Abortion and Infertility

Type: Webpage
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

This page looks briefly at the causes of abortion and infertility within the herd- it is a good place to start to gain some understanding.

What is the problem?

The causes of abortion and infertility within the herd may bring forth devastation to the productivity and profitability of the livestock.

It is significant to determine these causes and become aware of them in order to eventually find or formulate strategies of halting these devastating dilemmas.

What did the research involve?

This page encompassed information and awareness for dairy farmers through specifications of

  • its causes
  • how it spreads
  • what kind of animal it greatly affects
  • how it is prevented
  • and treated

What were the key findings?

The key findings included the different conditions that causes abortion and infertility of empty cows:

1. Single cow abortion

  • listeria – these bacteria disperse due to poorly made or spoiled silage. It greatly affects young adult cattle when they are fed with the infested areas
  • Q fever – the Coxiella burnetii causes this through inhaling or ingesting infected material like urine, milk, feces and placental fluids from infected animals. It greatly affects cattle at any age
  • trauma, genetic factors, and any kind of fever or serious disease also causes abortion

2. Multiple abortions in the herd:

  •  anaplasmosis (tick fever) – this s is caused by Anaplasma organism that is spread by cattle ticks and severely affects cattle at any age especially mature lactating cows
  • leptospirosis – this is caused by Leptospira bacteria residing in the kidneys of infected animals and greatly affects calves and adult animals
  • neospora – caused by a protozoan organism carried by dogs spread through their feces that may be picked up by cows. It extremely affects pregnant cows
  • akabane virus – biting midges called Culicoides are the carriers of this disease and extensively affects pregnant animals
  • Campylobacter – caused by a C. fetus bacterial infection that infects the bull’s penis and prupece and the cow’s reproductive tract. It considerably affects bulls and heifers or cows while mating
  • cypress poisoning – this disease may infest cows through eating branches of cypress trees that contain a toxin. This substantially affects the cows in their last third of pregnancy
  • theileriosis – it is caused by blood parasite transmitted by bush ticks or use of husbandry devices. It profoundly affects cows in late pregnancy or early lactation
  • nitrate poisoning – this is caused by the rapid build-up of nitrate in the rumen
  • babesiosis – this is transmitted by adult ticks sucking blood from cows. It tremendously British breeds of cattle
  • salmonellosis – this is carried by the animal’s guts and birds and the outbreaks are caused by contamination of feedstuffs and water with fecal material. It affects 2-6 week-old calves and lactating cows
  • bovine virus diarrhea, other plant poisonings, and even nutrition types cause abortion and infertility

Final comment

Treatment and prevention primarily vary depending on the kind of the disease. However, vaccinations to animals, sanitation of the facilities, equipment, and the overall area are one of the essential types of prevention. Moreover, regular monitoring with the herd is an effective action in managing and controlling disease for the dairy farmer.

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