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  • Author or Editor: David C. VanMetre x
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Objective—To determine signalment, history, and clinical, necropsy, and microbiologic findings in dairy cows with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—22 adult dairy cows from a single farm in Colorado.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for information on signalment, medical and reproductive history, the owner's chief complaints, results of physical examinations and ancillary diagnostic tests, treatment and response to treatment, results of microbiologic testing, and, if applicable, postmortem findings.

Results—Common clinical signs were acute signs of profound depression, decreased milk production, tachycardia, ruminal stasis, abdominal distention, and dark clotted blood in the feces. Rectal examination revealed distended loops of small intestine in 7 of 14 cows. Transabdominal ultrasonography revealed small intestinal ileus and distention in 12 of 12 cows and homogeneous echogenic intraluminal material compatible with intraluminal hemorrhage and clot formation in 4. Seven of 8 cows treated medically died; 9 of 13 cows that underwent surgery died or were euthanatized. Clostridium perfringens was isolated from fecal samples from 17 of 20 cows. The most common morphologic diagnosis at necropsy was severe necrohemorrhagic enteritis or jejunitis with intraluminal hemorrhage or blood clots. The most prominent histologic finding was severe, segmental submucosal hemorrhage and edema of the small intestine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results confirm that in adult cattle, hemorrhagic bowel syndrome is a sporadic acute intestinal disorder characterized by intraluminal hemorrhage and obstruction of the small intestine. Clostridium perfringens was consistently isolated from the feces of affected cows. The prognosis for affected cows was grave. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:686–689)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To monitor ovine herpesvirus type 2 (OvHV-2) infection status and the association between OvHV-2 infection and development of clinical signs of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in cattle.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—30 mature adult cows and 18 cattle submitted for necropsy.

Procedure—Blood and milk samples were collected at monthly intervals from 30 adult cows for 20 consecutive months. Nasal and ocular swab specimens were also collected during months 9 through 20. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for detection of OvHV-2 was performed on blood, milk, nasal swab, and ocular swab specimens. Competitive inhibition ELISA (CI-ELISA) for detection of antibodies against MCF viruses was performed on serum samples obtained prior to study initiation and monthly during the last 12 months. Tissues obtained from herdmates without clinical signs of MCF that were submitted for necropsy were analyzed for OvHV-2 DNA via PCR assay for possible sites of latency.

Results—Initially, 8 of 30 cows had positive CI-ELISA results. Seroconversion was detected in 4 cows. Ovine herpesvirus type 2 DNA was intermittently detected in blood, milk, nasal secretions, or ocular secretions from 17 of 30 cows. Twenty-one cows had positive CI-ELISA or PCR assay results. No cattle in the study developed clinical signs of MCF. Results of PCR assays performed on tissue samples from 2 of 18 animals submitted for necropsy were positive for OvHV-2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—OvHV-2 infection can occur in cattle without concurrent development of clinical MCF. Ovine herpesvirus type 2 DNA was detected intermittently, suggesting fluctuating viral DNA loads or reinfection in subclinical cattle. A definitive site of latency was not identified from tissues obtained during necropsy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:606–611)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association