(Dr. Dan Thomson) Hey folks, welcome to the show today, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson. We have a great show, our guest is Dr. AJ Tarpoff, he is the State Extension Beef Veterinarian here for Kansas State University. We’re going to talk about Atypical Interstitial Pneumonia, which is a disease that causes a lot of problems in feed yards in late day cattle. Whether you have retained ownership, or you’re feeding cattle, getting one of those dead slips is not good. Stay tuned; we’re going to find out more about it.
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(Dr. Dan) Hey, welcome to the show, Dr. Tarpoff, welcome to the show. (Dr. AJ Tarpoff) Pleasure to be here. (Dr. Dan) It’s always fun to have Dr. AJ Tarpoff here; he is the State Extension Beef Veterinarian for Kansas State University in the State of Kansas. He does a lot of work here in the U.S, does work in Canada and we’re lucky to have him here on the show. Wealth of experience, knowledge, and practice and now back here helping us with programs at K-State. Today, we’re talking about AIPs, or Atypical Interstitial Pneumonia. We’ve both seen a lot of these cases, but let’s just talk a little bit about what AIP is. (Dr. AJ) AIP is a really quick hitting syndrome that hits cattle, and it hits the respiratory tract. Unfortunately, we don’t know the actual cause, but what ends up happening is we get cellular damage, the small little cells on the inside of the lungs get some kind of damage to them and we have an over response from the immune system. Now, that over response, it really thickens and enlarges the lung. The lung itself, they can’t breathe out, the lung will not compress. At necropsy when we actually look at these animals, a normal lung will be light, pink, fluffy, if you put it in water it would float. AIP, is so thickened it actually feels like muscle, it feels like liver and whenever you actually put that in water it would sink. (Dr. Dan) We’ve just seen them, they’re so over enlarged and engorged from all that inner cellular debris that expands those lungs. It’s absolutely amazing. We have something similar in humans called ARDS, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, but just like AIP in cattle and ARDS in humans we really don’t know a single or there are multiple things like could cause it. (Dr. AJ) It really could be a multitude of different things, and when we don’t know what the actual cause is that tells me this is a multi-factorial issue. Research has shown that there’s a lot of different things that it could be, but we’ve never been able to prove it. There’s a similar syndrome in pasture cattle, known as, “fog fever” a different type of AIP, now there is a syndrome where we know exactly what the stages of the disease are. They graze lush, growing forage, consume large amounts of tryptophan, it gets metabolized in the rumen to 3-methylindole and that 3-methylindole goes through the blood stream and actually damages those cells inside the lung. That is reproducible, feedlot AIP, unfortunately is not. (Dr. Dan) A lot of times we tend to think it’s just the feedlot guys that are worried about it. I was just at a function where a cow/calf producer, who is feeding cattle wondered, what is this AIP? I had a dead slip, I retained ownership. It’s hard because this isn’t usually in our lightweight cattle, is it? (Dr. AJ) No, this is not a lightweight cattle issue. This is our heavier animals; they’ve been on feed for roughly 90 plus, 100 days. These are cattle that have been on feed, they’ve been stepped up, they’ve been in good health, they’re eating well and all of a sudden, boom. They’ve been on feed for over 100 days, these are our bigger, more mature animals and believe it or not, it actually affects our cattle when they’re under a month away from regular shipment date. (Dr. Dan) I think that we’ll leave it there for the break, but that’s the thing; folks, these are some expensive deads that are happening in the feed yard because they are long day cattle. We get some sort of episode, enlargement of the lungs, and we’re going to talk a bit more with Dr. Tarpoff about this. Thank you for watching DocTalk, more after these messages.
(Dr. Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. AJ Tarpoff. We’re here at Kansas State University, where Dr. Tarpoff serves as our State Beef Extension Veterinarian for Kansas State University. He’s over in the Department of Animal Science and Industry, and AIP is something that whether you feed cattle yourselves, or retain ownership it’s probably one of the most confusing syndromes from the standpoint of what causes it or how to treat it. What are some of the things that we can tell as far as clinical science when we see AIP? (Dr. AJ) Clinical science, first thing to keep in mind is this hits suddenly. A lot of the times we might run into an issue where we’re checking pens early in the day, and sure enough mid-afternoon someone drives by and sees an AIP and it can happen that quick. What do you see with an AIP? Severe respiratory distress, these animals honestly cannot breathe. What you’ll see is their head hanging down, they’ll be open mouth breathing, they may have a wider stance, but the one thing that sets AIP apart is the belly breathing. Because of those enlarged lungs, they’re putting so much emphasis to try to breathe out that you can see their abdominal wall actually just flailing and really stressing to help expel any air that’s in there. It’s very noticeable, you can see it from across the pen, you will really see that abdominal trying to get a big umph to basically just exit. (Dr. Dan) That’s also why they’ll start to get that sway back when usually they’re flat back, and get that expiratory grunt. (Dr. AJ) It surely is a grunt, and that noise they make, we have a couple more issues that can cause noisy breathers. Which is laryngitis or honkers or tracheal edema, now laryngitis happens much further up the air way, you will hear them snoring when they breathe in and out, and then honkers it’s whenever they breathe in that the trachea collapses. That is when we hear that inspiratory grunt, now AIP is the expiratory grunt. They make noise, and they’re trying to expel air, not breathe in. (Dr. Dan) Based on where the noise occurs during the time of breathing specifically, and the size of the cattle, and how quickly this comes on it can be pretty diagnostic just on the clinical science. (Dr. AJ) Absolutely it can. The other thing to keep in mind is, AIPs commonly occur during the hot, dry summer months. The same time that we also run into heat stress issues, and heat stress in cattle will also show open mouthed breathing signs, but again, it’s diagnostic because heat stressed animals they pant like a dog. Very fast moving air, they’re trying to cool themselves down. AIP, again, they’ll be open-mouthed breathing, but it’s that belly breathing, that exaggerated belly breathing that really sets it apart. (Dr. Dan) It’s pretty interesting that you can tell so much from what noise, how they’re breathing, and you didn’t know there’s so much science that goes into that, but pretty amazing. Anything as far as rectal temperature, are these normal rectal temp? (Dr. AJ) They will be, until they succumb to any type of heat stress because they have the inability to regulate their temperature through breathing and exhaling temperature, they can run into a fever later on in the disease course, but early stages that animal will not have a temperature. (Dr. Dan) All right folks, we’re going to take a break. When we come back, we’re going to talk about some of the causes of AIP and maybe some of the things we can do to try to help some of these animals that are suffering from it. You’re watching DocTalk; we’ll be right back.
(Dr. Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson and Dr. AJ Tarpoff. We’re from Kansas State University where Dr. Tarpoff serves as the State Extension Beef Veterinarian for the entire state of Kansas and beyond. You’ve done quite a bit of work outside the state of Kansas, and outside the United States recently even. (Dr. AJ) I have. (Dr. Dan) On a lot of different projects, so we’re proud to have him here at Kansas State, we’re proud of what he does and thankfully take the time to be on the show to discuss AIPs. Let’s talk a little bit about how often this occurs. (Dr. AJ) It’s been estimated from some survey data that upwards to 3.1% of animals that are placed into the feedlot will succumb to AIP. (Dr. Dan) That’s pretty high. (Dr. AJ) That is extremely high and it’s disheartening because we don’t understand the entire disease process yet it’s still happening pretty often. (Dr. Dan) You think that prevalence rate and you probably think what regular respiratory disease is probably 10% when you look at all cattle that enter the feed yard, so this is significant. (Dr. AJ) It’s significant from a respiratory disease basis. It’s directly behind BRD, bovine respiratory disease. The difference being that this is affecting our heavier, healthy animals that we have a lot of money into, okay? We have a lot of feed, we have a lot of time, and we’ve had a lot of growth in developing this animal all the way from birth, and boom. It hits them. (Dr. Dan) Yes. With a 3.1% prevalence rate, obviously, people that feed enough cattle are going to have these show up as a dead slip on their close out and things of that nature. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the risk factors or things that although we don’t know what causes it, we know some things that are happening around the time we see these cases. (Dr. AJ) Now, and one of the biggest ones, we talked about dry, hot summer months. What happens in dry, hot summer areas every time a feed truck drives by the feed alley? Dust, okay? Dust could be a pretty big indicator and a risk factor when it comes to AIP. So, we can do some things to help manage and control some of the dust issues, especially, down our feed alleys, okay? We can water it certain times of the day to keep that dust down. Even certain types of gravel with bigger chunks of gravel won’t kick out as much dust whenever vehicles drive behind. (Dr. Dan) Got you. And when we go back to talking about ARDS, the acute respiratory distress syndrome in humans, 60 different known etiologies; smoke inhalation, dust inhalation, all of them being, and not necessarily smoke from a cigarette, but smoke from a fire can be some of the risk factors. What are some of the others that you see in feed yards as far as potential risk factors from AIPs? (Dr. AJ) One big risk factor, I believe, is feed disruption, okay? And not necessarily there was a feed disruption like the animals didn’t eat, but possible the mixing of the batch was done a little bit different. We changed ingredients. Some of our feed additives may have been put in at a lower amount or a higher amount. There’s something that has been changed all the way down to the time that these animals were fed on a daily basis. So, anything that can change, just cause any types of changes in feed consumption may be a risk factor with leading up to AIP. (Dr. Dan) Yes. And you listed some others as far as infectious disease, BRSV? (Dr. AJ) There has been some indications that BRSV, bovine respiratory syncytial virus, could be implemented in some type of, some of this interstitial-type pneumonia. Although it’s not been proven, some animals had had titers of BRSV. So, what that truly means, unfortunately, we don’t know for sure. (Dr. Dan) Well, let’s take a break and when we come back, we’ll talk a little bit more about risk factors and wrap up. So, we’re lucky to have him here. We’re lucky to have him at Kansas State, Dr. AJ Tarpoff. And we’ll see you after the break.
(Dr. Dan) All right. Hey, folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with my friend and colleague Dr. AJ Tarpoff. We’re glad to have him here where Dr. Tarpoff serves as the State Extension Beef Veterinarian for Kansas State University, and we’re talking about AIPs. And how do we treat them? (Dr. AJ) Well, to be honest with you, treatment is pretty unrewarding when it comes to AIPs and that’s one of the big difficult things about this syndrome, is we know the prevalence is pretty high and we don’t really know what causes it. But one thing we do know is we don’t have a treatment that works very well, which is difficult to manage. (Dr. Dan) But that’s the same in humans. (Dr. AJ) It is. So, treatment, we don’t have a good treatment. It’s been tried that they’ll use some kind of symptomatic treatments with some steroids, some different things to help decrease the inflammation. But to be honest with you, it doesn’t work. What do we do? Well, our mainstay to help combat some of these issues is we know that they are a little bit later on feeding period. We know they’re almost finished. They will salvage/slaughter these animals if we can. Now, if we are going to salvage/slaughter them, the biggest thing that we need to make sure is they’re free of any type of violative residue or any meat withdrawal. (Dr. Dan) Yes, absolutely. And since it’s not an infectious disease, they will slaughter these animals. (Dr. AJ) Absolutely. The one thing to keep in mind is AIP is not caused by an infectious agent, so AIP does not get transmitted from one animal to another. This is an individual basis, just an over stimulated immune response to something, so these animals still can make a safe, wholesome food. (Dr. Dan) Prevention? (Dr. AJ) Well, there are some different things that we can do to help prevent some of these things. We talked about the risk factors so we can try to cut down on some of the risk. There are also some things that we can actually feed. The ionophore called monensin or Rumensin is a feed ionophore that helps regulate feed intake and has had some pretty good access in decreasing the occurrence of some of our AIP rates. (Dr. Dan) Yes. And so, when we look at feed additives, it’s probably making true that we have Rumensin so that we have consistent intakes in our animals, kind of modulates intake, and then the MGA is another one? (Dr. AJ) Correct. MGA, it helps suppress estrus in our feedlot heifers. And it has been shown that almost a 3:1 ratio of heifers as opposed to steers get affected with AIP. Some of those studies have shown it, so we had to take a big broad look at it, “Okay, what’s the difference with these heifers?” And something to think about is we feed MGA to keep the animals from going through estrus. Now, if there are some feed disruptions and the heifers actually come back in and start showing heat, it does affect their feed intake. It’ll drop off and then get high, and then go low again, so ensuring that we have proper MGA levels could be a very helpful preventative when it comes to dealing with AIP. (Dr. Dan) Well, I really appreciate you being on the show, a wealth of information. Find him on the Internet, send him email questions, things to that nature, he’ll do a great job of answering them. Thank you for watching DocTalk today. Remember, always work with your local veterinarian, and if you want to find out more about what we do on DocTalk, you can find us at www.doctalktv.com. Thanks for watching DocTalk today, folks. Dr. Dan Thomson with Dr. AJ Tarpoff, and we’ll see you down the road.
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