(Dr. Dan) Hi there, folks. Welcome to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here from the College of Veterinary Medicine. We’re gonna have a great show today. We’re gonna talk about anaplasmosis in cows with Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek from the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Thanks for tuning in today and we’ll see you here in a second.
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(Dr. Dan) Hi there, folks. Welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek. Thanks for being here. (Male) My pleasure, Dr. Thomson. (Dr. Dan) It’s always good to have you. Dr. Hanzlicek is the Director of Production Animal Field Investigations here at the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Kansas State University. We’re gonna talk about something that’s increasing, at least it seems like to me in awareness and clinical cases in our cow herds and that’s anaplasmosis. (Male) That’s exactly right. We used to think of it as a southeastern and upper northern, western part of the United States problem, but it is a huge issue in the Midwest, particularly in southeast Kansas and western Missouri. (Dr. Dan) Yeah. it’s one of those things, you know, when I went through veterinary school, we learned it as kind of a tropical disease, you know, and now, you know, here we go, we start seeing cases, clinical cases of it out here in our cow herd. So what is anaplasmosis? (Male) Well it’s a bacteria and it’s a bacteria that specifically attacks the red blood cells of the cattle. (Dr. Dan) So if we attack the red blood cells of the cattle? (Male) Then the spline recognizes the red blood cells as being foreign and, so the spline removes the red blood cells from the animal. The animal becomes anemic. It basically has no oxygen carrying capability and that’s where you start seeing the clinical signs. (Dr. Dan) So we get this bacteria into our cow. We knock out the red cells and the red cells are really important in carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. (Male) That’s exactly right. (Dr. Dan) Well, you know, we talked a little bit about the geographical location. What are some of the things, you know, can it be subclinical? I mean meaning that we don’t see the clinical signs? (Male) It can be and that’s specifically in animals that have gone through the infection and recovered. They will be carriers for the rest of their life and they will be subclinical. You will not see those animals ever have the clinical signs again. (Dr. Dan) And the importance of this then beyond, you know, we’ll get into some of the clinical signs and the clinical manifestation, but what are some of the things, you know, do we see production loses and things to that nature when we get into this with cow herds? (Male) We can. The literature talks about fever and loss of milk production, those kind of things, but we typically don’t see that. What we start seeing are just sick adult cows and that’s the neat thing or maybe not the neat thing about the disease is that the younger animals less than a year of age, they do not show clinical signs even if they’re infected. It is as the animal the older animals are the ones that are gonna show the clinical signs. (Dr. Dan) And any reasoning for that or? (Male) The older animals, those older cows, they’re able to regenerate those red blood cells as less than a calf that’s under one year of age, so. (Dr. Dan) Gotcha. So it gets back to kind of like when you have young people verses older people and the healing capacity and the ability to stay healthy just recover so much quicker. (Male) That’s exactly what it is, yeah. It’s a pretty cool disease. (Dr. Dan) It is. Well I appreciate you being here today. We’re gonna discuss more about anaplasmosis, get into some of the clinical signs, treatments and prevention and we’ll come back after the break. We sure appreciate you watching DocTalk and we’ll see you here in a minute.
(Dr. Dan) Hi there and welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek who’s a Veterinarian and he is the Director of Production Animal Field Investigations for the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and, Gregg, we’re talking about anaplasmosis in cows and we kind of left at the end talking about the difference in younger and older animals or older cows and clinical disease, but let’s just kind of march through, you know, the yearling stock and younger and then the two to three year olds and then the older cows, what we’re gonna see if we think we have anaplasmosis. (Male) Okay, and because this is a bacteria and it’s in red blood cells, anything that moves red blood cells from an infected animal to a non- infected animal is the way it’s gonna be transferred. So we’re talking mosquitos, stable flies, needles, tattoo pliers, those kind of things, so what I’m saying is, once you get it in the herd, then the whole herd has the anaplasmosis, but the younger calves, they just act normal. (Dr. Dan) Okay. So they could have the disease or have the bacteria onboard and because their ability to regenerate these red cells, they aren’t gonna show clinical signs. (Male) That’s right. And then the animals say under two years of age, they’ll show some of the clinical signs such as constipation, maybe abortion, talked about the low production, those kind of things, but they typically do not die. It’s the older cows. They show the clinical signs and if you move them or stress them because their body is so starved for oxygen, a good percentage of those animals have a tendency to die. (Dr. Dan) Gotcha. So when we’re looking for, you know, if you’re going through kind of I’ve got a cow in the shoot, which we hope to get them to the shoot with anaplasmosis, but if I have a cow up close, what are some of the things I’m looking that animal over and kind of looking at the, you know, gums, eyes, different things to that nature. (Male) That’s an excellent question. Early on, they’ll have pale, the white membranes around the eyes and around the ball will be pale. A lot of times, they’ll be open mouth breathing. They’ll act like they have phenomena because their body’s saying, We need more oxygen, we need more oxygen. If you’re walking them slowly, they’ll be stumbling. They’ll be falling down like they’ve been to the bar too long and then later on, their tissues will actually start to turn yellow. (Dr. Dan) So they get that jaundice. (Male) That’s exactly what it is. (Dr. Dan) And that’s from the breakdown of those red cells and that coming out into that fat and different areas of the body. So younger animals, not a problem, two to three years old, we’re gonna start to see a little bit of the clinical signs and then we get to those older animals. One of the things we talked about during the break that I thought was pretty interesting was how you can have a cow that’s, you know, docile and friendly, but as you were explaining earlier, they start to get starved of oxygen, they’re maybe not so friendly. (Male) That’s exactly right and that’s what we tell producers, if you have anaplasmosis in your herd, one of the biggest dangers are those animals, absolute become aggressive because their brain’s starved for oxygen. They’re not thinking right. They’re not performing right, but they will take you, your horse, the pick-up, so very dangerous. (Dr. Dan) Yep. Well, you know, very interesting bacterial infection, very interesting disease and when we come back, we’ll start to jump into what we’re gonna do to treat it and then more importantly, how we’re gonna prevent it. Sure appreciate you being here. Appreciate you all watching DocTalk today. When we come back, more with Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek talking about anaplasmosis. We’re sure glad you joined us.
(Dr. Dan) Hi there, folks. Welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and I’m joined by the Director of Production Animal Field Investigations for our Veterinary Diagnostic Lab here at K-State, Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek and, Gregg, we’re talking about anaplasmosis in cows and we’ve talked about what it is, what the cows are gonna look like and now, we need to treat them, so let’s start out with gathering them. What are some of the things, pitfalls, things that producers need to think about when they’re handling these oxygen deprived cows? (Male) Wild cowboys equals dead cows. (Dr. Dan) Gotcha. (Male) So, you know, dogs, moving those animals fast will kill off a certain percentage of the old cows. So walking them very, very slowly to the shoot is the best thing to do. (Dr. Dan) Got to take your time, got to let the animal catch its breath, stay oxygenated, get it to the shoot. Okay, when we get it to the shoot, of course, we want to make sure that our producers are working with their local veterinarian. We always recommend to work our alumni and beyond in that, but what are some of the different philosophies and treatment of these cows? Are they treatable? (Male) They are treatable and the basic tetracycline, so L-A 200 biomass and those tetracyclines at a labeled dosage will reduce the number of parasites in the red blood cells. So the treatments, it’s pretty rapid and it’s a pretty good treatment for reducing the clinical signs in these animals. (Dr. Dan) So is there any, you know, we have feed grade tetracycline’s. Is that something that’s enough for treatment or is that something, I mean, you don’t know if you get it in the animal. (Male) Right. Well, and as you know, feed graded antibiotics, you can’t go off-label, so can’t feed it for another reasons, you can’t feed them more, you can’t feed them less and to my knowledge, the labeled antibiotics per feed say, for the control of anaplasmosis, so it’s (Dr. Dan) Not for the treatment. (Male) it’s not for the treatment. It’s for the control, whatever that means, so if you have a herd that has clinical anaplasmosis, you’re better off going with the injectable type. (Dr. Dan) Get them in and sometimes, you know, treat everybody or treat a portion of them or just
treat the ones showing the clinical signs? (Male) I would use your veterinarian’s recommendation on that because everybody has their own experience and their own recommendations and I would just use your local veterinarian for that. (Dr. Dan) You can’t go wrong there. Well let’s jump into some of the prevention then. I know we’re gonna go to break here after a bit, but let’s go ahead and start in with some of the prevention. Is there a vaccine for anaplasmosis? (Male) There is a vaccine. In the United States, there’s one vaccine. It’s a kill product. It’s on a provisional license from the USDA meaning USDA says, You haven’t gone through all the hoops to prove that it works, but we recognize there’s a need. It’s approved state-by-state, so if a producer wants to use it, they get ahold of their practitioner, he calls the state veterinarian, the state veterinarian says, Yes, you can use it or, No, you can’t. (Dr. Dan) K. well I think that’s a good place to pause for break and when we come back, we’ll follow up on prevention and some of the things, biosecurity and different things that producers need to know as we’re moving forward. Appreciate you being here. Appreciate what you do for Kansas State University and we’ll come back to you guys in a minute. Thanks for watching DocTalk this morning and we’ll see you here after the break.
(Dr. Dan) Hi there. Welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek and Dr. Hanzlicek is the Director of Production Animal Field Investigations here at Kansas State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and we’ve been having a discussion on anaplasmosis in beef cattle, talked about what it is. It’s a bacteria that effects the red blood cells which decreases oxygen carrying capacity of these critters and we’ve talked about the clinical signs and what we look for and how we’re gonna treat it, but really prevention’s the key and some of the things that we talked about, we’ve already talked about the vaccine. Now let’s talk about other methods of control. (Male) And, so it’s biosecurity. (Dr. Dan) Biosecurity of blood, right? (Male) Yes and first of all, do not bring animals in from the outside if you do not know what their anaplasmosis status is because you’re gonna be doing things to those animals that transfer blood unless you’re changing needles between each animal and those kind of things, so keeping it out of the herd in the first place is probably the best step. (Dr. Dan) Yep. So if you don’t have it and you bring an animal that does in, we’re gonna have problems with your animals at the house and vice versa, if you bring in animals that haven’t been exposed to it and you have in your herd, there can be some issues. So the prevention of blood from an infected animal to the blood of a non-infected animal is the key. (Male) That’s exactly right. (Dr. Dan) So what are some of the things we think about there? (Male) Well fly control, I mean, the best we can and stable flies and horse flies which our fly control isn’t really all that great for those insects, but still, fly control’s important. At least disinfecting or changing needles between animals if you haven’t, that way you’re not transferring it. If you’re using tattoo pliers, disinfect the pliers between calves, anything to keep the blood from contaminating it. (Dr. Dan) And what it’s doing is to some of us is things that people that when, you know, back in the 80’s and things like that, the people that lived in the Florida and south Texas and western U.S. region, they were having to do all the time, changing needles. You know we’d always hear the stories about anaplasmosis in those climates and, so, you know, it’s something that may be new to us, but it’s not new to a lot of folks. (Male) That’s exactly right. (Dr. Dan) But disinfect your equipment, castration knives, Newbury knife. (Male) Anything that gets bloody needs to be disinfected. (Dr. Dan) Any kind of disinfectant that’s a better one than the other or? (Male) Not really, just get the blood off, even pure water is okay, just get the blood off before you go to the next animal. (Dr. Dan) And it’s important to note that, you know, this isn’t a zoonotic disease. (Male) It is not. (Dr. Dan) Okay, so it’s not something that contact with the blood of cattle from anaplasmosis, a human being won’t get that? (Male) Not this anaplasmosis organism. You’re exactly right, it is not transferred to humans. (Dr. Dan) There is a human, but human-to-human, not animals-to-humans. (Male) That’s exactly right.
(Dr. Dan) Well we sure appreciate you being on the show today. It’s always a pleasure to have you. Always good information and hope to have you back soon. (Male) My pleasure. (Dr. Dan) We appreciate you watching DocTalk as well. Remember always work with your local veterinarian and if you’d like to know more about what Dr. Hanzlicek and I do here at Kansas State University, you can find us on the web at www.vet.ksu.edu. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. You’ve been watching DocTalk today. We’re sure glad you joined us and I’ll see you down the road.
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