State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes says that the Nebraska Department of
Agriculture has confirmed nine cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in cattle throughout Nebraska.
According to Hughes, the disease has been affecting Nebraska's deer population since the 1970s and is transmitted from deer to cattle by biting insects called midges.
"This is an unfortunate disease that has no preventative measures or treatment options for affected cattle," says Hughes. "The extreme hot and dry conditions that have persisted across Nebraska have contributed to the number of cases we are experiencing. The first frost should eliminate the disease-spreading midges."
EHD symptoms in cattle include: fever, anorexia, reduced milk production, swollen eyes, redness and scaling of the nose and lips, nasal and eye discharge, ulcers on mouth, excessive salivation, lameness, swelling of the tongue, oral/nasal blisters, and labored breathing.
Hughes recommends that cattle producers with animals experiencing these symptoms are urged to contact their veterinarian immediately."Because these cases aren't confined to a particular area, we have been receiving many questions from both producers and veterinarians across the state," Hughes adds. "Therefore, we felt it necessary to share this basic disease information and urge producers to contact their local veterinarians if their animals are experiencing these symptoms."