Aborted calves cost money. If your herd experiences more than one abortion a year, then you need to visit your local veterinarian to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause. According to Vickie Cooper and R. Gayman Helman of the Oklahoma Disease Diagnostic Library, producers must act rapidly to ensure a successful diagnosis by collecting samples quickly and correctly. Decomposition, freeze/thaw cycles and predators can limit an accurate diagnosis.

When fetuses are available for postmortem examination, take samples from stillborn animals or mummified fetuses separately to avoid cross-contamination. If possible, do not freeze the fetuses. Freezing can impede diagnosis. Also remove excess organic and contaminating materials by rinsing samples before sending them to the laboratory. Consult your veterinarian for the best method of sample collection.