State agriculture officials have urged dairy farmers to protect their herds against a disease that has killed a number of deer in Wisconsin this fall. There’s no evidence yet that any cows have come down
with epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or E-H-D. But the Agriculture Department says it could happen, because cows are cud-chewing animals just like deer. The disease is carried by midges and flies – and until there’s a hard freeze which kills those bugs, state veterinarian Robert Ehlenfeldt says dairy cattle will be at risk. There is no vaccine for E-H-D, but farmers have been asked to use insect control around their herds as a precautionary step. And if there are any signs of illness, Ehlenfeldt says farmers should contact their veterinarians immediately. E-H-D is rare in dairy cattle, but it’s had a bigger-than-normal presence in deer this year throughout the Midwest. Officials say infected cows can get fever, swollen tongues, ulcers in the gums-and-mouth, excess saliva, and stiffness or lameness in walking. E-H-D has been confirmed in dead deer in Dane, Sauk, Columbia, Rock, and Waukesha counties – and test results were pending at last word for deer killed in three other counties.