of acute kidney disease.

  • 10/31/2017: (NY) Two cows from a 2400 head dairy herd were sampled because of a several week history of diarrhea without fevers. One of the cows was inappetent. Both cows were detected as heavy shedders for Mycobacterium paratuberculosis with the Johne’s Fecal PCR, and both also had Coronavirus detected by PCR and Salmonella detected by fecal culture. Clinical Johne’s disease is expected to cause immunosuppression, and in this case it may be contributing to the environmental contamination or transmission of multiple pathogens in the herd.

  • 10/30/2017: (NY, Orange county) Reindeer: Fascioloides magna infection was confirmed in a dead reindeer with a Quantitative Fecal Exam. Additional testing, including histopathology and other ancillary tests on submitted tissues, is continuing since Fascioloides magna is not expected to kill cervids. The AHDC has reported previous cases of Fascioloides magna in the NY Adirondack Park region and extending to areas just south of the NY Thruway (I-90). This case would represent further southern spread of this parasite, whether by animal translocation or infection on site.

  • 10/30/2017: (NY & PA) Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection was confirmed in 4 different horses. Two of the 4 were detected on blood smear evaluation for complete hemograms. All 4 were confirmed using the Anaplasma phagocytophilum PCR test. Horses were located in Delaware and Seneca Counties in NY and Schuylkill County in PA. We expect to see a spike in confirmed equine and canine Anaplasmosis cases in October, November and December in the Northeast US.

  • 10/30/2017: (NY & NH) Bovine Virus Diarrhea virus infection was confirmed in individual animals in two dairy herds. The NY heifer was 4 months old, died with severe pneumonia and tested positive by BVD PCR on lung tissue. The NH heifer exhibited diarrhea, weight loss and crusts on her nose and tested positive by both BVD PCR and BVD Antigen Capture ELISA (ACE) on blood specimens. She is, therefore, expected to be persistently infected since birth, which is especially unfortunate as she has been exhibited on the show cattle circuit.

  • Update to 10/24/17 post on Equine Coronavirus:
    Subsequent testing one week later on 16 other horses in the barn indicate that 3 other horses are shedding Coronavirus. They are exhibiting diarrhea also.

  • 10/26/2017: (NY) Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) and Dictyocaulus viviparus (lungworms) were both detected in a fresh lung sample from an adult Holstein cow who had been euthanized while in severe respiratory distress. BRSV was detected by PCR on the lung tissue. The lungworms were seen grossly upon examination of the tissue on arrival in our Receiving section and were confirmed to be Dictyocaulus viviparus within our Parasitology section. Multiple animals in this herd have been affected and two have died.

  • 10/24/2017: (NY) Equine Coronavirus was detected by PCR on a fecal sample from an adult horse with a history of a high fever and one swollen leg. This horse tested negative for Potomac Horse Fever (Neorickettsia risticii) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum via PCR tests performed on EDTA whole blood samples taken the same day as the fecal sample. This horse was a new addition to the farm about 30 days prior to the onset of clinical signs.

  • 10/24/2017: (NY) Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) was detected via PCR performed on lung tissue from a 2 year old Angus cow. Histopathologic lesions consistent with BRSV infection were also noted on the fixed lung tissue. This herd is not up to date on vaccinations and multiple animals have been affected.

  • 10/20/2017: (NY) Unusually high numbers of dead Eastern bluebirds, Sialia sialis, were reported to the Cornell Wildlife Health Laboratory (CWHL) this past summer. The reports came mostly from people who have monitored nest boxes for years and knew this was a cause for concern. Postmortem examination of several birds revealed the cause of death was severe damage to the inner wall of the intestine: an ulcerative, or necrotizing, enteritis. Looking at data collected though our New York Wildlife Health Surveillance Program, no cases of necrotizing enteritis or high bluebird mortality have been recorded in the last 7 years. For more information, visit the CWHL's Disease Watch

  • 10/11/2017: (NY) Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) was confirmed with both a positive Ehrlichia risticii PCR on EDTA whole blood and PHF IFA result of a positive titer of 1600 in a horse from Cayuga county. The 12 yr old mare had a clinical history of 12 hrs of lethargy, anorexia, and decreased fecal production with abnormal PE findings of a dull attitude, a temperature of 102.6 °F, heart rate of 52bpm, absence of gut sounds and presence of dry fecal balls in rectum.

  • 10/9/2017: (NY) Positive Leptospira PCR on a cystocentesis urine sample from a dog in Tompkins County with a clinical history of several weeks of polyuria/polydipsia, lethargy, inappetence, vomiting and renal azotemia (Creatinine 6.1, BUN 47, urine Sp. Grav. 1.010).

  • 10/2/2017: (NY) Leptospirosis as a cause of bovine abortion confirmed by positive PCR of placenta. This herd experienced several late term abortions recently in both their cows and heifers and is currently completely unvaccinated.

  • 9/28/2017: (NY) Salmonella Dublin: Since 9/1/17, Salmonella Group D1 (presumptive Salmonella Dublin) has been isolated from 12 different dairy farms in New York State. For two of the farms, this was the first detection. For the remainder, Salmonella Dublin has been previously detected and these new cases are evidence of persistence and ongoing clinical challenges due to Salmonella Dublin. Serotyping is pending to confirm that the recent Salmonella D1 isolates are Salmonella Dublin. Detection was primarily in young calves ranging from 4 days to 3 months in age, with a single isolate from a fecal sample of a first lactation cow. All NYS isolates in recent years exhibit a severely multi-drug resistant antimicrobial susceptibility pattern.

  • 9/22/2017: (VT) Hypocholesterolemia was confirmed with cholesterol analysis of a serum sample from a 3 month old, unthrifty Holstein calf with chronic diarrhea. This condition is a recently recognized congenital genetic disorder of Holsteins. In this case, the dam to this calf was a known carrier (heterozygote) but the bull was not thought to be a carrier.

  • 9/22/2017: (NY) West Nile Virus (WNV)
    Clinton county 19 yr. old horse. This horse was euthanized.
    Livingston county 13 yr. old horse. This horse was recovering at last update.
    St. Lawrence county 2yr. old horse. The current condition of this horse has not been provided.
    Genesee county 1yr. old horse. This horse was recumbent and was euthanized.
    Erie county 1.5 yr. old horse. This horse was recumbent with seizures and was euthanized.

    Please also see the NYS Dept. of Health Mosquito-Borne Disease Activity Report

  • 9/21/2017: (NY) Case 1: Feline Lungworm (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus) detected by parasitological examination of a fecal sample from the cat from Tompkins County. A Fecal Qualitative exam was performed, consisting of double centrifugation flotation in both sugar and zinc sulfate solutions. Concurrent heavy infections with Toxocara cati (cat roundworm) and Ancylostoma tubaeforme (cat hookworm) were detected. Interestingly, the cat was also infected with Eucoleus aerophilus (another lungworm), Toxoplasma gondii and Aonchotheca putorii.

  • 9/21/2017: (NY) Case 2: Eucoleus boehmi was diagnosed in a dog by parasitological fecal analysis. This parasite has predilection for nasal turbinates and sinuses of dogs and wild carnivores and could cause clinical signs of sneezing and mucopurulent nasal discharge.

  • 9/18/2017: (NJ) Hemophilia A (Factor VIII deficiency) was identified as the cause of non-traumatic hemorrhage in a 16-week old male Pitbull mix puppy from NJ. The puppy had a history of shifting leg lameness, and had subcutaneous and intramuscular hematomas at presentation. An in-house APTT and PT were normal, however testing at the Comparative Coagulation Lab revealed a specific prolongation of APTT and severe Factor VIII deficiency (FVIII =1% of normal) thereby confirming a diagnosis of hemophilia A.

  • 9/15/2017: (NY) Tompkins County: West Nile Virus was confirmed as the cause of neurologic illness in a horse based on elevated IgG and IgM antibodies detected in a serum sample collected acutely during the course of disease. This mare had marked twitching of the muzzle as well as the muscles of the neck and front legs. She was very reluctant to move and had not been vaccinated for West Nile Virus in the past several years. The horse is recovering well at this point.

  • 9/15/2017: (NY) Orleans County: West Nile Virus was confirmed as the cause of neurologic illness in a horse. Once again, this diagnosis was confirmed based on elevated IgG and IgM antibodies detected in an acute serum sample. This gelding presented with stiffness in the front limbs, quivering lips, twitching of the head and a mild fever. This horse had not been vaccinated for West Nile Virus. This horse is also reported to be recovering fully.

  • 9/14/2017: (MD) Leptospirosis confirmed by serum MAT as a cause of bovine abortions. The Leptospira Pomona titers ranged from 800 to greater than or equal to 12,800. This herd is currently completely unvaccinated.

  • 9/14/2017: (NY) Bovine Virus diarrhea (BVD) was identified in tissues from an aborted Holstein fetus submitted for a complete abortion work-up. Subsequently 8 persistently infected (BVD PI) animals have been found in this dairy herd, comprised of 1800 adult animals and 1800 young stock. Testing is ongoing.

  • 9/13/2017: (NY) Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and Mycoplasma co-infection was confirmed in 2 of the 10 chickens that died with respiratory signs from a flock of 30 birds. The diagnosis was confirmed based on compatible necropsy lesions, Mycoplamsa culture, and IBV PCR, as well as testing to rule out other pathogens.

  • 9/13/2017: (NY) Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT – herpesvirus) associated with respiratory signs was confirmed by histopathology (intranuclear inclusions) following necropsy of a 3-month old chicken from a multi-age and multi-species flock of 50 that were all showing respiratory distress. Gross lesions of a caseous exudate blocking the proximal trachea was typical of ILT.

  • 9/11/2017: (NY) West Nile virus (WNV) infection was confirmed in a Red Tailed Hawk from Long Island New York. PCR testing along with compatible gross and histologic lesions in the heart confirmed the diagnosis.

  • 9/7/2017: (NY) Blackleg (Clostridium chauvoei infection) was confirmed by anaerobic culture, fluorescent antibody tests, and histologic lesions in multiple 3-4 mo. old Angus calves following necropsy exams on the farm of origin by the attending veterinarian and multiple necropsies also performed at the AHDC. Approximately 15 out of 40 suckling calves died over several days. Skeletal muscle lesions were minimal, but cardiac muscle was affected in all calves where it was examined.

  • 8/30/2017: (OH) – West Nile Virus infection associated with neurologic illness was confirmed in a horse from Ohio with elevated WNV IgM and IgG antibodies on the WNV IgM/IgG capture ELISA test using a serum sample collected from the acutely ill horse. We received an update that the horse has made a good recovery.

  • 8/30/2017: Brucella Fluorescence Polarization Assay (FPA) testing is now available at our AHDC laboratory for testing animals for export to Canada. Testing is available M-F with a 1-2 day report lag time for Negative results.

  • 8/28/2017: (ME) Porcine multisystemic wasting syndrome associated with porcine circovirus -2 (PCV-2) infection was diagnosed in piglet tissues submitted by a Maine veterinarian, based on histopathology and PCV-2 fluorescent antibody test results.

  • 8/28/2017: (NY) Monensin toxicosis has been presumptively diagnosed in dead heifers from a NY dairy farm based upon histopathological lesions in multiple animals, elevated cardiac troponin in an antemortem sample, and a lack of other findings to explain sudden deaths in animals without significant gross or histologic lesions. Rumen content and total mixed ration monensin quantitative analysis are consistent with elevated levels in the diet in some samples.

  • 8/21/2017: (NY) Potomac horse fever was presumptively diagnosed in a horse from Clinton County, NY based on positive serum titer (Potomac Horse Fever IFA) of 6400 5-6 days after onset of febrile illness. Horse subsequently died due to devitalized and perforated bowel.

  • 8/21/2017: (VT) Leptospirosis diagnosed by PCR of urine specimen in 17 day old dead beef calf from Vermont. Calf was icteric and had dark red urine on necropsy. No lepto vaccines were used in the herd for several years.

  • 8/18/2017: (VT) Vermont goat herd. Clinical history: all goats are coughing. Muellerius capillaris lungworm larvae were identified in 2 out of 3 trans-tracheal wash samples. Inflammatory response was consistent with a lungworm infection in all 3 goats.

  • 8/18/2017: Start of Current Animal Health News service.