Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Causative agent: Pasteurella multocida
Hemorrhagic septicemia has been reported in bison (20,21,22), but not in the last 30 years (23). The disease occurs in explosive outbreaks with high mortalities (21,22)

Clinical signs:
Young animals are most susceptible. The disease has a sudden onset. Clinical signs include a very high fever, profuse salivation, hemorrhages in mucous membranes, severe depression, as well as swelling of the throat, brisket and perineum. There is often labored breathing. Death often occurs in 24 hours.

Postmortem findings:
There is often widespread subcutaneous edema. There are extensive subserosal hemorrhages of the internal organs and body cavities. Commonly there is edema and inflammation of the lungs.

Diagnosis is most frequently made on postmortem examination of the carcass, and submission of tissues to a pathology laboratory for culture and identification of the bacterium.

The disease has not been reported for 30 years. Treatment protocols have not been described. If this disease was suspected , treatment with broad spectrum systemic antibiotics would be appropriate.

A formalin inactivated vaccine was developed and used in Montana (20). Control programs for bison herds in North America are not currently in use, since the incidence of disease is so infrequent .


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