Cattle Raising Health Management

Common Diseases and Parasites

1. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

Cause: Enterovirus of major strains –A, O & C


  • Direct contact with sick animals excreting the virus
  • Indirect transmission by ingestion of contaminated feeds
  • Contact with infected products and animal excretion by inhalation


  • High fever
  • Depression
  • Appearance of vesicles and blisters with fluid on tongue, gums, udders and interdigital spaces
  • Flowing saliva
  • Animal refuses to eat
  • Becomes lame and refuses to stand

Control: Regular FMD vaccination every 6 months in areas where the disease is common

2. Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Cause: Common bacterial disease characterized by hemorrhage (escape of blood from the blood vessels) and septicemia (a condition manifested by the generalized presence of pathogenic bacteria and the associated poisons in the blood). The disease is rapid in onset and runs a relatively short course.


  • Direct contact with infected animals
  • Ingestion of contaminated feedstuffs
  • By aerosol


  • Sudden increase in body temperature (41-42°C)
  • Profuse salivation
  • Severe depression
  • Development of hot, painful swelling on the throat, dewlap
  • Difficulty in breathing, and
  • Development of signs of pulmonary alimentary involvement in the later stages.


  • Isolate and quarantine infected premises
  • Promptly dispose of carcasses of dead animals by burning or burying in soil
  • Segregate sick animals and treat them with antibiotics
  • Vaccinate apparently healthy and unexposed animals
  • Sterilize and disinfect used instruments and equipment.

3. Anthrax – is a peracute disease characterized by septicemia and sudden death with the exudation of tarry blood from the natural body openings. It is a disease virtually of all warm-blooded animals, including man.


  • Caused by large, gram-positive, aerobic spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracic. In cultures, forms long chains which, unstained, appear as solid filaments because the square ends of the individual cells fit very closely together.
  • Under low magnification, the margin of the colonies which lie in parallel formation look like locks of hair. It is for this reason that they are sometimes described as “Medusa head” colonies.


  • Direct Contact – spread form one animal to another, wherein the bacili are excreted in the urine, feces, saliva and from the natural body openings contaminating the area
  • Ingestion
  • Indirect transmission through airborne via respiratory tract (inhalation) or vector borne through stable files and mosquitoes


  • Peracute form (1-2 hours)
  • Sudden death
  • Unclotted blood comes out from the natural openings
  • Acute form (24-48 hours)
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling in hind quarters
  • Hemorrhage in many parts of the body
  • Diarrhea stained with unclotted blood coming from the natural body openings
  • Chronic form (48 hours or more)
  • Swelling (ventral muscle, thorax, shoulder)
  • Edema
  • Difficulty in breathing

Prevention/ Control

  • Control by immunization
  • Proper disposal of dead animal by burning or deep burial. Quick time should be used to cover the body before
  • covering with soil. The depth should be 2 meters.
  • Decontamination of all contaminated pens, feeding materials, beddings, etc.
  • Avoid contact with infected animals and contaminated animal by-products
  • Reduce movement of animals
  • Quarantine infected areas
  • Practice environmental and personal hygiene
  • Control insects and flies
  • Notify the proper authority in case of outbreak


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