Disease o' the month - JOHNE"S DISEASE

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Well-known member
Jan 20, 2007
Gardner, KS
Kansas doesn't appear to be concerned as a whole.  I searched on Johne's under Dairy and here is what the website gave me :(

Search Results - Johne's Disease

Displaying 1-4 of 4
What you should know about unpasteurized milk.
Risks associated with raw milk

Milk Haulers Study Manual (English)
Milk hauler study material in English.

Raw milk warning
FDA warning regarding raw milk consumption

Dairy: Consumer Information
Consumer information about milk and dairy products


Well-known member
Jan 29, 2007
Jill said:
Kansas doesn't appear to be concerned as a whole.  I searched on Johne's under Dairy and here is what the website gave me :(

Search Results - Johne's Disease

I've got an email in to our JD guy to tell me who you should contact. Certainly you can test on your own (most states require it thru a vet) but if you are going to the trouble to test it would be useful to do it the way the "program" requires so you can get co op pay if available and if you test negative then you get a status level ---I'll see what I can find

Here are a couple more articles....go to it RED


  • JD 4 11-05.pdf
    1.1 MB · Views: 286
  • JD 5 11-05.pdf
    277.7 KB · Views: 224


Well-known member
Jan 20, 2007
LaRue, Ohio
(clapping) (clapping) (clapping) YEAH RED!!

Johne’s disease in beef cattle – what does it look like, how do they get it, and where does it come from?
Johne’s disease is a chronic, fatal infectious disease of cattle and other ruminants. It is an unusual disease in that cattle are infected as calves but do not show disease until adults.
Understanding the transmission of the disease is the key to keeping Johne’s out of your herd or managing it if your herd is already infected.
Transmission of Johne’s disease
· Most cattle are infected before or soon after birth
· Although infected early in life, cattle do not usually develop signs of disease or shed bacteria until they are adults
· Calves can be infected in utero
· Calves can be infected by ingesting contaminated colostrum or milk
· A dime sized piece of manure contains enough Johne’s disease bacteria to infect a calf
· A infected bull is much more likely to spread disease through manure than natural breeding
· The risk of an infected cow having Johne’s disease bacteria in her milk or manure increases as she develops clinical disease – the sicker she is the more likely there are lots of bacteria
· Cows that look perfectly normal (cows without clinical signs of disease) can also shed bacteria in their milk and manure
· Most calves are infected pre-weaning by ingestion of manure
· The risk of spreading John’s disease through artificial insemination is a very low.
· If the recipient cow is Johne’s disease test negative, the risk of spreading Johne’s disease to a calf using embryo transfer from an infected donor cow is very low.
· If the embryo transfer recipient is Johne’s test positive, the risk to the ET calf is substantial Clinical Johne’s disease
· Most cows infected with Johne’s disease appear healthy and clinically normal
- This is because of the long incubation period (time from infection to expression of
· As the infection progresses, cows exhibit clinical signs of disease - diarrhea and weight loss
- Bacteria multiply in the intestine resulting in thickening of the intestinal wall until it
looks like corrugated cardboard
- The intestine cannot absorb nutrients and water, so the cow develops diarrhea and loses weight
- The diarrhea has been called “pipe stream” diarrhea because it looks like water coming out of a hose
- The diarrhea is watery, doesn’t smell bad, and does not contain blood
- Initially the diarrhea may be intermittent, but eventually it becomes constant and unrelenting
- The cow does not look ill, does not have a fever, and is bright and alert
- The cow’s appetite remains very good
- The cow may drink a great deal of water
- Some cows show a condition called “bottle jaw” which is fluid swelling under the jaw
· Infected cows often develop clinical disease following stress, especially the stress of calving


Well-known member
Jan 20, 2007
LaRue, Ohio
Management strategies for beef producers
Things to do –
If you don’t have Johne’s disease - Keep it out! If you do have Johne’s disease, eradicate or manage it!
Newborn calves are at greatest risk for Johne’s infection. Exposure to manure from infected cows is the greatest risk to newborn calves. Although calves can become infected in utero, or by exposure to infected milk or colostrum, the single biggest risk to beef calves is ingestion of infected manure. Therefore, it makes sense to decrease exposure of calves to manure. Management changes can go a long way toward reducing calves exposure to manure.
The bacteria that causes Johne’s disease can survive in water or manure for almost a year. It doesn’t grow in water or manure, it just sits there waiting for a nice warm calf to ingest it. Decreasing environmental exposure to the Johne’s bacteria is the major way to decrease infection.
The following are things to consider when you are trying to decrease the risk that your newborn calves may become infected with Johne’s disease.
· Calving area
- Calving area should be clean
- Ideally, one cow per pen
- Segregate sick or Johne’s test-positive cows
- Clean pen between cows; pen can be limed between uses
· Colostrum
- Ideally, calves should get colostrum from their dam, and the dam should be Johne’s disease test-negative
- If calf needs extra colostrum, use low-risk colostrum
- Low risk colostrum
~ Obtained from healthy cow, negative on recent Johne’s disease test
~ Clean udder and teats before collecting colostrum
- Consider using powdered commercial colostrum replacer
- Be cautious using colostrum from dairy cows; know the status of the herd and the status of the cow
- Do not feed pooled colostrums from dairy cows
· Udder
- Manure-covered teats are a major source of infection
- Keep the cows well bedded in a clean environment to keep udders clean
- Some producers clip udders prior to calving
· Any water contaminated with manure can spread infection
· Cows standing in ponds or creeks look pretty but are an excellent way to spread Johne’s disease
- Fence pond and creeks to prevent entry of cows
· Manure lagoons can harbor billions of Johne’s bacteria
- Fence or fill lagoons
· Automatic waterers or water tanks provide the best source of water for cattle
- Clean water tanks routinely
- Clean and disinfect any water tank with manure in it
· Do not feed grain on the ground; use tubs or bunks
· Feed calves in an area separate from cows
· Do not give manure-contaminated feed to calves
· Don’t use the same buckets, machines, forks, etc., to clean pens and feed
· Do not feed uneaten or waste cow feed to calves
Grouping cows
· Be aware of disease risks when adding new cattle
· Be aware of the clinical signs of Johne’s disease, including diarrhea and weight loss despite good appetite
· Johne’s test-positive cows with clinical signs of disease should be culled immediately
· Do not put cows showing clinical signs of Johne’s disease with cow/calf pairs
· Do not put Johne’s disease fecal culture-positive cows with cow/calf pairs
· Do not put Johne’s disease ELISA test-positive cows with cow/calf pairs
Pregnant Johne’s positive cows with clinical disease
· Should you keep the cow and allow her to deliver the calf?
· Ask yourself....
- Is the pregnancy really that important?
- Is the calf really that valuable?
- Are the genetics really that great?
· If the calf is that valuable
- Isolate the cow
- Rescue the newborn calf
· Isolate the cow
- In a separate pen with NO contact with calves
- Ideally, away from all other cattle
- The pen should not drain toward the calves
- Calves should be kept away from manure from this cow
· Rescue the calf
- Remove the calf IMMEDIATELY after birth
- Do not allow the calf to nurse from the infected dam
- Feed the calf low-risk colostrum or commercially prepared colostrum replacer
- Bottle feed the calf – use a high quality milk replacer
- Remember, even if you do everything right to rescue the calf, there is still a risk that the calf will have become infected in utero
- If the calf nurses from the cow, the risk of infection goes up dramatically
Embryo transfer recipients
· Put your valuable embryos in Johne’s test-negative cows
· Do not put your valuable embryos in cull dairy cows
· Do not put your valuable embryos in cull beef cows
· Do not put your valuable embryos in cows purchased at the stock yards
Manure management
· Remember, all manure is suspect!
· Reduce exposure of newborns to manure
- Avoid manure build-up in pens, corrals, and pastures where close up cows are kept
- Calving area –
~ Clean
~ Low cow density
~ Avoid overcrowding
· Do not spread manure on pasture or forage field to be used during the same year
· Don’t pile manure where calves have access to it
· If you use a lagoon, make sure it issecurely fenced
· Restrict access to streams and ponds
· Divert manure runoff from water sources
· Improvements in facilities should be aimed at decreasing standing water and mud
· Water sources should minimize the risk of manure contamination
· Feed should be securely stored to prevent manure contamination
· Efforts should be made to avoid manure build-up
Not often considered when developing a Johne’s disease control program is the emotional attachment to the animal. Culling the 4-H show heifer or farm national champion or famous ET donor when she has Johne’s disease can be difficult. Prevention and control of Johne’s disease takes time, commitment, money, and the ability to make hard decisions. Half-hearted attempts are doomed to fail. Prevention is always cheaper than control.



Well-known member
Jan 29, 2007
Here are the last 3 JD handouts - when Red is feeling better hopefully she can post them as text...and JIT be alert - I got a good one for you next (clapping) (clapping).


  • JD 6 11-05.pdf
    236.9 KB · Views: 220
  • JD 7 11-05.pdf
    359.4 KB · Views: 207
  • JD 8 11-05.pdf
    377 KB · Views: 288


Well-known member
May 26, 2007
Saskatchewan Canada
Bring it on DL!!! I can just imagine how tough a disease you have picked this time. I might as well be guessing now without seeing any of the clues, as I would most likely be as close to the right answer. I don't mind though as it gives everyone's head a good workout.    ;D