(Anaplaz, Jaundice, yellow jaundice)

Anaplasmosis is a life-threatening disease in cattle. It is caused by a type of bacteria that infects the cow’s red blood cells and causes severe anemia and icterus (jaundice). This bacterium is spread by certain biting flies and ticks. If not diagnosed early and treated properly, the infected cow will die. This disease is also commonly called Anaplaz, and in some regions, Jaundice or Yellow Jaundice. It is very important to contact your veterinarian to assess the risk to your herd and implement a plan to minimize the risk of Anaplasmosis . Dr. Fuselier and Dr. Whittington are available for this type of consultation.

-What is Anaplasmosis?

Anaplasmosis is the disease condition in cattle caused by a bacterium called Anaplasma marginale. This life-threatening disease results in severe loss of red blood cells (anemia).

-What causes Anaplasmosis in cattle?

This bacterium is carried on the mouth parts of certain biting flies and ticks and is transmitted to cattle while the fly or tick is feeding on the cows.

-What are early warning signs of Anaplasmosis?

You may notice a slight decrease in appetite. Cows or bulls that are typically gentile suddenly become more agitated and aggressive.

-Symptoms of Anaplasmosis in cows:

1. Weight loss

2. Icterus (jaundice) or yellowing of the ears, prepuce, skin, or vulva mucosa.

3. Aggression

4. Lethargy

5. Acute death

-Is Anaplasmosis contagious?

Anaplasma is not known to be directly transmitted from one cow to the next without a vector. Biting flies or ticks can spread it from cow to cow. Another common way to spread this disease is by reusing needles. Blood on a needle from an infected cow will be transferred to the next cow that is stuck with that needle.

-Risk factors of this disease:

1. Reusing needles

2. Introducing infected or carrier cows/bulls into a herd

3. Poor fly control

4. Lack of herd immunity (through not vaccinating or having a herd naïve to the disease)

-How serious is Anaplasmosis?

It is life-threatening if not treated early and appropriately.

-Can Anaplasmosis impact my herd, or just affect one animal?

It can affect many animals in the herd. Bulls appear to be the first in the herd to develop signs.

-How is Anaplasmosis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and submitting a blood sample for a blood smear or other diagnostic testing, such as ELISA or PCR.

-How do I prevent my herd from getting infected?

The best way is to work closely with a veterinarian who understands this disease. There is a vaccine that is available in select states that does a nice job of reducing losses to this disease. Biosecurity and fly / tick control is also very important to minimize exposure of your cattle to this disease. We recommend testing all incoming cattle prior to introducing them into your herd and not reusing needles.

If you are interested in obtaining more info, fill out the form below..


office: (337) 893-8522

Dr. Whittington and Dr. Fuselier are always here when needed. We will get back to you right away.

Comments are closed.