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Feed often the culprit in disease cases

Producers are reminded to be careful this winter when choosing alternative or new feeds and are urged to test their feed

What could kill eight cows within 10 minutes?

That is one mystery the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s disease investigation unit faced last winter.

Dr. John Campbell, a long-time professor and head of the unit, said he had never seen a situation like that.

“It was a bunch of cows dying suddenly in a cow-calf herd where the producer got a new delivery of some flax screenings,” he said during an October Saskatchewan Agriculture webinar.

The screenings had come from a local seed grower, and Campbell said the producer fed six pails to 40 cows.

“Within five minutes it was pretty obvious something was wrong. A lot of these cows began to show clinical signs. They went down, weak in their back legs, twitching their eyelids.

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