Case Study 3

Dead Cattle, bloated, with epistaxis


Question 2 of 8

What is the most likely diagnosis?

A. Dysentery, caused by Serpulina hyodysenteriae
Serpulina hyodysenteriae is a pathogen of pigs and
does not infect cattle
B. Botulism, caused by Clostridium botulinum
Botulism in cattle is characterized by dumb paralysis, without
bloating and epistaxis
C. Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis The dead cattle showed the characteristic symptoms of anthrax in ruminants:
- Sudden onset
- Bleeding from body openings (epistaxis)
- Edema (bloating)
- High fever
- "Peracute" death (within 1 - 2 hours after onset)
Bacillus anthracis, the organism causing this disease, often becomes "septicemic" in these animals. Septicemic means the organism gains access to the blood stream and is spread to various tissues.
D. Diarrhea, caused by Salmonella Infection of cattle with Salmonella results in diarrheal disease, which the dead cattle in this case did not have. The disease is sometimes with septicemia. Epistaxis and bloating are very unusual in bovine salmonellosis.

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
Tuesday, August 4, 1998
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