What is Johnes Disease?

Posted in Large Animal

This disease progressively damages the intestines of affected animals eventually causing a persistent profuse diarrhoea with severe weight loss and eventual death. Infection occurs uaually in younger animals and clinical signs are only seen in animals aged 3-5 years of age.


What are the causes of Johnes Disease?

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis.


How would you diagnose Johnes Disease?

Difficult to diagnose as animals may have the disease but are not actively shedding. For definite diagnosis a faecal culture is necessary but this can take up to 6 months. Also you can check a blood sample for johnes antibody levels.


How do I treat Johnes Disease?

None – cull affected animals as they can be spreading the disease.


How can I prevent Johnes Disease?

Eradication programme – this can take years and involves strict biosecurity measures with all replacement heifers being reared completely seperatley to the main herd. Annual blood sampling can be used to determine which animals are clinically affected.

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