Ask the Vet

Quarantine To Ward Off the Spread of Warts

Cattle face warts is a treatable, but contagious condition. It underscores why new animals on the farm should be quarantined.

QUESTION: I need more information on cattle face warts. What is the best treatment to make the warts go away? Should I be worried that they will spread to my other cattle?

ANSWER: I would use a commercial wart vaccine and give two doses according to label instructions. I crush some of the warts to try to stimulate immunity by releasing the virus into the system. Other people have written to me swearing that removing them and feeding them back to the cow helps. These two treatments are anecdotal and certainly not proven, but they can't hurt.

And yes, you do have to worry about your other cattle. Warts are contagious, and if your herd does not have a high level of immunity, they could spread to other cattle in your herd. Your young animals are by far the most susceptible.

Quarantine is always advisable when any new animal comes onto your farm. Ideally this should be done for three to four weeks. There should be no physical contact between the new animal(s) and your herd. The farther apart they are, the better. Don't share feed buckets or water sources, and disinfect any contaminated equipment or areas. Always deal with your herd before going to the quarantine area so you don't inadvertently spread disease.