Given the high mortality and cull rates of dairy cows affected by severe, acute coliform mastitis（ACM）, a rapid severity assessment is important. The systemic severity score（SSS）system allows a rapid evaluation of disease severity based on the four systemic disease signs of ACM, i.e., rectal temperature, hydration status, rumen contraction rate and attitude （each scored from 0 to 2 or 3; total score of 0-2 = mild, 3-5 = moderate and 6-9 = severe）. It is one of the few scoring systems with a demonstrated correlation with the severity. However, the system was developed based on the data of six large-scale farms in the United States, and thus its usefulness for different or mixed types and sizes of dairy operation has been disputed. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of the SSS system in our farm-visit area by analyzing farm sizes, barn styles and cow removal rates within 100 days of the first visit using receiver operating characteristic （ROC） curves and survival times analyses.
A total of 90 cases of ACM from 39 farms were included in the study. Of those, 79 cows from 37
farms were from <200-cow operations, and 64 cows from 29 farms were kept in tie-stall barns. All cows were not vaccinated against ACM and had an SSS score of 4 or higher. A total of 78 cows were removed, and we found that the removal rate increased with the increase in the SSS score at the first visit. When animals above the optimal cutoff value（score 6）, determined by the removal prediction by the ROC analysis, were compared to those below the cutoff value, the relative risk ratio of death and removal was 3.7［95% confidence interval（CI）, 1.2-12.0］ and 2.6（95% CI, 1.1-5.8）, respectively. The survival time analysis using removal as an endpoint showed that the survival rate remained significantly lower in cows with a score of ≥6 than those with a score of ≤5 （59 vs. 86%; hazard ratio, 3.5, CI, 1.4-8.8）. These results suggest that the SSS system could be applied to unvaccinated ACM cases from farms of various sizes and types to determine the severity of the disease.
We investigated rumen fermentation parameters, such as rumen pH, volatile fatty acid（VFA）, ammonia nitrogen（NH3-N）, lactic acid（LA）, lipopolysaccharide（LPS）and the rumen bacterial community to elucidate relationships among rumen fermentation, bacterial composition in the liquid and solid fractions of rumen content and meat quality in Japanese Black beef cattle in the late fattening stages. Nine castrated（5 to 6 months old）and subsequently fistulated（at 12 months old）Japanese Black beef cattle were used. Rumen pH was measured continuously every 10 minutes using a radio transmission pH measurement system. Rumen content samples were collected at 29 months of age and filtered through two layers of cheesecloth to separate the liquid and solid fractions. Rumen fermentation parameters were measured using liquid rumen samples. Total bacterial DNA was extracted from the liquid and solid samples for paired-end sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region using an Illumina MiSeq platform. Fatty tissues in the thoracic longissimus muscle were collected after slaughter（on average 30.5 months old）, and the fatty acid profile was analyzed by gas chromatography.
The mean rumen pH was low（5.67）and the rumen LPS activity was high（6.62 × 104 EU/m?）during the late fattening stage. At the phylum level, Firmicutes had the greatest relative abundance, followed by Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria, for both liquid and solid fractions. At the species level, Lactonifacter longoviformis had the greatest relative abundance, followed by Olsenella umbonata, for both liquid and solid fractions, while Succiniclasticum ruminis and Mogibacterium neglectum were relatively more abundant in the solid fractions than in the liquid fractions. In the fatty acid analysis, C18：1 was most abundant, followed by C16：0, C18：0 and C16：1. Monounsaturated fatty acids（MUFA）accounted for 57.46% of the total fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids（PUFA）for 2.22% and saturated fatty acids（SFA）for 40.32%. Rumen pH was significantly positively correlated with the proportions of C16：1 and C18：1, and a relatively higher rumen pH was observed in the high MUFA group compared with the low MUFA group.
Collectively, these results suggest that the bacterial composition is different between the liquid and solid fractions of ruminal content at the species level and that the bacterial composition of the solid fraction may affect the proportion of MUFA and thus meat quality in Japanese Black beef cattle at the late fattening stage.
A 9-year-and-3-month-old Holstein-Friesian dairy cow was presented to a local veterinarian with a chief complaint of difficulty in standing up two months after calving. Endocarditis was strongly suspected based on the history of epistaxis and heart murmur three years before and present clinical findings of heart murmur, jugular vein distension, brisket edema and a large abscess on the right chest wall, combined with blood and blood chemical analysis results suggestive of chronic inflammation. Phonocardiography confirmed pansystolic murmurs at the base of the right heart and presystolic and diastolic murmurs in the base of the left heart. Echocardiography showed no abnormalities in the mitral, tricuspid, aortic or pulmonary valves. However, a ventricular septal defect（VSD）was detected. Necropsy revealed an atrial septal defect, right ventricular wall thickening and aortic and pulmonary artery dilatation in addition to VSD. To our knowledge, this is the oldest dairy cow reported to have the first onset of VSD.
Castration is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures. It is performed to improve productivity in the beef cattle industry, and particularly, open orchiectomy is widely carried out in Japan. In the present report, we describe three Japanese Black steers with scrotal abscess due to surgical site infection（SSI）after castration. The scrotal abscess was treated surgically after physical and ultrasound examinations. Two cases had a local scrotal abscess, which was wellcircumscribed and successfully excised. In the third case, a massive enlargement of the spermatic cord was noted. It extended into the abdominal cavity through the inguinal ring. A spermatic cord fistula was created in the inguinal region for drainage. After the surgery, the lumen of the spermatic cord fistula was irrigated periodically, and the size of the fistula had decreased sufficiently by 42 days postsurgery. These clinical courses suggest that resection of the abscess and drainage via a spermatic cord fistula were effective treatments for a scrotal abscess after castration. The three cases described here emphasize the importance of hygienic practice during castration to prevent SSI.