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Early detection of BVD and BRD

Early detection of BVD and BRD

Early detection
of BVD and BRD

Early detection of BVD and BRD:

A Canadian Case Study

Most beef calves globally are exposed to several transport and handling experiences within their lifetimes, typically involving co-mingling and some form of auction. These stressors often predispose calves to an increased incidence of diseases such as bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). These diseases have significant animal welfare and economic consequences for the beef industry. The industry standard practice to identify calves with disease is the observation of clinical signs by an experienced cattle handler, at which point intervention measures are taken. Unfortunately, the appearance of clinical signs is usually several days or more into the course of the disease and by then the animal often requires considerable medical attention, including the use of antibiotics, in order to recover. Many of the technologies including clinical scores, hematology, acute phase proteins, cytokines, antibody response, core temperature monitoring and so forth can be effective at diagnosing BRD particularly when the prevalence of BRD is high in a given population of animals and once the full clinical symptoms of respiratory disease are present.

Recent Canadian beef feedlot research has demonstrated the use of a fully automated system using electronic identification readers by which IRT data can be collected when an animal visits a water or feed trough (Schaefer et al., 2012). This system allows non-invasive, remote collection of thermal and behavioural changes (eg, watering or feeding frequency) that can be collectively used as a predictive index for early disease detection, allowing the farmer to make crucial management and treatment decisions. Using this system, Schaefer et al. (2004; 2007; 2012) have validated the use of IRT as an early detection method for identifying calves with BRD and BVD. They found significant increases in eye temperatures several days to one week before clinical signs of disease become obvious. Schaefer et al. (2012) demonstrated that true positive animals for BRD, based on clinical scores, core body temperature and haematology, had higher IRT temperatures compared with true negative animals (35.7±0.35°C versus 34.9±0.22°C positive versus negative respectively).

Eye temperature responses to the onset of BRD for true positive and true negaive animals for several days prior to peak temperatures.

Click here for References ›

Schaefer, A.L.; Cook, N.J.; Bench, C.; Chabot, J.B.; Colyn, J.; Liu, T.; Okine, E.K.; Stewart, M.; Webster, J.R. 2012: The non-invasive and automated detection of bovine respiratory disease onset in receiver calves using infrared thermography. Research in Veterinary Science. 93: 928-935.

Schaefer, A.L.; Cook, N.J.; Church, J.S.; Basarab, J.; Perry, B.; Miller, C.; Tong, A.K. 2007: The use of infrared thermography as an early indicator of bovine respiratory disease complex in calves. Research in Veterinary Science. 83: 376-384.

Schaefer, A.L.; Cook, N.J.; Tessaro, S.V.; Deregt, D.; Desroches, G.; Dubeski, P.L.; Tong, A.K.W.; Godson, D.L. 2004: Early detection and prediction of infection using infrared thermography. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 84: 73-80.