Treatment of cattle actinomycosis


Serious infectious diseases of animals include actinomycosis of cattle, as it has a chronic form and is dangerous to humans. Fungal spores that are visible only under a microscope leave deep scars on the body. Severe forms lead to loss of teeth in cows and swelling of the tongue. You can fight the disease and therapeutic methods, and preventive. To do this, you should study the symptoms and effects of infection.

External signs

Noticing a small, inflamed nodule in a cow in the head area, or several at once, begin to sound the alarm. This symptom can be a precursor to a serious disease of cattle - actinomycosis.

Once in the fiber of the cow's skin, the so-called radiant fungus begins to act. As a result, a dense tumor appears, which after a while becomes soft, falls inward, forming a long healing fistula. When opened, pus and mucus are released from the nodule, containing drusen - formations similar to grains with an average size of 100 microns. They have a greyish yellow color. As the disease progresses, a bloody impurity appears in the pus.

Nodules of actinomycosis located on the neck of the cow, tightly fused with the skin, can break out, leaving on the skin surface or inside and pouring the contents into the throat.

If the spores of the fungus germinate and enter the blood vessels, then with blood the actinomycosis will spread throughout the body of the cow. Damage to bones, joints and muscles will begin. Battered with necrosis, the bone tissue will begin to disintegrate. Metastases will appear.

The wound is an open door for infection

Infection of a cow with actinomycosis occurs through the mouth, if there is damage, or through open wounds and scratches on the skin. Once in the throat and bronchi, the infection easily follows, spreading in the intestine. Any damage to the skin serves as an open door for the radiant fungus, which quickly masters the subcutaneous area and spreads through the connective tissues.

Small wounds in the mouth can arise from roughage, spicy grass, and if they are also carriers of fungus actinomycosis, then the cow will certainly fall ill. The dangerous season is autumn, when animals graze on the stubble.

In the external environment, pathogens can live for more than a year. They easily tolerate lack of moisture and freezing temperatures. But the temperature of more than 80 degrees can kill spores in three minutes.

The incubation period for actinomycosis is at least a week, but can last up to one year.


Seals filled with pus spread throughout the cow's body, starting from the point of entry of the fungus of actinomycosis. Predisposed to the formation of ulcers:

  • head;
  • jaws;
  • gums;
  • tongue;
  • udder.

Usually, a sick cow does not suffer from fever, but the process of breathing and swallowing is disturbed due to fistulas in the throat.

If actinomycosis affects the jaws, then the shape of the head may change. The formation of nodules on them, the appearance of fistulas on the gums and palate leads to weakening of the roots of the teeth, to reeling and loss. It becomes difficult for an animal to chew food, and the cow begins to lose weight gradually. Reduced overall body resistance.

Udder nipples are at risk. During the movement of the cow, they can be scratched or injured. The spread of actinomycosis in this area is accompanied by abscesses, on the site of which, after opening, long-healing fistulae are formed.

The tongue of the cow, which under the action of the fungus becomes "wooden", is enlarged in size and, in severe cases, falls outside.

Fossil rhinos also suffered

A preliminary diagnosis of a diseased cow can be made according to the signs described above. But only on the basis of laboratory tests confirmed its accuracy. For the study taken from the selection of nodes. Based on the data obtained, the doctor refutes or confirms the presence of actinomycosis of cattle. The treatment to be prescribed depends on the results obtained, the degree and cause of the infection. The process of saving the animal is long. It can take half a year or even a whole year.

This disease is deadly to humans, and the fight against it is complicated by the impossibility of acquiring immunity. And all this despite the fact that people have been familiar with the treatment of actinomycosis in cows for a very long time.

At the end of the 19th century, characteristic symptoms were described by Italian and German scientists. But the roots of the disease go much further. Even before homo sapiens appeared on earth, approximately 60 million years ago, rhinos suffered from actinomycosis. Evidence was the discovery of scientists who discovered the characteristic features on the fossilized remains of ancient animals.

Recommended Medicines

Despite the duration and complexity of providing medical care during this disease, nowadays actinomycosis in cows is quite realistic to cure. After all, modern medicine has strong antimicrobial agents. A course of therapy is developed for each cow separately. But be sure to use drugs penicillin group, for example, benzylpenicillin. It is used in very severe cases.

Actinomycosis of the head (jaws and neck) is referred to the lungs, therefore, sparing drugs are used - clindamycin or erythromycin. They are also used if the animal is allergic to penicillin. The dosage for a cow or other cattle can only be determined by a veterinarian. The result usually occurs in 3-5 weeks.

After the use of injections go to oral medications, amoxicillin is suitable. It must be given at least six months, until the doctor cancels.

You should not count on the recovery of the cow immediately after the disappearance of the symptoms of the disease and stop the use of medicines. In this case, a relapse is highly likely.

We treat in a complex

Let us dwell on the preparations containing iodine, which are used to combat actinomycosis of cattle. A good effect is given by aqueous solutions of iodine and potassium iodide in a ratio of 1 to 2. Distilled water requires 500 milliliters. The tool is used in the early stages of the disease and is administered intravenously.

Also practice injections directly into the hearth or near. Suitable for this polymyxin, which kolyat no more than once every ten days. In the treatment of actinomycosis in calves up to one year, it is recommended to administer oxytheracycline into actinomycomy itself for six days in a row, the standard dose is 200 thousand units.

Potassium iodide gives good results when it is used in combination with antibiotics. Physical procedures, such as ultrasound, will not be redundant.

Hot water will kill the infection

There are surgical ways to combat actinomycosis in cows. They are usually used after a course of antibiotics. An experienced surgeon removes the resulting node and capsule.

A few words about the prevention of actinomycosis.

Firstly, regular disinfection of the stall where the cows are located is mandatory. For processing recommended freshly lime.

Secondly, in areas unfavorable for spores of a radiant fungus, avoid grazing animals in lowlands and damp places.

Thirdly, coarse feed must be poured with boiling water before use and kept for five to ten minutes. This will kill the causative agent. Some salt is usually added to the water, at the rate of 10-15 grams per 10 liters.

Did you have to deal with actinomycosis? Tell us about it in the comments.

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