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Look out for Mycoplasma infections

Mycoplasma is an emerging cause of disease in cows and calves in Australian dairy herds since 2006, and has recently occurred in New Zealand. While only a relatively small number of Australian farms have been affected, disease caused by Mycoplasma bovis can have a significant financial impact on a business due to lost production, culling and the death of cows and calves.

The infection can be difficult to detect as heifers and cows may carry Mycoplasma without showing any signs of infection. These carrier animals are an important source of infection whether they are introduced or home bred cows. Mycoplasma infections also appear with a range of different symptoms on different farms, including calf pneumonia, head tilt, conjunctivitis, ill thrift, joint swellings, mastitis and even sudden deaths. Once the infection is established in a herd it is difficult eradicate, as there is no effective vaccination or treatment, so farm biosecurity measures are vital to keep Mycoplasma infections out.

Read about how to protect your herd and control Mycoplasma infections in the Mycoplasma in dairy herds fact sheet (PDF, 682K)

More technical information is available in this document - Mycoplasma prevention in dairy herds FAQ sheet (PDF, 118K)

If you are concerned about Mycoplasma in your herd, contact your local veterinarian for advice


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