Fatal Diseases in Cattle: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cattle provide us with milk and meat. There are a lot of fatal diseases which affect cattle. Some of these diseases spread easily and cause large scale mortality. It is very important to diagnose a disease properly and give timely treatment. The health of

Cattle which show signs of fever, yellow color in manure, lack of appetite, weakness, inflammation or bloating have to be observed closely and given timely treatment. There are many diseases which affect cattle. The most fatal are listed below.

1. Anthrax

Anthrax is a contagious disease which affects cattle. The bacterium called Bacillus Anthracis causes this fatal disease. The cattle appear feverish, excited and weak. There is difficulty in breathing and convulsions occur. The spore forming bacterium leaves the animal dead within hours. This disease is fatal for humans also. So, those who deal with infected animals must be duly protected. There are chances of survival if the animal is given tetracycline or penicillin in an early stage. Anthrax usually tends to occur in areas where it has previously appeared.

2. Black leg

This disease affects the young cattle. It is very fatal and leaves the animal dead within twelve to forty eight hours. The bacteria which cause this disease can be active in the soil for years. The animal gets this disease when the bacteria enter the body through ingestion. It enters the digestive tract through the mucous membranes. The cattle aged between six months and two years are more prone to this fatal disease. The animal shows symptoms like fever, lack of appetite, lameness, and rapid inhalation, inflammation in chest, shoulder, back, hip and neck. The swellings become more pronounced with time. It can be observed that the swellings contain gas and are soft. Vaccination can prevent this disease.

3. Brucellosis

This disease is commonly referred to as contagious abortion. Brucella Abortus is the bacterium which causes this disease. Abortion occurs between the fifth and eighth month. The infected animal can have repeated abortions. There are also chances of sterility. The infection can spread through vaginal discharge, dead fetus, semen from contaminated bulls and milk. The milk that is taken from an infected cow can cause fever in human beings. Vaccination can prevent Bangs disease. The contaminated cattle have to be kept in isolation till the infection disappears.

4. Coccidiosis

This is a disease which has lasting implications. It is a major disease which affects cattle owners financially. It is spread through damp grazing areas, infected watering troughs and over grazed areas. The animal shows symptoms like weakness, diarrhea, and lack of appetite, weight loss, and coarse coat, blood in dung, mucus and tissue in manure, strain and pneumonia in advanced stages. The animal can die during the advanced stage. Smaller calves are more prone to this disease. It can be prevented by minimizing dampness.

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