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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2012 Mar;24(2):397-404. doi: 10.1177/1040638711436244.

Acute bovine viral diarrhea associated with extensive mucosal lesions, high morbidity, and mortality in a commercial feedlot.

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  • 1Haskell County Animal Hospital, Sublette, KS 67877, USA.


In 2008, a northwest Texas feedlot underwent an outbreak of Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) causing high morbidity and mortality involving 2 lots of calves (lots A and B). Severe mucosal surface lesions were observed grossly in the oral cavity, larynx, and esophagus. Mucosal lesions varied from small (1-3 mm) infrequent mucosal ulcerations to large (5 mm to 1 cm) and coalescing ulcerations. Necrotic debris was present in ulcerations of some mortalities with some having plaque-like debris, but other mortalities presented more proliferative lesions. A calf persistently infected with BVDV arrived with one lot and the isolated virus was genotyped as BVDV-1b. Identical BVDV-1b strains were isolated from 2 other mortalities. A BVDV-2a genotype was also isolated in this outbreak. This genotype was identical to all BVDV-2a strains isolated in both lots. Serum samples were collected from exposed and unexposed animals and tested for antibodies for multiple viral pathogens. Seropositivity ranged from zero percent for calicivirus to 100% positive to Pseudocowpox virusx. At the end of the feeding period, the morbidity and mortality for the 2 lots involved was 76.2% and 30.8%, respectively, for lot A, and 49.0% and 5.6%, respectively, for lot B. Differential diagnoses included vesicular stomatitis viruses, Bovine papular stomatitis virus, and Foot-and-mouth disease virus. Based on the present case, acute BVDV should be considered when mucosal lesions are observed grossly.

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