Farmer loses five cows to botulism veterinary laboratory investigation concludes
Late last year Sligo Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) received two cows for autopsy with a history of recumbency, frothing and paralysis.
The animals had been euthanased as there was no response to treatment.
There were three further dead cows with similar clinical history on the farm.
On autopsy, both animals presented similarly with watery, haemorrhagic (blood) contents in the small intestines and stomach.
According to the RVL report, there were no other significant lesions. Both cows presented with a heavy rumenfluke egg burden.
As both animals were freshly euthanased before submission, ruminal and intestinal contents were sampled and used for Clostridium botulinum testing.
In consideration of the history, nature of the outbreak, gross findings and histopathological lesions the RVL said it is likely that botulism is responsible for disease and death in these animals.
It said the presence of the toxin was not proven so this conclusion is based on the history, clinical signs and absence of an alternative diagnosis.