Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Livestock Producers Reminded of Weather Stress in Cattle

Date: Jan. 25, 2017


 Recent Utah Cattle Herd Detected with Histophilosis
a Reminder to Producers of Winter Weather Stress in Cattle

(Salt Lake City)  The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food State Veterinarian, Dr. Barry Pittman, is using a recently diagnosed disease, infectious thrombotic meningoencephalitis (ITME), in a Sanpete County herd as a reminder to cattle producers to be vigilant for signs of increased stress in their cattle herds.

“This disease, although not a reportable disease in Utah, is of concern as the lesions were highly suggestive that the causative agent was Histophilus somni, previously known as Haemophilus somnus, a bacteria associated with ‘shipping fever’ and considered a commensal of bovine mucous membranes”, stated Dr. Pittman. He indicated this was probably caused by stress in the herd due to the recent unrelenting weather events of continuous snow and rain and temperature fluctuations.

This disease poses no threat to human health.

Dr. Pittman also stated the State sees 5-6 cases of this disease a year sporadically in beef and dairy cattle. It usually manifests in individual animals or up to 2-3 animals in a herd, for several weeks to a month, then resolves. It is not uncommon to see this disease with and without pneumonia when it occurs. It usually strikes quickly and antibiotic therapy may not be effective due to sudden onset.

“Our cattle producers are well aware of the stress these weather patterns cause to their herds and the difficulties that arise to ensure their animals have adequate access to feed, water and shelter in adverse conditions”, Dr. Pittman said. “The information above is a reminder to continue to do what they are doing; checking the herd more often, assessing the health of their animals, and consulting with their local veterinarians for possible treatment regimens and preventive measures such as vaccines”, he added.



Contact: Dr. Barry Pittman, State Veterinarian, Animal Industry Division, 801-538-7162
Larry Lewis (801) 538-7104
Cell (801) 514-2152






posted: Jan. 25, 2017