Herd outbreak of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) : clinically affected cows due to a lack of biosecurity?

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The Mugglins operate a small dairy in central New York with all their animals housed in a single tie stall barn. Multiple animals in the barn, from calves to cows, were affected with varying degrees of respiratory signs and fevers. The farm has maintained a closed herd for the past seven years, but has daily people traffic through the dairy. Their vaccination program consists of heifer calves receiving 2 doses of Triangle 9 (Ft. Dodge killed vaccine) followed by yearly boosters. There had been no recent changes in farm management in recent years and they lacked a farm biosecurity / improvement plan. Glory and Barbie, two adult Jersey cows, were presented to Cornell University's Large Animal Emergency Service with a history of respiratory disease, anorexia, lethargy, pyrexia, and cough. Both cows had been treated on the farm with unknown doses of Ceftiofur (Excenel), Procaine Penicillin G (PPG), and Flunixin meglumine (Banamine). Glory and Barbie had both been off feed for three days and developed subcutaneous emphysema within the last 24 hours. On presentation, Glory appeared to be more severely affected with coughing, elevated temperature, marked salivation, and occasional open-mouth breathing. However wheezes, crackles, and expiratory grunts were ausculted in both cows. There was marked subcutaneous emphysema present primarily over the neck and thorax in both animals. The clinical signs and history supported infection with Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus and a concurrent secondary bacterial infection. Treatment was initiated with ceftiofur (4mg/kg intramuscularly every 12 hours). Glory and Barbie were transferred to the Large Animal Medicine Service for additional diagnostics and supportive care. Both cows were discharged and returned to full productivity in the herd after several months.
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Senior seminar paper
Seminar SF610.1 2006 M35
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Cattle -- Virus diseases -- Case studies
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