Red Water disease is caused by the gram-positive bacteria Clostridium haemolyticum. Red Water has an acute onset and is highly fatal. The bacteria is a soil borne anaerobic (doesn’t need oxygen) organism. The incubation period of this disease is 7 – 10 days. Cattle that are in the best condition seem to be the most susceptible. Symptoms include jaundice, fever, abdominal pain (arched back), dark feces, dark red urine, edema and labored breathing. The duration of these symptoms can range from 12 hours to 4 days.
Vaccination is recommended in the spring, prior to the expected occurrence of the disease. (This disease occurs mainly in the late summer and autumn.) Annual boosters are necessary. It is recommended to vaccinate every 6 months where constant exposure is likely. Vaccinate calves at 3 to 4 months of age
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