Canines Host to Abortion-Causing Parasite

Eventually, after submitting fetuses to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing, the Koenses found the cause of their herd abortion problem to be Neospora caninum, a protozoan parasite that can affect a variety of large and small animal species, including cows, sheep, deer, goats and horses. The parasite causes a disease called neosporosis, which researchers say has become a leading cause of abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle in Wisconsin, across the U.S. and around the world. In fact, studies have shown that one or more animals in at least half of the dairy and beef herds in the United States have been exposed to this disease.

According to Koens, who has researched neosporosis since his encounter with it five years ago, the Neospora caninum parasite was first recognized as a common cause of cattle abortions in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that scientists discovered the connection between Neospora caninum and canines.

Source: Canines Host to Abortion-Causing Parasite