TB found in Oliver County heifer
By April Baumgarten
State and federal veterinarians are investigating a case of tuberculosis recently discovered in Oliver County.
Officials announced Thursday a non-lactating dairy heifer recently tested positive for Myocobacterium tuberculosis complex. TB is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from humans to animals and vice versa through respiratory secretion.
The heifer has never produced milk, said Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian. She added a routine pasteurization would prevent milk supply contamination.
“The lifespan of an animal, especially in dairy or beef animals, is not very long,” she said. “It’s a very slow-growing disease. They typically won’t look very sick.”
Cattle with tuberculosis are rarely distinguishable from healthy cows on the surface, Keller said. Lesions appear in the nose and lungs. Production will deteriorate before the appearance of the affected animal.