Disease - cattle leukemia - is a dangerous disease with unpleasant consequences, including death. The problem is complicated by the low degree of its knowledge, which does not allow to find an effective way of struggle. More recently, scientists believed that the disease is not transmitted to people, but today there is another opinion on this matter.
What is leukemia and why is it dangerous?
Read more about the effect of this disease on people can be found in the article: "What is dangerous for cows leukemia for humans," and now let's talk about the danger of disease in cattle. Leukemia is a viral infection. In this lies the danger of the disease, since the infection of one individual can lead to the disease of the whole herd. The disease is oncological in nature and can cause tumors in various areas of the animal's body.
The virus carrier itself is an altered RNA (ribonucleic acid macromolecule) of an animal. When ingested, the virus changes the structure of blood cells and disrupts the circulatory system. An excessive number of lymphocytes begins to be produced in a cow, which leads to the growth of tissues and the formation of tumors.
Unfortunately, in cattle leukemia, very few works have been written. It is known for certain that the disease is dangerous for animals around the world. The disease is not related to climate, food or conditions, and the main risk group are animals aged 4 to 7 years.
Ways of Leukemia Infection
Today, there are many ways in which the bovine leukemia virus (VLKRS) enters the body. Some of these options have a scientific justification, while others are still at the level of theory. It is well known that:
- an animal is infected from a sick individual by the use of water or feed from the same container;
- the virus can be transmitted to calves while feeding the milk of an infected cow;
- the virus is found in the saliva of animals;
- calves who have not yet been born are infected with a disease if a cow has caught leukemia before calving.
A number of scientists believe that mosquitoes, gadflies and other blood-sucking insects can be carriers of infection. Another theory is that leukemia can be transmitted sexually. However, there is no scientific confirmation of these assumptions.
How to understand that the animal is hurt by leukemia
The very first sign of bovine leukemia is a general and noticeable deterioration of health. The first stroke of the disease causes the digestive system, which is manifested in constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and blood clots in the feces of the animal.
Symptoms of leukemia in cows can be a violation of the cardiovascular system, which is noticeable even with minor loads. In cattle, difficulties with movement begin, lameness manifests itself, an udder increases and miscarriage can occur - all of these are pronounced signs of blood disease.
The above symptoms may be present in other diseases. This is exactly the way Schmallenberg is a dangerous viral disease. The direct manifestation of leukemia is associated with enlarged lymph nodes, tumors, bulging of the eyeballs and an increase in internal organs.
Stages of the disease, or how to recognize the disease in time
The cattle leukemia is slow, and it is almost impossible to recognize it in the early stages. In total there are 4 stages of the disease.
At the first stage, the signs of leukemia are completely unnoticeable, and the diagnosis to the animal can only be made by a specialist after conducting a special analysis - RID (immunodiffusion reaction). Officially, farmers are obliged to carry out this analysis once a year, following a special schedule.
In the second stage of the blond blood, animals begin to experience changes in the body. Most of all this is reflected in the composition of blood and milk, but it is not possible to notice the changes on our own. In order to detect infection during this period, the same RID is required.
The first symptoms of the disease appear only in the third stage. It is then that leukemia can be diagnosed by pronounced symptoms.
The fourth stage of leukemia, despite the treatment, is fatal, since the body of the animal runs irreversible processes and changes, and its internal organs can no longer perform their functions.
Why leukemia is fatal
In order to accurately diagnose the cause of death of cattle, each individual that has died an unnatural death is subjected to an autopsy. After the pathological-anatomical studies of animals that have died of leukemia, the changes that the disease has introduced to the body of cattle can be seen with the naked eye.
The first thing that catches the eye when opening an animal infected with leukemia is a change and disruption of all blood supply systems. To further confirm the diagnosis, the affected tissues are subjected to special investigation.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, the veterinarian is obliged to report the disease to the city sanitary inspection to take measures aimed at identifying the remaining infected individuals and localizing the infection.
How is leukemia detected
In the initial stages of the disease is detected only through laboratory studies. All registered animals are required to undergo an RID analysis, which allows the virus to be detected if the reaction is positive.
It is important to know that there is a time period for the analysis of XID. Blood sampling for the detection of leukemia is carried out 15 days after conducting research on tuberculosis. In addition, cows are subject to mandatory testing, which remains 1 month before calving.
The first analysis on RID is carried out in animals aged 6 months. If the blood reaction is positive, then the individual is considered a carrier of the virus, but not necessarily sick animals. One can be convinced that the cow is infected only after a positive result of the repeated analysis.
Confirmation of the diagnosis
To accurately determine leukemia of cows, many tests are performed at various intervals. One of the important tests that can confirm or disprove the presence of this infection in the animal's body is hematological examination. Its essence is to calculate the number of leukocytes in the blood of an animal.
Taking blood makes it possible to identify the infection as accurately as possible, since leukosis is associated with an increase in leukocytes. After a veterinarian has taken a blood sample from an infected individual, the analysis must be carried out no later than 36 hours later, otherwise the virus is not detected.
Often, such an analysis has to be carried out three to four times to ensure that the diagnosis is accurate. This is due to the fact that the insidious infection can subside, and then manifest itself with a new force. In the case of remission, the results of the tests will show that the individual is healthy. But it is necessary to be prudent and not lose vigilance, because the disease can manifest itself with a new force in a few months.
Is leukemia treated? Precautions and control of mass infection
Unfortunately, at the moment, such a disease as leukemia can not be cured, and infected individuals die. The problem is that in order to get rid of the infection, it is necessary to destroy infected white blood cells, which completely kills the immunity of cattle. All that can be done when leukemia is detected is to protect the rest of the livestock from infection. To do this, there is a specific instruction that prescribes the rules of conduct for the infection of one or several cows:
- to separate infected animals from healthy ones;
- refuse the milk yield of cows that are infected with the infection;
- contact the veterinary service and notify her of the epidemic;
- do not move infected animals.
But all these measures are aimed only at stopping the epidemic, and not at ridding animals of the disease. With leukemia, it is often proposed to kill an animal in the early stages, so as not to completely lose profit and not suffer from an infected cow. Fortunately, the bacteria themselves are practically not adapted to survive at high temperatures and die during heat treatment.
How to prevent an epidemic?
As noted above, leukemia is so insidious that it does not manifest itself in its early stages. That is why, the most important way to combat leukemia, was and remains its timely diagnosis. To do this, it is important to strictly follow all the rules and pass the required tests in time. In practice, mandatory measures to combat leukemia include:
- timely conduct of blood tests on Reed;
- conducting hematological studies;
- killing infected animals;
- isolation of young stock;
- treatment of pens with antiseptics;
- check animals before purchase and their separate maintenance during the first month.
If you follow these precautions, the probability that cattle can become infected with leukemia is significantly reduced.
How to be?
Today, scientists from around the world conduct their research in the field of leukemia. Unfortunately, like most cancerous viruses, leukemia is incurable. But the losses that farmers suffered because of this disease, forced them to effectively deal with the epidemic in conjunction with the veterinary services.
While the study of the disease is only under way, an alternative method of dealing with the disease has been found. Although leukemia is not treatable, it is quite possible to prevent it. Always remember that when infected with leukemia, an individual can pass the infection to another cattle. It is better to immediately stop the infection and lose one cattle, rather than create an outbreak of the epidemic and lose the entire herd.
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