Anaplasmosis In Cattle

Nov 01, 2018
Megan Hasenour | Marketing Communications Manager

This fall it is important to watch your herd carefully for signs of a blood disease, called anaplasmosis.

Anaplasmosis is a hemoparasitic, infectious, and transmissible disease characterized by progressive anemia with intraerythrocytic Anaplasma bodies. Anaplasmosis is spread by parasites such as biting flies and wood ticks. Herds may also become infected by de-horning, ear-tagging, castration, vaccinations and other injections and other equipment that has not been disinfected between uses on different cows. Once the parasite reaches the blood stream it infects red blood cells, where they multiply.

Symptoms in cattle include weight loss, loss of appetite, high fever, dehydration, constipation, pale mucous membranes inside eyelid and vulva, jaundice, abortion in pregnant cows and aggressive behavior. The disease is more common among middle-aged animals, with most fatal cases occurring between 6 and 8 years old.

Experts say Tetracycline is the most common treatment.

Clearing infection requires long-term antibiotic therapy, and producers should consult their herd veterinarians to decide on an appropriate course.

Time from exposure to clinical signs of anaplasmosis in cattle is 3-6 weeks, and some cattle may become asymptomatic carriers, meaning they could carry the disease without showing any signs of it.

Early treatment of the disease is key to keeping cattle alive.