Bovine Abortion Diagnostic Plan-April 1 2018

A. History:

  • Provide information on herd size, numbers of pregnant animals, number of abortions/stillbirths/weak neonates, and clinical signs, parity and stage of gestation, and vaccination status of the dam.

B.  Selecting and submitting samples:

  • Submission of placenta as well as the entire fetus(s) improves the likelihood of obtaining an etiological diagnosis.
  • If submitting samples from in-clinic postmortem examination, request specific tests, and submit separate tissue samples in individual labelled Whirl-Pak bags for each lab section and test requested.

Bovine abortion:

  • Histology: Formalin-fixed placenta with cotyledon; fetal tissues including eyelid, skeletal muscle, thyroid gland, thymus, lung, heart, liver, kidney, adrenal gland, spleen, jejunum, spiral colon (with meconium), brain 
    • Immunohistochemistry is available on formalin-fixed tissues for BVDV, BoHV-1(IBRV), Leptospira
  • Bacteriology: Placenta, lung, abomasal fluid (1-2 mL)
  • Mycoplasmology: Placenta, lung, abomasal fluid for Ureaplasma culture
  • Virology / Bacteriology: PCR (BVDV, IBRV, neospora, leptospira): Fetal thoracic fluid, lung, thymus, thyroid, kidney
  • Serology: Paired serum from dam for BVDV type 1 and 2, IBRV, acute serum from dam for Leptospira and Neospora; fetal thoracic fluid for Leptospira MAT, and for BVDV PCR if fetus >120 days


Full workup (no serology) - $400-500 (Histo and IHC , 3 bact , 3 mycoplasma, 2 pools PCR and fetal thoracic fluid MAT/PCR) testing can be staged to accommodate budgets.

Serology – per cow Acute / Conv – BVD 1, BVD 2 , IBRV; Acute Lepto MAT and Acute Neospora  - $100-150

See Bovine Post Mortem Sampling Guide – Abortion.


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