Merck Manual

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Professional Version

Diffuse Fibrosing Alveolitis in Cattle


John Campbell

, DVM, DVSc, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Reviewed/Revised Dec 2022 | Modified Jun 2023

Diffuse fibrosing alveolitis is a chronic, progressive respiratory disease of undetermined cause and possibly of multiple etiologies.

A proportion of cattle with diffuse fibrosing alveolitis are seropositive for precipitating antibodies to Micropolyspora faeni, and this condition may represent the end stage of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Other than the respiratory clinical signs, the animals appear alert and maintain a good appetite until the onset of heart failure in the terminal stages. Clinical signs include coughing, increased respiratory rate, dyspnea, and weight loss. Necropsy findings include right ventricular hypertrophy, interalveolar fibrosis, obliteration of the alveolar spaces, alveolar hyperplasia, bronchitis, and bronchiolitis. There is no treatment.

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