6 Oct 2018
With the winter season for coughs and colds approaching Chris Just from Westpoint Farm Vets gives thought to one of the common causes:
“What do human cold sores and snotty nosed calves have in common? – They are both in the herpes virus family. Cold sore sufferers will know that if they are feeling a bit under the weather or worn out, a cold sore will develop just to add to their woes. This is because the herpes virus family have a canny habit of going “latent”; once the immune system has tried to fight them off they effectively disappear out of sight until they see an opportune moment to spring back into action again. This is usually when you are under stress which annoyingly suppresses our immune systems activity, one of nature’s design faults unfortunately!
“Snotty nosed calves are often suffering from a combination of viruses and bacteria – the latter usually making the most of the damage done by the viruses as a way in. One of the most common viral culprits is IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis for those want to know!). IBR is a bovine herpes virus, so much like the dreaded cold sore it hides in certain carrier animals resulting in the constant perpetuation of infection in a herd. There are several strains of IBR which vary from causing little/no obvious damage to fatal tracheitis (windpipe infection).”