Animal Health Update: Issue 9


Issue 9

Current Status of Leptospirosis in Michigan


In Michigan, leptospirosis is a reportable disease to the State Veterinarian. Annually, approximately 70-80 cases are typically reported in dogs with almost 70 percent of the cases coming from metro Detroit. Typically, there are at least two cases of leptospirosis in horses. Generally dogs with leptospirosis are commonly reported to have anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and/or appear jaundice while horses with leptospirosis more commonly have a history of reoccurring uveitis or abortion. 

As of June 20, 2016, there have been 27 cases of Leptospirosis reported to MDARD for calendar year 2016 - 20 cases of leptospirosis in dogs and seven cases of leptospirosis in horses. All but two of the animals were unvaccinated against leptospirosis. There is rise in reported cases of leptospirosis in horses this year; and while it’s unclear as to the reason for the rise, it may be due to increased leptospirosis awareness in the equine community.

Common serovars of leptospirosis for canine cases, from most common to least are grippotyphosa, bratislava and icterohaemorrhagiae.  Whereas equine cases are pomona and grippotyphosa. Bratislava, grippotyphosa and Pomona serovars are typically carried by wildlife such as skunks, opossums, raccoons and deer, whereas icterohaemorrhagiae is typically carried by rats. In most cases, animals are believed to have been exposed to leptospirosis in the environment where they reside. As a reminder, there is a leptospirosis vaccine available that protects dogs against pomona, grippotyphosa, icterohaemorrhagiae and canicola serovars. There is also a leptospirosis vaccine available for horses which protects against the pomona serovar. If you suspect or confirm a case of leptospirosis, contact MDARD at 1-800-292-3939.  

Hot Topic:

Michigan’s New Bovine TB Zoning Order Brings Changes to Requirements


On June 7, 2016 the Director of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development signed into effect a new bovine tuberculosis zoning order which reduced some of the Bovine TB Program requirements for producers in Northern Lower Michigan. This order follows the completion of a successful review of the Bovine TB Program by USDA in the fall of 2015, and negotiations on the Michigan Bovine TB Program throughout the winter and spring of 2016. The key changes to the Bovine TB Program are as follows:

1.  Cattle producers in the counties of Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties have been relieved of bovine TB surveillance and movement testing and wildlife risk mitigation (WRM) inspection requirements, and are now treated the same as other cattle farmers in the bovine TB Free area of Michigan. The requirement for RFID tags for movement of cattle from a farm in Michigan remains in effect.

2. The bovine TB surveillance testing program in effect for the Northern Michigan area outside the Modified Accredited Zone has been reduced to include only testing of herds in Cheboygan, Otsego and Presque Isle counties, and only those herds which have not received a whole herd test since March 31, 2014. These herds will be tested over the next two year period.

3. The requirement that animals sold from a herd which does not maintain WRM status require a post-movement test has been eliminated.

These changes are a good move forward for the Bovine TB Program in Michigan; and are a direct result of hard work by cattle producers, veterinarians and regulatory staff.  The continued finding of a low number of bovine TB infected herds each year in the Modified Accredited Zone shows that the presence of bovine TB in the free-ranging white-tailed deer in the center of this area remains a problem for Michigan. The changes to the program allow MDARD and USDA to continue to focus efforts on this highest risk area.  A new project to offer a team of specialists, including a cattle producer, to visit farms in this high risk area and identify things that can be done to further reduce the risk of bovine TB introduction is being expanded throughout this summer.  It is hoped that this effort will further reduce the number of bovine TB infected herds identified in the MAZ until we reach the point of freedom of infection for Michigan cattle..

Program Spotlight:

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Laboratory Division 

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Laboratory Division provides scientific and analytical services for MDARD programs and other agencies.  In addition, the division provides testing and consulting services on a fee basis to Michigan's industry and private citizens.  Fee-based animal disease testing is offered through the Laboratory Division’s Animal Disease Analytical Testing Services, which currently tests for Anaplasmosis, Bluetongue, Brucellosis, Johne's, Equine Infectious Anemia and Pseudorabies. In order to ensure customers receive their tests as soon as possible, the lab participates with the Veterinary Services Process Streamlining (VSPS) system. The VSPS system is a multi-purpose, no cost system provided by the United State Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services. VSPS increases efficiencies between MDARD and your business by providing fast, accurate and straightforward information. In addition, it facilitates certified vet e-signatures and 24/7 access. Also, MDARD’s Animal Industry Division is currently accepting electronic Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection submitted through VSPS. For more information on how this system can work with your business, visit the VSPS website. You can find more information on MDARD’s Laboratory Division by visiting their website.

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Put it on the Calendar:

The Great Dairy Adventure
July 20, 2016

MSU Pavilion

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Contact the Animal Industry Division:

Constitution Hall
525 West Allegan Street
6th Floor, P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909


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