About smallpox in cows


How does the smallpox in cows, what are the ways to treat it, and how to protect the herd - not knowing the answers to these questions, can harm both livestock and people. If the disease is not recognized on time, the farm will have to be quarantined, as the virus spreads quickly. In the event of an epidemic in large farms, many animals cannot be saved, as there simply is not enough staff. To prevent a tragedy, it is important to be vigilant and follow the rules that prevent the appearance of viral infections.

Etiology of the virus

The scientific name of the virus that causes smallpox in animals is Cow Orthopoxvirus. Its structure is very difficult, and it includes such components as phosphorus, copper, sulfur, carbon, carbohydrates, lipids and other substances. It is localized in epithelial tissues and affects places with particularly delicate skin.

Ospins are found on the lips, nose and mouth, but, more often, the disease affects the udder of cows. The smallpox virus can enter the body from both the discharge from the nose or mouth of an infected individual, or from contact with the affected areas. Infection is dangerous for all livestock, and even for farm personnel.

There are cases when smallpox vaccines administered to animals with weak immunity have become the source of infection. The main danger of the virus is that it integrates into the animal's DNA and decomposes epithelial cells, penetrating farther and deeper into the body of an infected person.

Virus survival

Cowpox is one of the most resistant viruses. In favorable conditions, it can be found outside the body of an animal for up to 1.5 years. Farms that are located in cold regions of the country, where the air temperature rarely rises above 4 degrees, are particularly at risk. But in hot weather, the virus can live up to 4 months.

The higher the temperature, the faster the smallpox virus is destroyed. At 55 degrees, he dies after 20 minutes. If the temperature reaches 60 degrees, the virus lives only 10 minutes. At 70 degrees it lasts about 5 minutes, and during boiling it will last only 2-3 minutes.

An effective way to fight smallpox is exposure of the affected area with ultraviolet light. Just 4 hours is enough to completely destroy the virus. Ultrasound will cope with this task even faster. Also, disinfection with solutions of chloramine and carbolic acid is used to fight smallpox.

Virus development

Once in the body of cows, the virus begins to multiply rapidly. The first signs can be seen in a day. Redness occurs on the affected areas. This is due to the internal inflammation of these places. Affected cells, accumulating in large numbers, begin to die off.

Inside the body, the virus infects the skin cells, lymph nodes and enters the blood of the animal. This period does not last long, as the body begins to produce antibodies. Because of this, the lymph nodes of the cows are severely swollen, as the proliferation of immunocompetent cells occurs in them.

Most often, smallpox is easily cured and leaves no effects in the body of the cow. In ill animals for all life, immunity to the virus is preserved. Dangerous disease is only for young calves and weak animals. In case of their infection, a fatal outcome is extremely likely.

Manifestation on the skin

Typically, the period of incubation of the smallpox virus lasts from 3 to 9 days. The first signs can be seen on the skin of the animal. Cows rash appear on the udder, at least - in other areas. During the first 12 hours after infection, redness can be observed on the skin.

Within 2-3 days, reddish spots turn into dense nodules or papules. After a few more days, the nodule is filled with fluid — a vesicle forms. By 10-12 days of infection, pus begins to accumulate in the nodules. Recovery begins from day 14, after the immune system recognizes the virus and begins the fight.

After the body is involved in the fight against infection, dark brown scabs of a round shape, less often elongated, appear at the site of red nodules. During the period of illness, the affected areas of the animal swell, and touching them causes pain in animals. At this time, the cows move with difficulty and do not allow the milkmaids to come near them.

Symptoms of the smallpox virus

Externally, the manifestation of smallpox can be different in different animals, as much depends on the strength of immunity. But, the virus can be recognized by other signs observed in all infected:

  • loss of appetite;
  • there is lethargy in combination with anxiety, at least - aggression;
  • heat;
  • problems with lactation, leading to a decrease in milk yield;
  • swelling of the skin;
  • inflammation caused by redness;
  • difficulty in moving - cows walk with their legs wide apart.

In severe cases, the temperature may not fall for a long time. Necrosis of the tissues is observed in the affected areas, and the lymph nodes are swollen. With a weak immunity, smallpox can be accompanied by a bacterial infection. In these cases, the prognosis for recovery may be disappointing.

Changes in the body leading to death

We have already talked about how the normal course of smallpox manifests itself. But, as mentioned earlier, smallpox in cows can occur in serious form, leading to the death of the animal. In this case, in addition to nodules, purulent masses, ulcers and erosion appear on the skin.

In the acute form, rashes appear on all mucous membranes: in the nose, in the mouth and even in the throat. The internal organs also suffer. The lungs are affected, the liver is rotting, the spleen is enlarged. The muscles of the heart become flabby. Most of all, at the autopsy of a cow that died of smallpox, the lesions are visible in the lymph nodes.

The smallpox virus causes great damage to epithelial tissues. Penetrating into the cells, it disrupts their structure, changes and destroys the structure. If the body does not cope with the infection and the animal dies, then a large number of putrefactive particles can be found in the cellular tissues.

Diagnosis of the disease

Signs of smallpox are very typical, but it can be confused with other diseases. So, FMD diseases, pyoderma and false smallpox have similar symptoms. The first thing you need to do for the correct diagnosis, to separate the virus from cattle. Diagnosis of smallpox takes place in several stages:

  • the contents of the pustules are collected in an airtight container;
  • conduct research under a microscope, observing the shape and behavior of the virus;
  • under laboratory conditions, the virus is grown on chicken embryos or cultured on plant cells;
  • put research with the participation of rabbits.

To conduct such research is possible only in specialized laboratories. But an experienced specialist can determine smallpox by clinical signs. If the doctor's guesses are confirmed, it is necessary to notify the infection control service.

Laboratory research

Smallpox in cattle can be confused with other diseases that have similar symptoms. Especially often farmers are confused by false smallpox. It practically does not differ from the present, but flows in a mild form, does not leave scars on the skin and does not lead to serious consequences.

When examining a false virus under a microscope, one can see cells of an elongated shape, while ordinary smallpox has the shape of a circle. The surest way to diagnose this virus is the experience of Paul, conducted on rabbits.

The test animal is anesthetized and the cornea is cut, which is smeared with a solution prepared using materials from an infected cow. If after a few days the rabbit has the characteristic signs, the diagnosis is confirmed.

No self treatment

Only a veterinarian can treat smallpox in cows. At the first sign, you should immediately call a specialist. Any attempt to cure smallpox alone can only harm the animal. Worse, inaction can lead to an epidemic on the farm, and illness spread to the staff.

In order to prevent an epidemic in the farm, a sick cow must be isolated from the main herd. With its content it is important to comply with all sanitary and hygienic prescriptions of the doctor. Pay special attention to udder and pumping milk.

Milk sick female should be every day. Due to pain, she may not allow the milkmaid to the udder. In this case, a catheter is placed to remove the milk in order to prevent mastitis. Drinking such milk is prohibited. After milking, it is disinfected and poured as waste.

Treatment basics

If you do not have the opportunity to call the vet, then try to cope with the virus on your own. Isolate the sick animal and equip it with appropriate conditions. Treat the skin rash using iodine, borax or chloramine solutions.

After the nodules disappear, apply an ointment to heal wounds. Vaseline or ichthyol ointment is well suited. As soon as the wounds have subsided, begin treating the udder skin with softening ointments. Suitable cream based on glycerin and vegetable oils. You can use boric, propolis, zinc or salicylic ointment.

Ospins on the skin look ugly and frightening, but much worse if they appear in the nose or in the mouth of the animal. In this case, it is necessary to wash the affected area with a 3% boric acid solution.

Recommendations for keeping infected cows

Remember that cowpox can be severe. In order for an animal to tolerate inflammation more easily and get better quickly, it is necessary to arrange appropriate conditions for it. The insulator maintains a comfortable temperature and good ventilation.

Most comfortable cows feel at a temperature of 20-25 degrees. Care for sick cows can only be carried out by personnel vaccinated against smallpox. If someone from the farm staff did not vaccinate, it is forbidden to allow it to go to the animal.

Compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards requires the treatment of the stall every 5 days, after the opening of purulent growths. Manure from such a cow is also subject to treatment so that the infection does not spread throughout the farm. Processed and dishes from which he drinks or eats an animal, as well as containers for storing milk.

Preventive measures to prevent smallpox epidemics on the farm

Preventive measures will help prevent the occurrence of smallpox on farms. Such regulations have comprehensive measures, they are aimed at caring for the welfare of the herd and reducing the risk of infectious diseases. To prevent smallpox from entering your farm, you should:

  • buy animals only in those places where there were no outbreaks of the epidemic;
  • to buy household utensils only from reliable suppliers;
  • a new cattle must go through a thirty-day quarantine.
  • strictly observe all sanitary standards;
  • use only an antiseptic treated instrument;
  • in case of fixation in the area of ​​outbreaks of smallpox, all livestock immediately vaccinated.

Of course, there is always the golden rule: cows who are given high-quality food, receiving a normal dose of vitamins and using clean water, are less susceptible to viral diseases, as they have strong immunity.

Human Precautions

There is always a chance of getting smallpox when working on a farm. Therefore, all farm workers must be vaccinated. After a vaccine has been administered to a person, he is released from work for 2 weeks, sometimes longer.

Often, smallpox of cows affects precisely small households where sanitary hygiene is poorly observed. Many people forget that the staff must approach the animals in clean clothing, which is not allowed to take home. Before milking, the hands and udder of the cow are washed with warm water and treated with a disinfectant composition.

If, after contact with an animal, the milkmaid has a rash, it is urgently sent to a doctor, and the cow is isolated before the arrival of the veterinarian. If the diagnosis is confirmed, both animals and farm personnel are examined.

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