Post by Roving Reporter on May 9, 2014 14:05:34 GMT
An owner of a Dexter cow/heifer in Tennessee had her vet checked for pregnancy as she seemed not to be breeding. The heifer was born and raised in central Virginia. The vet said he could feed a hard mass but it was not a fetus. She was healthy and fat and slick. He took her to the Univ of Tenn where they at first thought she had a bovine virus. The cow was eventually put down. It was discovered she was full of tumors and that she had probably had them a long time. She was diagnosed with fat necrosis tumors that were a result of fungi from the head of fescue seeds on grass. Apparently the tumors begin when the calf is young and eventually an animal stops eating, loses weight and goes down. Without a necropsy the cause is likely never known.
This is NOT the first case I've heard of out of Virginia. Most horse breeders are aware that fescue causes abortion in equine. I have also heard somewhere there is suspicion regarding cattle as well. Isn't fescue prevalent in many pastures and present in most seed mixtures? Shouldn't they have warnings on grass seed bags?
This is scary stuff. We have it growing in this area. I know I'll be checking seed bags in the future. I'm really thinking of just going with brome now when we overseed. Our cows love it and it does well.