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From the News Archives...

Feedlot cattle succumb to dust pneumonia

Stripped of all living matter, feedlots can become a mud bath in wet weather and a dust bowl in dry weather. When it's dusty, the cattle are at risk for "dust pneumonia," according to USDA-ARS researcher Julie Morrow-Tesch, PhD from Texas Tech University who studies the behavior and physiology of feedlot cattle. She reports that "The level of dust on feedlots can be high, which springs the cattle's immune system into action and keeps it running on a constant basis." She has found that many of the respiratory deaths in feedlot cattle can be attributed to dust pneumonia.

Animals that are kept on pasture do not have "dust pneumonia" because they are in a natural environment where the dirt is carpeted with a dense mat of nutritious grass and legumes.


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