State veterinarian reports animal health year showed some disease issues, no outbreaks
This year, Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan notes that while producers did report a number of different diseases on Wyoming’s reportable disease list, but fortunately, Logan says that none of them would be classified as an outbreak.
“We have had quite a few different diseases over the last several months that are on our reportable list, but nothing I would consider an outbreak and nothing unexpected,” he says.
Diseases, including trichomoniasis, West Nile Virus and Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1), were seen in recent months.
“We, of course, had cases of trich, which is nothing unheard of this time of year when people are bringing cattle back from allotments and testing them,” Logan says.
During a meeting of the Western State veterinarians, Logan notes that trich concerns are prevalent across the West.
“All of the western states have reported situations with trich and concerns with the disease,” he explains. “We are trying to harmonize some import requirements to make them somewhat more uniform across the West.”
While some agreements have been made, Logan also says there are some areas of disagreement that need to be resolved.
Currently, Wyoming has two active cases of the disease – one in Fremont County and one in Platte County.
“Last week, we also released information on two cases of EHV-1 neurologic,” Logan explains. “It is a fairly significant finding, but it isn’t unheard of. We, and other states, find isolated cases of it fairly frequently.”
The cases, found in separate herds in Jackson and Cody are unrelated.
“There were relatively few animals affected or exposed,” Logan adds.
This year, Logan also adds, has seen a number of cases of West Nile Virus.
“We had a lot of cases of West Nile this year,” Logan explains. “Surrounding states also reported a high numbers of West Nile cases this year.”
With a second killing frost expected soon, Logan notes that the incidence of West Nile Virus will likely disappear soon.
Logan says that for the upcoming winter, he expects nothing out of the ordinary.
“I would expect nothing more so in the winter than I would expect any other time of the year,” he says.
He recommends strongly that producers take animal welfare issues into consideration during the season.
“With the change in weather, I hope producers are cognizant of animal welfare issues and good animal husbandry,” he explains. “Nearly every week, and certainly every month, we get calls on livestock where someone is complaining that they aren’t being taken care of.”
While many cases show that animals are being properly cared for, Logan says that each case is checked by a veterinarian or a member of the Wyoming Livestock Board law enforcement team.
“As a general reminder, make sure livestock are well cared for,” he says, adding that the vast majority of Wyoming producers care for their livestock well.
As a final reminder for this winter, Logan encourages producers in Big Horn and Sheridan counties in particular to test their cattle for brucellosis.
“Because two elk were found to have positive blood samples for brucellosis in Hunt Area 40, from which elk are known to graze both Big Horn and Sheridan counties, there is a clear and present need for increased surveillance on elk and cattle from these counties,” Logan says.
He continued that the WLSB pays veterinarians to collect brucellosis samples at no cost to producers. Some testing is available at livestock markets, but Logan encourages producers to contact the market in advance.
“If brucellosis has been transmitted from wildlife to Wyoming cattle, it is crucial that cows be tested and identified before calving, as this is the time the disease would spread to the rest of the herd,” Logan explains.
For further information, producers should contact the WLSB or a WLSB staff veterinarian by calling 307-777-6442 or 307-857-4140.
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.