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Objective—To evaluate the effect of ceftiofur for treatment of postpartum cows with fever.

Design—Multilocation randomized complete block design trial.

Animals—330 cows.

Procedure—Cows with rectal temperature ≥ 39.5 C (103.1 F) during the first 10 postpartum days were randomly assigned to a treatment (ceftiofur; 1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb] of body weight daily for 3 days) or untreated control group. Cure (no additional or alternative antimicrobial treatment used, rectal temperature < 39.5 C, and no other concurrent clinical signs of disease when evaluated at 9 or 10 days after enrollment), milk production, and rectal temperature were evaluated.

Results—Ceftiofur-treated cows were significantly more likely to be cured than control cows (56.0 vs 28.9%, respectively), with an odds ratio of 3.14 when vaginal discharge (a factor with moderate interaction with treatment) was present at enrollment. Among cows that had an abnormal calving (a significant interaction factor), treated cows had first milking yield 2.27 kg (5 lb) greater than control cows. Treated cows had a significantly greater reduction in rectal temperature (1.19 C [2.14 F]), compared with control cows (1.04 C [1.87 F]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Parenteral administration of ceftiofur significantly improved cure rate, milk yield, and rectal temperature in postpartum cows with fever and vaginal discharge or dystocia. These findings provide information to determine appropriate treatment for postpartum cows, which for years has been debated in the dairy industry. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:805–808)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To investigate potential sources of an epizootic of listerial encephalitis, using molecular diagnostic and typing methods.

Sample Population

A flock of about 655 sheep.


An epizootiologic investigation was performed. Clinical, feed, and environmental samples were tested for Listeria monocytogenes, using polymerase chain reaction and culture methods; recovered isolates were “fingerprinted,” using an automated ribotyping system.


Listeria monocytogenes was recovered from brain specimens of 7 sheep with clinical signs of listerial encephalitis. All clinical isolates had fingerprints identical to those of isolates from farm equipment used to transport silage. Corn silage, which was not fed to the sheep, also contained L monocytogenes of the same pattern type as defined by ribotyping. Listeria monocytogenes was not isolated from the stored haylage designated for feeding the sheep (the cut-off point for isolation being < 102 colony-forming units/g).


Corn silage was implicated as the source of a listeriosis epizootic. It appears to have cross-contaminated the haylage destined for the sheep during handling with a front-end loader. Suspension of silage feeding coincided with cessation of listeriosis cases.

Clinical Relevance

Use of advanced molecular techniques can help to identify the sources and restrict the scope of an epizootic. In epizootics, a single L monocytogenes strain can lead to infection of multiple animals, with rapid progression of the disease. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:733–737)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research