In March 2013 we confirmed an outbreak of BEF or Three Day Sickness in and around Wauchope. Many cattle appeared to have become infected with this virus that is transmitted and spread by mosquitoes and sandflies.
Affected cattle are feverish, depressed, have painful muscles and joints. They tend to seek shade, lie down and be quite stiff and sore. Many may lay down for 2-3 days, during which they loose a lot of weight, damage their muscles and some don’t recover at all.
During previous summers, we only saw a few mild cases of Three Day Sickness, which meant many cattle in this area did not have any immunity (unless they have been vaccinated with the BEF vaccine with two doses, four weeks apart) and were being severely affected.
Our recommendations are to treat all cattle that are showing signs of stiffness, laying down, and/or lameness with anti-inflammatory drugs as soon as the signs are noticed. This will reduce the severity of the disease, reduce their weight loss, keep them eating and reduce the pain in their joints and muscles. It will also help reduce the temporary loss of fertility in bulls, which can be quite a significant issue.
Please contact the Wauchope Veterinary Clinic on 02 6585 1626, if you think your cattle may be affected.