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Bechter, Martina Ramona; Moder, Siegfried; Metzner, Moritz; Mansfeld, Rolf; Sauter-Louis, Carola; Ohm, Andreas; Knubben-Schweizer, Gabriela (2018): Bestandsprobleme mit möglicher Beteiligung von Clostridium botulinum in bayerischen Milchkuhbetrieben. Eine Umfrage unter Tierärzten. In: Tierärztliche Praxis Ausgabe Grosstiere Nutztiere, Vol. 46, No. 4: pp. 213-220
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Objective: To evaluate the perceptions of Bavarian bovine practitioners in regard to ailments that could potentially be associated with chronic Clostridium botulinum infections. Material and methods: A questionnaire-based survey consisting of two parts was conducted via telephone. The questionnaire contained five main inclusion criteria and seven further criteria for inclusion in the second, special part of the study. The main focus was on diseases suspected to be associated with chronic Clostridium botulinum infections. For the interview in the special part, for each practice, the farm that fulfilled the most of the main criteria was selected. Results: In the general section of the questionnaire, 38 (37%) of the 104 participants stated not to have farms with any of the previously indicated disease patterns in their practice. A total of 532 operations (5% of all managed dairies) were classified as a problem facility that had to deal with the aforementioned main inclusion criteria diseases. The most frequently stated on-farm problems were an increased number of recumbent cows (73 %), lameness or cases of ataxia (70 %), udder problems (69%), metabolic disorders (68%), high incidence of chronically ill animals (66%) and high culling rates (66%). The housing conditions of dairy cows were assessed to be "mediocre" or "poor" in 49% of dairies. Feeding management was regarded as "moderately good", "good" or "very good" by 91 % of participants. Testing for Clostridium spp. was performed on 11 farms and positive results were found in seven cases. Conclusion: Livestock veterinarians in Bavaria are frequently confronted with an abundance of animal health-related issues on dairy farms. However, even on farms on which there were signs according to the literature of clostridial infection, rather husbandry-related problems were suspected in most cases.