When it comes to preparing for animal disease outbreaks, it’s important that you and your employees know that to look for.
An easy way to identify the signs of a possible disease outbreak is to memorize the acronym BUDDIES. Each letter stands for a symptom that, if spotted, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately, says Julie Smith, University of Vermont extension dairy specialist.
- Blisters or vesicles around the mouth, nose, teats or hooves.
- Unusual ticks, maggots or other things on the skin of an animal that are normally not seen.
- Dead or down animals — more than usual.
- Diarrhea, more than usual, especially in older growing or more mature animals.
- Illness or abortion – more than usual.
- Eating abnormally, especially feed refusal.
- Staggering or spasms, a sign of possible neurological disease.
The faster an animal is identified, the better the situation will be, she says.