WARNING – Yersinia Disease (Flood Mud Scours) is affecting flooded areas

May 15, 2017

Following the recent floods caused by Cyclone Debbie, there has been cases of Yersinia Disease in Northern NSW & it is expected to get worse. In these cases healthy animals have been affected resulting in rapid & painful death.

District Veterinarians are warning cattle producers in flood affected areas to be on the lookout for cattle which might be affected by Yersinia Disease, commonly known as Flood Mud Scours.

This is caused by bacteria, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica, which cause enteric disease & can lead to death of the animal if not treated quickly.

Typically, cattle affected have access to low lying poorly drained pastures which are waterlogged either by recent flooding or persistent heavy rain. In many cases, fine silt may remain on the pasture & rotted plant material is available for cattle to eat.

Contact your District Cattle Veterinarian for advice & assistance if you suspect this problem on your property.


Many affected cattle are found dead. If seen early, cattle will be depressed, not eating, drooling saliva and have high temperatures (over 40 C). They then develop a watery, smelly scour, tinged with white casts and occasionally blood. Just before death their temperature drops very low (under 37 C).


Best results are achieved if treatment is given early using broad-spectrum antibiotics. Supportive therapy such as electrolytes, anti-scour preparations and vitamin injections are helpful.


Once the Yersinia is confirmed or suspected, move the cattle to a drier paddock. However this may be difficult if there are no dry areas in the risk period.  If you have had a suspect or confirmed case observe your cattle frequently for signs, preferably twice a day. Treat any suspicious cases early with antibiotics.

For further information – http://northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au/livestock/seasonal-livestock-updates/yersiniosis-or-flood-mud-scours