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Cattle producers urged to be on the lookout for Sporadic Bovine Encephalomyelitis

Western Local Land Services is asking producers to contact them if they have cattle with signs of Sporadic Bovine Encephalomyelitis, commonly known as SBE, following a confirmed case in the Western region recently.

Western Local Land Services District Veterinarians Felicity Wills and Charlotte Cavanagh would like to test cattle with signs of SBE to confirm the disease’s distribution as the appearance of the disease was severe in the diagnosed case.

Dr Wills also urged landholders to contact herself or Dr Cavanagh if they have any concerns as prompt diagnosis and treatment can limit stock mortalities. Signs of the disease include:

  • fever
  • depression
  • excessive salivation
  • diarrhoea
  • anorexia
  • stiffness and weight loss
  • recumbency
  • nasal discharge
  • breathing difficulties and coughing.

The time from the start of the disease to recovery or death without treatment is usually 10 to 14 days.  

Infection with SBE can also mimic the signs of other well-known diseases of cattle, including Three Day Sickness (Bovine Ephemeral Fever), so accurate diagnosis is important.

Providing nursing care to affected cattle is crucial to help the animal recover. Food, water and shelter from the hot sun are very important. Antibiotic medication for any affected animals can also assist their recovery.

Landholders with animal health questions regarding SBE or any other livestock health concerns should contact:

  • Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021
  • Felicity Wills, Broken Hill, 0409 858 901.

Media contact: Charlie Whiteley, Western Local Land Services, 0428 679 974.