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Farm & Ranch

Bovine Papillomavirus (Cattle Warts)

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

Bovine warts are the ire of cattle producers. These unsightly masses typically appear on the head, neck and body of the animals. Although these masses are usually more of a cosmetic issue than a medical concern, they can cause problems for producers. Warts reduce the value of animals through loss in sales, reduced weight gain and loss of milk production. The warts also create havoc with cattle exhibitors since cattle shows bar any animals with contagious conditions from entering the show ring.

Cattle warts are caused by the bovine papillomavirus which is a member of the Papillomaviridae family. BPV is found throughout the world wherever cattle are present. Several different genotypes of BPV have been found.

Most of the genotypes are species specific which means cattle warts are not contagious to other species like humans. A few exceptions have been found. For example, BPV can infect horses resulting in equine sarcoid tumors.

To read more pick up a copy of NTFR magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Grass Tetany (Hypomagnesemia)

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

With spring approaching, producers should be aware of a disease associated with rapidly growing forages. Hypomagnesemia is commonly referred to as grass tetany. The disease is a serious and often fatal metabolic disease that occurs in cattle and less commonly in sheep and goats. The disease is characterized by low blood and cerebral spinal fluid levels of magnesium.
Low level of magnesium in animals is associated with tetanic convulsions. The disease is often associated with grazing lush green pastures during cold rainy weather in early spring. Other names for hypomagnesemia are grass staggers, hypomagnesmic tetany, lactation tetany, or wheat pasture poisoning.

Magnesium is an important mineral because it activates many enzymes in chemical reactions in the body. Without this mineral, cells are unable to produce energy, transport genetic information, transport materials across cell membranes, and nerves cease to respond in a normal manner. Magnesium also plays a role in electrolyte balances in the body.

Maintaining magnesium levels requires adequate daily intake to meet the needs of the animal. Factors that increase magnesium requirements are fetal growth during pregnancy, milk production, soft tissue growth, and bone growth. Failure to absorb magnesium may lower blood levels as well.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Montana

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By Lindsey Monk

Hope someone is whispering sweet nothings in your ear this Valentine’s Day!

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Wyoming

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By Tressa Lawrence

May you find yourselves bedded down and cozy this February!

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