The Schuler Ranch in Yuba City is a small beef cattle operation with about 25 head of shorthorns. The 2020 calving season started out as normal as any calving season of the past, with four healthy calves being born, including a set of twins. When the next group of cows calved, five of their newborns became ill at the same time. It was clear that something devastating could be going through their small herd and could wipe it out quickly. After onsite veterinary services could not save one of the sick calves, they rushed the four others to the Large Animal Clinic (LAC) at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is one of the most significant illnesses impacting the health of pre-weaned calves. It’s the #2 killer of pre-weaned calves and of particular interest to dairy farmers in California, the nation’s #1 milk producer. Producers now have a new diagnostic tool in hand—a phone app that leads them through a scoring system for BRD—that aims to improve the health of pre-weaned calves on California dairies.
Tag 1839, a 2-year-old Jersey dairy cow, was brought to the UC Davis veterinary hospital for suspected pneumonia. She had been treated appropriately by her primary veterinarian, but without significant improvement, so she was referred to the Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service for further diagnostics and treatment. A blood test showed evidence of severe chronic inflammation, and an ultrasound showed that she had fluid, inflammation, and an abscess in her chest cavity. Radiographs of her chest showed that she had a foreign body—a piece of wire—extending from the first compartment of her stomach toward her heart.