Home Farm Equipment Disease testing new additions to a herd

Disease testing new additions to a herd


Including new herd members represents a vital funding, requiring time evaluating pedigrees, genomics and phenotypic look. However understanding the well being of the person animal is important as nicely, says Rosslyn Biggs, DVM, beef cattle specialist and director of constant training, Oklahoma State College.

Rosslyn Biggs, DVM, beef cattle specialist and director of constant training, Oklahoma State College.(Picture courtesy of OSU.)

“The addition of any new animal creates the potential to introduce disease into the resident herd,” says Biggs within the newest Veterinary Viewpoints e-newsletter. “Work along with your veterinarian to develop a protocol to assist stop this. The protocol can specify the required testing of all new additions whether or not bought, leased or borrowed.

“A testing plan for new additions will likely be based on a producer’s willingness to accept the risk of disease introduction combined with the known prevalence of disease, geographic origin of cattle and the seller’s provided or guaranteed health history,”  Biggs says. “It is always best for buyers to request a written health history of the prospects. Vaccination status, deworming history, reproductive evaluation and specific disease testing should be included.”

New bulls

For new bulls, Biggs says patrons ought to require written documentation of a well timed breeding soundness analysis (BSE) carried out by a veterinarian following the requirements established by the Society for Theriogenology (SFT). “A complete BSE involves a physical examination, reproductive tract examination and semen evaluation. Sampling for reproductive infectious diseases such as Tritrichomonas foetus and Campylobacter fetus should also be strongly considered for all non-virgin bulls.”


Bull pasture. (Picture by Shelley E. Huguley)

Including alternative females additionally requires a reproductive evaluation. “Reproductive tract scoring may be a helpful evaluation when considering replacement heifers,” Biggs says. “If the feminine has been artificially inseminated or uncovered to a bull, affirmation and stage of being pregnant needs to be decided. Testing for reproductive infectious illnesses may additionally be warranted.

“Depending on pedigree, buyers of bulls and replacement females may also want DNA marker testing for heritable diseases causing genetic abnormalities like tibial hemimelia (TH) and pulmonary hypoplasia with anasarca (PHA).”

Whereas these illnesses are usually not infectious, Biggs says the introduction of those genetics by a single sire or a number of intently associated females can have a vital damaging affect. “In most instances, carriers of defects should not be used in a breeding program. If they must be used due to superior genetics, breeders must be intentional and strategic on crosses.”


Prior to buying or including particular person animals to the operation, Biggs says seedstock and business cow-calf producers might want to talk about herd veterinarian testing for the next illnesses:

  • Bovine Viral Diarrhea
  • Johne’s Disease
  • Bovine Leukemia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Brucellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis
  • Bluetongue
  • Anaplasmosis

“Additional testing requirements and a certificate of veterinary inspection may be required if new animals are traveling interstate. Interstate requirements should be confirmed with the state of destination prior to shipment. Interstate movement requirements can be found at https://www.interstatelivestock.com/,” Biggs says.

“Even if a new introduction receives a clean report after testing and shipment, it is still recommended that the animal undergo a minimum two-week isolation before exposure to the resident herd as part of a good biosecurity plan. Following the protocol developed by the herd veterinarian will help prevent the introduction of new diseases and protect the producer’s investment.”


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