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TICKS (Ixodida) ON CATTLE

Cattle generally have few ticks. 

If they have ticks, we often see them at the level of the neck region.

 

Ticks can transmit diseases by infecting cattle. Anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum) is such a transmittable disease, detectable by antibodies in the blood. 

The incubation period is 5 to 14 days. The main symptom when infected is a high and prolonged fever that is difficult to treat.

The resistance of the infected animal is severely weakened. Provided that it is started in time, treatment in the acute phase of the infection with a specific antibiotic is possible. Disappointing results are seen in the treatment of chronic infections.

 

Another disease transmitted by ticks is Babesiosis (piroplasmosis). This infection is caused by the parasite Babesia divergens and Babesia bovis (cattle) and Babesia canis (dog). 

The bovine infects itself through an infected tick that introduces the parasite into the bloodstream while sucking blood. The parasite crawls into the red blood cells and breaks them down.

Infected cows suddenly develop a fever, become wheezy, pale, and squeeze on their manure (as it becomes very thick). The most characteristic is the red-colored urine. The red urine is caused by the breakdown products of the red blood cells in the urine, on which the very first name of the disease was based: "red water fever".

 

Infected animals can be treated. Always consult your veterinarian about this. Preventive treatment of the entire herd with an anti-tic agent is also possible. Under Dutch circumstances, Babesiosis will rarely play a significant role, yet it is wise to be vigilant.

 

Therefore, treating all ticks is not strictly necessary, in contrast to, for example, Texas where cattle are routinely treated against all ticks to prevent the feared 'Texas Cattle fever', caused by Babesia divergens.

 

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE:

Therefore, avoid grazing in grass that is too long, near woodwalls and forest edges. If possible, let the animals graze on previously mowed parcels. 

If there are many ticks in the area, apply a tick-killing agent in good time. 

Regularly move young cattle to another pasture to improve their immunity. 

Try to prevent pregnant animals from grazing on suspected or infected pastures.

 

The video below shows the infection cycle of ticks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpOyWesQtgc&t=14s