(Myco, Mycoplasma bovis)
Mycoplasma is a type of bacterium that has recently become infamous in the deer industry. This bacterium can cause several problems, but the most concerning is pneumonia. It is contagious and easily spread from deer to deer. One scary aspect to this disease is that it can take several days from infection to the onset of signs. That means an infected deer can be brought onto a farm and spread this disease even though it appears healthy.
Mycoplasma bovis diagnosis is difficult because it takes a special process to culture this bacterium. Diagnosis is usually made from samples taken at necropsy. There is no evidence that the available vaccines provide adequate protection.
-What is Mycoplasma?
Mycoplasma is a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia, arthritis, reproductive problems, and middle/inner ear infections.
-How do deer get Mycoplasma?
This is a contagious organism. One deer infected with Mycoplasma can transmit it to another deer. One concerning fact about Mycoplasma is that deer can shed this bacteria even if they are not showing any signs of sickness. This is a real risk factor when bringing new deer onto your farm.
-Symptoms of Mycoplasma:
1. Pneumonia, especially pneumonia that doesn’t respond to routine treatment
2. Ear infections
3. Joint infection
-Is Mycoplasma contagious?
-Risk factors of this disease:
1. Commingling older deer with young deer
2. Raising cattle and deer together.
3. Bringing an infected deer into your herd.
4. Keeping sick deer in same pen as healthy deer instead of separating them.
-How serious is Mycoplasma?
This disease is very hard to treat and eliminate from your herd. It often results is chronically poor-doing deer.
-Can Mycoplasma impact my herd, or just affect one animal?
It usually only affects a few animals at a time and relapses are possible.