Infectious vaginitis in a cow can begin for various reasons, and it is difficult and long to treat it. The peculiarity of the disease is that it almost always takes on a chronic form and spreads rapidly in the herd. The causative agent affects not only cows, but also bulls, actively spreading during mating. In this article we will talk about how to recognize the disease and how to properly treat it to avoid complications.
Sources and pathogens
Ways of penetration of vaginitis pathogens into the body of cattle can be different. The main routes of infection are:
- sexual contact with a sick animal;
- through contaminated litter;
- through contaminated cattle care items;
- during trauma during childbirth.
Experts described the disease in 1887. It is very common in many countries: England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, in Africa and others. In Russia, vaginitis of cows was first recorded in 1903. Streptococcus is considered the main causative agent, but vaginitis can be a sign of other diseases. In particular, trichomoniasis, brucellosis, inbriosis. In addition, vaginitis may be non-infectious. Not only adult animals suffer, but also calves from 4 weeks old.
The diagnosis is made by a veterinarian after analyzing a cow vaginal smear. The main thing is to exclude other diseases and identify the causative agent. Naturally, the symptoms of illness and epizootic data are taken into account.
Symptoms of acute bovine vaginitis
The onset of the disease is preceded by an incubation period. Its duration depends on the route of infection. If the pathogen enters the body during mating, the first symptoms appear after 1-5 days. With artificial infection period from 20 hours to 10 days.
The first signs of bovine vaginitis are inflammation of the vaginal mucosa. The labia swell up, become red and painful. In the vagina appears peculiar mucopurulent plaque. After 1-2 days on the mucous you can see small nodules of dark red color. They bleed when touched. Over time, they are compacted, becoming yellowish. Nodules also occur in the run-up to the vagina and in the area of the clitoris, where they are located in groups.
Vaginal discharge in the early days of the disease is colorless, without any perceptible odor. With the development of pathology, pus appears in them, and the smell becomes putrid. At the same time there is little discharge. Sometimes they are not at all.
Because itching and burning irritate the cow, she behaves restlessly, wags her tail, arches her back. There is no temperature at vaginitis, and in general the cow looks normal.
When the infection strikes a bull
If the bull had contact with an infected cow, he would also have a hard time. The symptoms will not be as pronounced, but you will still need treatment.
The pathogen affects the foreskin and glans penis, which leads to inflammation. The prepuce and the head turn red and become very painful. Characteristic selections are possible. Sometimes on the mucous in bulls also appear dark red bleeding nodules, but this is rare.
As a rule, the disease proceeds almost imperceptibly. The following signs should cause suspicion. A sick animal becomes irritated, lethargic, and urination occurs noticeably more often than usual. Also bulls lose potency, lose weight.
Fortunately, all these symptoms do not lead to death, although it is almost impossible to completely cure the animal, and you should immediately be prepared for a relapse of the disease.
The occurrence of nodules does not necessarily mean vaginitis. They may appear due to irritation (especially in heat) or injuries.
Difference from trichomoniasis and the possibility of infertility
It used to be thought that because of vaginitis, infertility develops in a cow, but this is not the case. Although some researchers claim that at the acute stage of the disease is dangerous for the reproductive organs, everywhere this ailment is found to be practically harmless.
However, it is very important to conduct all tests, because the symptoms of vaginitis can cause several pathogens at once. Often they are present simultaneously. The most important thing to exclude trichomoniasis, which is similar to streptococcal vaginitis almost one to one. It just leads to infertility, endometritis, abortion.
The first difference between trichomoniasis and ordinary vaginitis is a high temperature at the onset of the disease. When the disease enters the chronic stage (after 3-4 weeks), the threshold of the vagina of the cow and its mucous membrane becomes rough. An animal may suffer from nymphomania, but after 2-4 months of pregnancy an abortion always occurs. In the future, the infection affects all internal genital organs, which leads to serious complications and rawness.
Treatment of infection
Although the disease does not threaten the life of a cow, it requires treatment.
First of all, the sick animal must be isolated from the herd so that it does not tolerate the infection. Then we begin to process the vagina of the cow with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic preparations. We wash with solutions of potassium permanganate (dosage 1: 1000, 1: 500), vagotyla, soda (1%), lysol and protargol (concentration 0.5-2%), alum (from 0.5% to 1%). After that, the mucosa must be lubricated with streptocidal or ichthyol ointment. If the inflammation hurts the cow, add Novocaine ointment.
The above solutions can be soaked with a cotton swab and left in the vagina for a period of 12 to 24 hours. All drugs can be alternated.
There are also folk remedies: mix ichthyol in any form with honey or ichthiol solution (30%) with onion juice. The mixture is impregnated with tampons. Sometimes nodules smeared with iodine or Lugol solution.
If the treatment does not give a noticeable improvement after 3 days, call the vet immediately. Perhaps the animal will need antibiotics.
Prediction and prevention of the disease
If at least one animal shows signs of vaginitis in the herd, you need to closely monitor the others until the incubation period has passed. The rooms where animals are located are disinfected with quicklime (solution 10-20%). Manure is also disinfected using the biothermal method.
All new animals must be examined by a veterinarian, and patients cannot be taken out of the farm. Healthy cows can be exported after quarantine for a period of 20 days.
To prevent the bull from becoming infected, it is necessary to wash its penis after contact with a cow. Any solution listed in the previous section will work.
It is necessary to fertilize healthy cows artificially. Patients can be inseminated only after the complete disappearance of the symptoms of vaginitis.
As for the prognosis, it is favorable if the cow is properly treated. Although the pathogen continues to live in the vagina, in remission it does not create problems. A cow can live normally and bear offspring.
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