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Theileriosis is a cattle disease spread by ticks, causing anaemia and sometimes death, especially in calves and cows during calving. If you farm in tick-infected areas, watch out for signs of anaemia like yellow eyes, lethargy, and decreased milk production. Minimising stress and good stock management can help reduce Theileriosis impact. Apply a tick control product during high-risk periods. Suspected cases should immediately be reported to a vet for testing and treatment, mainly supportive care. Quarantine new arrivals, check for ticks, and treat as necessary. During high-risk periods, monitor your cattle closely. Always consult your vet for advice.
Theileriosis is a disease caused by a blood-borne parasite that only affects cattle, and is primarily transmitted by ticks.
The disease is widespread over the northern half of the North Island with cases diagnosed as far south as Taranaki, the King Country, Whanganui and Hawkes Bay.
Cases of Theileriosis have also been confirmed in parts of the South Island - Canterbury, West Coast and Marlborough. More cases are likely, especially in Nelson/Marlborough as ticks are present in the north of the South Island.
Theileriosis could be affecting your cows if you farm in tick-infected areas, or if your cattle have been shifted into or out of tick-infected areas.
The best way of minimising the impact of Theileriosis is by good stock management and by reducing stress as much as possible. Applying a tick control product during high risk periods can assist.
If you suspect a case of Theileriosis, contact your veterinarian for advice.
The signs of Theileriosis are those associated with anaemia and include…
The signs of anaemia associated with Theileriosis are more likely to be seen around calving time, in calves (2-3 months), if cows are coping with other health challenges, or potentially at mating time.
The diagnosis of Theileriosis is based on combination of visible signs of anaemia and tests carried out on blood samples.
The treatment options are mainly limited to symptomatic and supportive care...
A drug treatment is available.
If you suspect Theileriosis in your herd, contact your vet to do a blood test so that an appropriate treatment programme can be devised and a plan developed to manage the disease in your herd.
Cattle are at risk of infection when moved to areas where infected ticks are present. Likewise, if an infected animal is transported, it can spread infection to ticks in the new location, in turn spreading disease to uninfected animals...
Biosecurity precautions are a farmer's best defence against Theileriosis.
Observe cattle for signs of Theileriosis during high-risk periods
Strategic tick control