Reduce the Incidence of Anaplasmosis in Cattle Herds

  • Published: Thursday, June 18, 2020

“Anaplasmosis is a disease that can negatively impact the economic bottom line of a cattle operation,” says Patrick Davis MU Extension Regional Livestock Field Specialist.  The negative impact results from economic losses due to calf abortions, decreased weight gain, bull infertility, and treatment costs.  Below, Davis provides thoughts on anaplasmosis and how to reduce its incidence in the cattle herd.

“Anaplasmosis is caused by red blood cells being infected by blood parasite Anaplasma. A. marginale,” says Davis.  That infection stimulates an immune response, destroys red blood cells and leads to anemia in cattle.  To lower the cattle herd incidence of anaplasmosis, Davis urges cattle producers to reduce modes of transmission which include ticks, flies, and mechanical vectors. 

“Fly and tick control are important measures to reduce anaplasmosis incidence in a cattle herd,” says Davis.   He urges cattle producers to utilize the best fly and tick control method for their operation.  Some methods include backrubbers, dust bags, insecticide tags and strips, sprays, insecticides, and oral larvicides.

“Feeding chlortetracycline during the fly and tick season might be helpful in reducing the incidence of anaplasmosis,” says Davis.  However, cattle producers have to consult a veterinarian and get a veterinary feed directive in order to purchase and supplement this product to their cattle. 

“Proper needle and equipment management during cattle working can be helpful in reducing the incidence of anaplasmosis,” says Davis.  He urges cattle producers to consult a veterinarian related to management strategies of cattle working equipment to reduce the incidence of anaplasmosis. 

“Anaplasmosis can negatively impact cattle operation economics and profitability,” says Davis.  Therefore, he urges cattle producers to contact him or their local MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist if they have questions related to anaplasmosis and how to reduce cattle herd incidence of the disease.  

Writer: Michael Davis

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