3 Day Sickness in Cattle:

Bovine Ephemeral Fever, more commonly known as Three Day Sickness, is a common viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes and biting midges. It is very common in this area particularly after summer rainfall.

The clinical signs can be varied, though the traditional “3 day” scenario is what we mostly commonly associate with the disease. This includes an initial day often of being lethargic, shivering, muscle stiffness and lameness which often progresses to recumbancy by day 2. Generally most animals will be up and eating again after day 3. Unfortunately it is not always this simple and we can see more serious complications such as extended recumbancy, sterility and death.

Treatment of 3 day includes giving anti-inflammatories which assist with the fever these animals get as well as providing pain relief. Ensuring shade, feed and water are easily accessible are also vital to recovery.

As everything prevention is better than a cure. There is a vaccination that works a long way in preventing the viral disease but cost can sometimes make owners reluctant to vaccinate their whole herd. It is strongly suggested that all bulls be vaccinated at a minimum.   

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