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Iowa Beef Center
313 Kildee Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3150
Phone: 515-294-BEEF (2333)
Fax: 515-294-3795

last updated: November 8, 2014


EHD Health Concerns in Iowa


Contacts: Grant Dewell, ISU Extension beef veterinarian, 515-294-2822,
Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Beef Center, 515-294-4496,

AMES, Iowa -- Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is again causing health concerns in Iowa cattle herds. EHD is a viral disease normally found in white-tailed deer that's spread by biting midges.

Iowa State Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell said cattle can be affected although clinical disease is not as severe as in deer.

"In cattle the virus causes ulcerations in the mouth and occasional lameness, and pregnant cows may be at risk of aborting the fetus," he said. "Most cattle will recover but death from dehydration has been reported."

Concentration of deer this fall due to the extension of drought may be contributing to recent increase in cattle disease in southeast Iowa.

To protect cattle, producers should make sure their fly control measures are adequate. Fly tags applied in the spring will not be providing sufficient insecticide levels this late in year. Once a killing frost occurs and kills the insect vectors the disease will disappear until next year.

For more information see this EHD page on the Iowa State Veterinary Medicine website.



The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit


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