Dictiocaulosis in cattle

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The cause of a disease such as cattle dictyocaulosis is parasitic worms that accumulate in the respiratory tract, bronchi or stomach of an animal. An adult individual may also become infected, but parasites carry calves aged between 4 months and 1.5 years to be particularly dangerous. The disease occurs mainly in the middle zone and the northern regions of the country, since the southern climate is not too favorable for its development.

A little about parasites and the path of infection

The scientific name of the worms that cause dictiocaulosis is Dictyocaulus viviparus. They can reach a length of 5.7 millimeters and 0.6 millimeters in width. They are found only in cattle, less often in sheep. Parasites breed by laying eggs in the airways of cattle. If time does not engage in the treatment of an animal, then dictiocaulosis can be fatal.

Cattle can become infected with this disease, both from infected individuals and from the external environment. Worms enter the body of an animal through water, grass, and even wind up in stalls that contain cattle. Moisture is the most favorable environment for dictyocaulosis. The wetter the climate, the more likely it will become infected with parasites.

These worms are extremely tenacious, and their larvae can live outside the body of the animal for up to several months. Especially if the weather is favorable. The most comfortable temperature for them is 10 - 14 degrees above zero.

The larvae of worms go through three stages of development. At the last - the invasive stage - they tend to get into the animal's body. The older the larva, the higher the likelihood of its survival in the environment. To deal with invasive larvae is difficult. At the first stage in adverse conditions, they may die after several hours, and at the third stage they can hold out for up to 5 days, which significantly increases the likelihood of their ingestion of cattle.

How do parasites develop

Once in the body of an animal, they pass more than one stage before they become an adult. The disease itself proceeds rather slowly, which complicates its diagnosis in the early stages. Dictiocaulosis in cattle has the following algorithm:

  • worms enter the mouth of cattle with food;
  • they pass into the lungs through the respiratory channels, where they lay eggs;
  • when animals cough, eggs enter the gastrointestinal tract;
  • first-stage larvae leave the body with feces;
  • after several days the larvae pass through several molts and reach the invasive stage;
  • invasive larvae live in the infected area, waiting until they enter the body.

Worms do not leave the animal’s body, but remain inside, continuing to cause irreparable harm. They travel through the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, which, without timely treatment, kills cattle.

What harm does the disease

The very first thing that parasites damage in the body is the mucous membranes of the organs. Moving inside, they cause severe damage to the small intestine, lymph nodes, blood vessels and bronchial walls.

If time does not recognize the disease, then a large accumulation of worms leads to blockage of the respiratory tract and suffocation. But even without that, the body will be seriously damaged. Traveling through the insides of an animal, worms destroy everything they touch. They weaken the individual's immunity, which leads to infection of cattle with other diseases, often of an infectious nature.

Injured mucosa begins to swell. This affects all important processes in the animal's body. Young calves infected with dictyocaulosis, begin to lose weight, they have apathy, and the temperature rises.

How to recognize the disease

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the loss of appetite in an animal. In the initial stage, the disease is accompanied by diarrhea and general lethargy. But, it is very easy to skip these symptoms, as after a few days they disappear, and it may seem that the calf has become better.

It is in this lull that the main danger lies, since after the first - the easy stage, complications appear. The animal begins to cough, which increases with each passing day. There are abundant discharge, breathing gets off.

The disease is accompanied by a high temperature reaching 40 degrees, complete refusal of food and a depressed state. If time does not proceed to the treatment of the disease, then in a few weeks the calf will die.

Why is it so difficult to identify

The biggest problem in recognizing dictiocaulosis is that the first symptoms appear after the parasites cause serious harm to the body. As a rule, the symptoms manifest themselves in the period when the worms begin to "travel" through the body of the infected individual.

Worms that get into the body, not only violate the walls of the connecting channels, but also emit toxic substances that interfere with the metabolism, as a result of which cattle can begin suppuration. The larvae block the airway, causing breathing problems.

It is also terrible that the disease proceeds slowly, and the complications that it causes lead to a weakening of the immune system. The longer the animal does not receive treatment, the more putrefactive bacteria accumulates in its body. Infected cattle can cause pneumonia.

Why it is important to see a veterinarian

The fact is that the symptoms of many cattle diseases are very similar and it is extremely difficult to make a diagnosis without laboratory tests. So, dictyocausis in calves is easy to confuse with other diseases and to begin the wrong treatment. And meanwhile, precious time will be missed.

In addition, tests will show the extent of damage to the body, the stage at which the disease is located, and the presence of complications, if any. All this will simplify the process of treatment and help save the animal from death.

For analyzes it is important to use only fresh animal feces, otherwise the diagnosis of the disease will be difficult. It is also important to know that in summer time it is more difficult to determine the disease than in the cold. The higher the air temperature, the less time specialists have to conduct seized feces.

How to start treatment

If your cattle are infected with dictyocaulosis, then the first thing you should do is change the housing conditions and improve feeding. For sick animals, very careful care is required, especially if they are small calves, for which the dictacous should be the most dangerous for the unformed organism.

Patients should be placed in a warm and dry pen, even if it is clear and sunny outside. Particular attention should be paid to the cleanliness of the cages and the quality of the litter. Cleaning is required to be done regularly and thoroughly, removing contaminated manure and replacing hay with fresh.

It is also important to change the diet of cattle to better feed. During the period of illness, it is not worth saving on food - it can badly affect the recovery of calves. They should be watered regularly, but only with warm and clean water.

Medication treatment

To cure dictyocausis in calves is not an easy task. To do this you have to make a lot of effort. At the same time, not only the drugs themselves play an important role in the treatment, but also adherence to the dosage regimen and dosages. When dictyocaulosis is detected, the following drugs are prescribed:

  • one-percent solution of the drug "Nilver", which is taken at the rate of 1 gram per 100 kilograms of weight. Give the medicine should be twice a day, making a break for 24 hours;
  • tetramisole in granules, the maximum dosage of which is 0.75 grams per 10 kilograms of weight. At the same time, the amount of medicine per individual should not exceed 15 grams at a time;
  • oral drug "Fenbendazol", a single dose of which should not exceed 10 milligrams;
  • the drug "Loksuran" is injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly three times a day, at the rate of 1.25 milliliters per 10 kilograms of mass.

In addition, for effective treatment apply ivermectin preparations that are injected under the skin. Their dosage is calculated by the formula: 0.2 milligram per 1 kg of animal weight.

Iodine during treatment

Iodine is often used to treat dictyocaulosis. When applied correctly, it is an extremely effective method that should not be neglected, even if you prefer a drug treatment. The proportion of the solution, which is recommended to water the animal, is as follows: 1 gram of crystalline iodine + 1.5 grams of potassium iodide + 1500 milliliters of water.

Water for the solution must be taken boiled or purified from impurities in any other way. For its preparation, it is necessary to dissolve iodine in a small volume of liquid, and then dilute the concentrate to the missing volume.

To give the solution to animals aged 6 to 12 months, it is necessary in a ratio of 1: 1, that is, 1 milliliter of medicine per 1 kilogram of weight. Before you give the animal an iodine solution, it should be heated to body temperature. For the convenience of drug administration in the calf's food canal, it is recommended to use a syringe without a needle.

How to prevent disease

Dictyocaulosis is such a complex disease that is difficult to diagnose and requires long and time-consuming treatment. It is more reasonable to take precautions to prevent infection than to cure a disease or lose cattle because of the mora.

In order to prevent dictyocausis in calves, it is important to take a series of measures aimed at getting rid of these parasites. So, the first rule of struggle says: young individuals and adult cattle must be kept separately. By following this rule, you can reduce the risk of mass infection.

The second rule in the fight against infection: change pasture sites with an interval of 5-6 days, and you will not allow invasive larvae to enter the body of cattle.

And the last thing to remember to prevent the disease is dictiocaulosis. It is important to regularly carry out pasture processing, take samples of soil and feces for analysis. In addition, places for grazing cattle should be selected with low humidity or reclamation.

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