Algae are commonly found in Indiana lakes and streams without concern, however the concentrated presence of blue-green algae can be linked to some adverse health effects. Factors promoting algal growth include sunlight, warm weather, low turbulence, and nutrient sources, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Phosphorous is particularly important in fueling cyanobacteria growth. Often nutrient inputs come from nonpoint source pollution, but fortunately, there are many ways to reduce or stop nonpoint source pollution, many of which are simple things we can do right in our own backyards.
The clinical signs progress over a period of 12 to 24 hours. There is teeth grinding and muscle tremors, stiff legs, straight hocks and "paddling" of the feet when standing during the early stages. The clinical signs progress to muscle weakness and the cow lies down with a characteristic kink ("S-bend") in her neck, later the head is held against the chest. Gut stasis causes bloat and constipation. Left untreated, the cow becomes comatose and lies on her side. Ruminal bloat and/or paralysis of respiratory muscles cause death in untreated cattle after 12-24 hours.
Justin Wood wrote:I am so sorry to read about your losses.
I am sure everyone has suggestions, here are mine:
Here is a good article from colorado state that matches some of your descriptions. I would consider the Clostridium perfringens side and it might be weather related + feed changes. But I would think that would be evident in the necropsy,but a few things I read made me question that?
Not sure if that is in water also? Are there any weather patterns that match from the time in August? Dry weather pulling water from lower water levels could be an issue? Cold weather? Wet weather?
Good Luck. Keep us posted.
Chris Knipstein wrote:I was thinking the same thought in regard to the one constant being the water. Are you drawing it from a pond by chance?
Chris Knipstein wrote:
Not related to water, but your description of the goat's symptoms does sound close to "Milk Fever" (Hypocalcaemia, Parturient Paresis) described in this article about dairy cows.
Ben Miller wrote:tetanus bacteria?
Cj Verde wrote:Wild guess but could they have eaten any wilted cherry or maple leaves? Someone had cows dying from this in NY and everyone was panicked about a new cow disease till they figured it out.
Justin Wood wrote:More thoughts:
Any chemicals sprayed around you? roundup like stuff?
Justin Wood wrote:
Any chance the feed was contaminated before it got to your place? Do you feed the rabbits, goats, chickens from the same feed store? Even if it is different animal feeds, a single production source could distribute the issue into different feeds.
Judith Browning wrote:Are you still loosing chickens and rabbits? As you described it in the first post, it sounds as though it is taking longer to kill the larger animals.....more time to build up or incubate in their systems maybe? I guess I am thinking that if no more chickens or rabbits have died that maybe it was a one time contamination and has worked it's way through your critters. Possibly as Justin mentions above..even an aerial spray that covered the area and contaminated soil, forage, open water storage for all of your animals.
Chris Knipstein wrote:Have you tried contacting your local cooperative extension office? They may know of other cases of this happening or be familiar with it from the past.
Chris Knipstein wrote:
You could always try contacting the USDA National Animal Disease Center as well. It's basically the CDC for animals.
Chris Knipstein wrote:
Another thought on the water at your location. Have you tracked the dates of the deaths? You said they happen in spurts, tending to come and go. Do they by chance happen a certain time after a rain? You could have something like a cracked well casing letting surface contaminants down into the well. Especially if you have any sort of manure piles in the area that could be a source of a pathogen.
Here is the recommended distances to keep things away from a good well. If the casing was bad I suspect you could get contamination from much further away.
Justin Wood wrote:What Chris said about water being contaminated after a rain could be extrapolated to include not just your land as a source but the surrounding land. I learned after I bought my five acres that the property across from me had been illegally used as a trash dump - the guy ran a trash collecting business and dumped it on his own land. It made me sick at my stomach. I concluded that my land is higher in elevation than that property, but underground water movement can be tricky.
Bill Bradbury wrote:Just something to think about. fractracker
Peter Ellis wrote:What do you know about the history of the land?
Peter Ellis wrote:Any results on the necropsy?
Peter Ellis wrote:I am wondering what sort of poisoning might have these symptoms. I would want to figure it out asap, because if it is crossing all those species barriers, then it may be building in you as well.
You have a disturbing situation there and I wish you the very best in sorting it out quickly.
The animals are all kept in separate places, and all have different food. I don't see a common link to their very similar deaths.
Dan Grubbs : And then there's the whole nefarious angle to this that someone is poisoning your animals. Though that is likely a remote idea, it wouldn't be the first time people have done this to others.