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Abortion in Cattle

Abortion in Cattle

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Muhammad Farrukh Hafeez on Mar 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Abortion in cattle
Definition of abortion incows
Abortion in the cow is defined as foetal deathand expulsion between day 45 and day 265 of pregnancy.
Most cattle herds suffer an abortion rate of 1-2%. A single abortion, is thus no great cause for alarm.
An annual abortion rate up to 5% is considered to be normal. This figure excludes mostabortions occurring during the second and third month of gestation as these often goundetected.
An abortion rate in excess of 10% is considered an abortion storm.
The diagnosis of the cause of abortion is difficult and in only 20-30% of cases is a diagnosismade.
Samples for diagnosis of abortion in cows
Efforts should be made to collect the complete fetoplacental unit and a sample of maternalserum.The placenta and foetus should be cleaned with water or saline, and chilled.It is best to submit the whole calf and placenta to the laboratory for diagnosis. It is often moreconvenient to perform the post mortem examination on the farm and collect only selectedorgan/tissue samples for further laboratory examination.
Samples submitted to the lab should include these organs or sections of them:
stomach or abomasal contents
heart blood or fluid from a body cavity
brain (especially in case of neosporosis suspicion)
skeletal muscle
Abortion caused by phytotoxins
Abortion may be caused by toxins (poisons) found in plants such as:
Ponderosa pine needles
Broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia)
Moldy sweet cloverLocoweed (Oxytropis or Astragalus sp) contains an indolizidine alkaloid that can affect thecorpus luteum, chorioallantois, and neurons, resulting in abortion or deformities.Broomweed (Guttierrezia microcephala) ingestion can also cause abortion, as can coumarinsfrom rat poison, many grasses, or moldy sweet clover.
Abortion caused by mycotoxins
Mycotic (caused by mycotoxins) abortions may be seen in increased numbers in spring, due tocattle consuming moldy feed contaminated with mycotoxins. These abortions are typicallysporadic and occur from four months to term. Severe infection of the placenta will be seen,characterized by a leathery thickening of the areas in between the cotyledons. In about 25 percent of the cases, the fungus invades the foetus, and red or white ring-worm-like lesions can beseen in the foetal skin.
Causes of abortion
Non-infectious causes
 - genetic- environmental: temperature- nutritional:phytotoxinsincludingmycotoxins  - iatrogenic: administration of abortifacient drugs2.
Infectious causes
 - general infections with high fever- specific infections such as brucellosis, BVD etc.Infectious causes of abortion
Infectious factorCommon namesAbortionrateAbortiontimingRecurrenceof abortionFoetal lesions SamplesBacterial
 Brucella abortus
 BrucellosisBangs diseaseZoonosisUp to 80%of unvaccinatedanimalsinfected in1st or 2ndtrimester6-9monthsAbortionorstillbirth2 wk to 5mo afterinfectionMajorityabort onlyoncePlacenta: retained,cotyledonsnecrotic, red-yellow,; areabetween thickenedCalf: normal orautolytic withbronchopneumoniaplacenta, foetus, oruterine dischargeDiagnosis: maternalserology, IFAT forAbs in placenta,bacteria isolation
Campylobacter fetusvenerealis
 Vibriosis>10%5-8monthsUncommon,convalescentcowsresistant toinfectionPlacenta: mildplacentitis,hemorrhagiccotyledons and anedematousintercotyledonaryarea.Placenta, foetalabomasal contents,vaginal flushingDiagnosis:microscopicdetection, isolation

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