Cattle Pasteurellosis: Symptoms and Treatment
Diseases of cattle can cause considerable damage to the farm, so the health of the livestock should be kept under constant review. Among other ailments, it is worth highlighting pasteurellosis, characterized by massive pestilence of animals.
What is this disease
Pasteurellosis is a disease of infectious origin, spreading to many domestic animals. In acute form, it causes swelling in different parts of the body and organs, and in chronic it can manifest itself in the form of arthritis, endometritis, and other ailments, which is why the true cause of the poor state of cattle remains unknown for a long time.Pasteurellosis is found in almost all countries of the world, causing irreversible changes in the functioning of the body in infected animals. Of course, the lack of vaccination and untimely treatment of the disease threaten the mass death of the livestock.
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The causative agent, sources and routes of infection
The development of this infectious disease is explained by the activity of Pasteurella multocida, which enters the cow’s body when living together or even for short contact with infected animals or their secretions.
For the most part, these microorganisms live on the mucosa of the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract and can easily move into another weakened organism. Together with the bloodstream, Pasteurella multocida can affect any part of the animal’s body, causing inflammation, hemorrhage in the intestines, lungs, pleura and even joints.The most susceptible to bacterial activity are young and unvaccinated individuals, and the only good news is that the stability of pasteurellas is relatively low in the external environment: they live in dung masses for no more than 2-3 weeks, and in the blood and intestinal contents about 10 days. At the same time, situations where bacteria die within a few hours in the sun are not excluded.
Forms and Symptoms
Based on the protective forces of the body and the age of the animal, and also taking into account the number of Pasteurella multocida bacteria that enter their body, there are several main forms of the course of pasteurellosis, each of which is characterized by its own unique symptoms and features.
In the acute form of the course, the disease is manifested by the following symptoms:
- loss of appetite;
- rapid breathing and pulse;
- increase in body temperature (more than 40 ° C);
- decrease in milk yield;
- general depressed state.
In a subacute form, all the signs characteristic of pasteurellosis are not so pronounced, and the development of symptoms is much slower. On average, the first clearly visible signs appear only a few weeks after infection of the animal, and first of all, the following can be attributed to them:
- severe choking cough;
- refusal of food;
- swelling of the head and different parts of the neck;
- mucous discharge from the sinuses (after a few days, they may well acquire a purulent consistency);
- intense thirst;
- increased body temperature and general depressed state of the animal;
- inflammation of the eyes.
The most dangerous of all forms of the course of the disease. Less than 12 hours pass from the end of the incubation processes to the death of the animal, because of which the farmer simply does not have time to react adequately. In some cases, the clinical picture is generally absent, which means that it is simply impossible to diagnose the ailment. If there are symptoms, then they are mainly presented:
- a sharp increase in temperature (above 42 ° C);
- severe swelling (internal organs, chest and cervical zones);
- severe diarrhea with impurities of blood in the stool.
Like the subacute form of pasteurellosis, its chronic variant is characterized by erased symptoms and a long development period (4–5 weeks). Most often, a fatal outcome cannot be avoided, but if the signs of the disease are recognized in time, the animal still has a chance.
Important! If pneumonia develops against the background of pasteurellosis, then a sick individual can die in a week.
The most typical symptoms of chronic cattle pasteurellosis include:
- difficulty breathing;
- refusal of food;
- significant weight loss in a short period of time;
- swelling of the joints of the legs;
- severe diarrhea (possibly with bloody impurities).
The reason for a full examination of cattle, taking into account the possible development of pasteurellosis, may be an outbreak of infection in the region and the presence of corresponding symptoms in cows of a particular farm. If the farm already has dead animals, autopsy is carried out without fail, but only in a specially organized place for this, in order to exclude the possibility of bacteria entering the external environment.If we are talking about examining living individuals, then analyzes of their nasal mucus and blood will help confirm the diagnosis. In laboratory conditions, the swabs taken are carefully examined under a microscope, bacterial culture is performed, and even special treatment of mice and rabbits is performed (in extreme cases). All diagnostic measures taken allow us to determine the degree of virulence of the pathogen and select the most appropriate treatment.
For microscopic and bacteriological analysis, tissue samples of parenchymal organs and blood of the animal are suitable, and as for the pathological changes in the internal organs, the degree of their severity depends on the form of the disease.For example, with an acute or super-acute variety, multiple bruising in the heart and liver will be clearly visible, while signs of inflammatory processes in the lungs, edema of the internal organs and necrosis in the kidneys or liver indicate a chronic course of pasteurellosis.
Also, the presence of pasteurellosis will be indicated by enlarged lymph nodes, swelling of the digestive tract and intestines, multiple accumulations of blood in the subcutaneous tissue.
Important! Only organs of individuals that died no more than 3 are suitable for research-5 hours ago. In the summer, before transporting the samples, place them in a 40% glycerin solution.
As soon as the farmer has noticed a sick animal, he should immediately separate it from the main stock, at least until a full examination. A warm, dry room with good ventilation is perfect for temporarily keeping a sick individual.If the animal does not suffer from impaired appetite, it is transferred to a special diet, adding vitamin-mineral complexes and food, with increased nutritional value, to the usual diet.
All further actions will be based only on drug therapy of a symptomatic and specific orientation. So, to relieve inflammation and swelling in the affected organs can be used:
- diuretic drugs;
- antipyretic compounds;
- medicines intended to restore the work of the digestive tract.
In the fight against progressive infection, a special serum against pasteurellosis is often used, although it helps only in the initial stages of the acute phase of the disease.
As auxiliary medicines, “Levomycetin”, “Biomycin” and “Streptomycin” are used, which eliminate inflammation and kill developing bacteria. In addition, sulfanilamide preparations are notable for good results in this regard, and glucose can be prescribed for cows to maintain their general condition.
Important! The duration of treatment depends on the condition of the individual and the neglect of the case, so it is simply impossible to say exactly how long it will last. Also, one cannot be sure of its effectiveness, especially if symptoms were detected in the late stages of the disease.
The vaccine, which is called the “Inactivated Emulsified Bovine Pasteurellosis Vaccine" vaccine, is used as a prophylactic and is more used in dysfunctional farms where there is a risk of the spread of the disease. This homogeneous emulsion is administered to heifers and pregnant cows 1 time approximately 45–25 days before calving, and to calves on the 20–25th day of life or twice: at 8–12 days, with revaccination on the 15–21st day of life (when it comes to livestock received from unvaccinated parents).The vaccine is administered intramuscularly in the middle third of the neck. The specific dosage of the drug should be determined by the veterinarian.
Other preventive measures
Timely vaccination is the most important, but by no means the only preventive measure that helps prevent the development of pasteurellosis in any farm. As an additional prevention, you can specify the following measures:
- Fulfillment of sanitary-hygienic requirements for keeping animals in cowsheds.
- Organization of the right diet, with constant monitoring of the quality of feed.
- Buying a new livestock only in proven and prosperous farms, where there were no outbreaks of pasteurellosis.
- Monthly quarantine of all newly acquired animals, with their keeping in separate rooms and compulsory vaccination (if the vaccine has not been used by breeders).
- Issuance of separate sets of clothes for each farm worker.
- Disinfection of rooms, feeders and all equipment used for maintenance using caustic soda, creole and slaked lime.
With a massive sea of animals, the farm owner must contact the sanitary-epidemiological service of his area or at least report the incident to a qualified veterinarian in order to prevent the spread of the disease to neighboring farms.Pasteurellosis is a really dangerous disease, so when the first signs of its presence appear, you should not delay the time and watch the sick animal for a long time. If you yourself cannot make a final diagnosis, be sure to consult a veterinarian.