Mycoplasma ear infections in calves

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        Sadly, there’s no mention of biofilms mentioned here. Why not?! Mycoplasma bovis’ procilivity for biofilms are well documented, like in this article:

        Biofilm formation by mycoplasma species and its role in environmental persistence and survival

        Laura McAuliffe1, Richard J. Ellis2, Katie Miles1, Roger D. Ayling1 and Robin A. J. Nicholas

        It’s unfortunate that vets aren’t being helped by the humans that have been studying this problem for decades. For example, xylitol can help eradicate middle ear infections. In Europe, studies have shown that quelling inflammation can even help manage the infection.

        People, we have to start working together to address these bacterial biofilm issues. The bugs are working faster than we are — and are apparently better at communicating.

        Please note the unfortunate infection complications (locations) in calves — and the similarities with mycoplasmic infections in humans. Very sad that new people are connecting the dots and making the linkages.


        Mycoplasma ear infections in calves
        Dairy Herd news source
        March 9, 2012

        Ear infections caused by Mycoplasma bovis are stubborn and often deadly interruptions in the lives of young calves. John Kirk, DVM, MPVM, Extension Veterinarian at the University of California-Davis, says such infections can occur as early as four days and up to 10 weeks of age in pre-weaned calves. They also have been reported in post-weaned calves up to 18 months of age.

        Herds with clinical outbreaks of Mycoplasma ear infections have reported infection incidence up to 40 percent, and mortality incidence as high as 100 percent.

        Clinical signs of the infection include weakness and unsteadiness when walking; head tilt; purulent discharge from ears; excessive eye discharge and tearing; coughing; nasal discharge; and drooping of one or both ears.

        The infections sometimes are complicated by joint infections, pneumonia, genital infections and abortions. Mycoplasma mastitis commonly is present in herds with a high incidence of Mycoplasma ear infections, and colostrum and/or waste milk serve as vectors to transfer the disease from adult animals to calves.

        Kirk says some clinical cases respond to tetracyclines, but that treatment always should be discussed with the herd veterinarian. Early detection can be expected to increase the effectiveness of treatment.

        To prevent the disease and interrupt the infection cycle in clinical outbreaks, he recommends pasteurization of waste milk at 158° F for one minute or 148° F for two minutes.

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