Neospora caninum is heartbreaker for cow/calf operators

Neospora caninum is heartbreaker for cow/calf operators
By ANDREA JOHNSON, Assistant EditorThursday, January 19, 2006 10:01 AM CST
A protozoan parasite that causes spontaneous abortions, stillborn calves and premature births in cattle is a growing concern in northern Minnesota.Neospora caninum (ka-ni-num) can enter a cowherd when wolves, coyotes, fox or dogs feed on placenta, dead calves or deer that contain the parasite. When the canines defecate, the parasite egg is transferred to pasture, hay or water, where grazing gestating cattle consume the parasite. The protozoa travel to the uterus where it infects the placenta. As soon as the placenta is compromised enough, the calf is aborted.

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