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close this bookAnimal Disease Control and Treatment (IIRR, 1996, 60 p.)
View the documentForeword
View the documentDisease causes and symptoms
View the documentDiseases of ruminants
View the documentDiseases of pigs
View the documentDiseases of chickens
View the documentDiseases transmissible to people

Diseases of ruminants

Foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is an acute and highly contagious viral disease which affects all animals with hooves (such as cattle, water buffalo, goats and pigs). All ages are affected.

FIG.1.Foot-and-mouth disease


Blister-like sores and ulcers on the feet, mouth, muzzle, udder and teats.
High fever.
Refusal to eat.
Heavy salivation.
Hooves sometimes fall off.


Herbal medicine. Refer to booklet on Herbal medicine for animals. Herbal medical relieves only the symptoms of FMD.

Western medicine. Treat the animal with any of the following:

— Alum (locally known as tawas) and gentian violet. Dissolve alum in I glass of gentian violet. Use cotton to apply the solution to blisters 2-3 times a day. This will quickly dry up blisters.

— Formalin and gentian violet. Mix 1 glass of formalin with 1 glass of gentian violet. Apply the solution to the blisters 2-3 times a day. This will also dry up blisters.

— Antibiotics. Inject antibiotics like penicillinstreptomycin into the muscles of the hip or neck to fight complications. Repeat the injection for 34 days.

— Vitamins. Inject Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) into the muscles of the hip or neck to speed up wound healing.


Regularly vaccinate animals against FMD.

Isolate infected animals.
Do not slaughter or sell infected animals. Destroy and bury them.
Quarantine infected areas.
Report FMD to the nearest office of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

Hemorrhagic septicemia

Hemorrhagic septicemia is an acute infectious characterized by pneumonia. It occurs after a long, dry period and at the onset of rainy reason.


Swelling of the neck.

Difficultly in breathing. In the last stage of the disease, the animal's tongue sticks out because of breathing difficulty.

High fever.

Loss of appetite.

Nasal discharge.


Herbal medicine. Boil tamarind or camphor leaves. (See booklet on Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western medicine. Inject the following drugs:

— Ecolmin. This will loosen mucus in the respiratory tract. Site of injection: Muscle of hip or neck. Repeat the injection for 2-3 days.

— Antibiotic. Inject antibiotics like penicillin-streptomycin or trimethoprim-sulfa into the muscles of the hip or neck. Repeat the injection for 3-4 days.


· Vaccinate animals against hemorrhagic septicemia. (Refer to vaccination.)
· Avoid stress to animals.
· Keep animals and shed clean and dry.
· Bury dead animals.


Tetanus is an acute, highly infectious, non-contagious disease. It is manifested by contractions the muscles. It affects humans, swine and ruminants. The bacteria gain ertrance through deep wounds that heal quickly on the outside.


Early stage

Stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw).
Erect ears.
Extended tail.

Acute stage

Protruded third eyelid (white to pinkish membrane found at the inner corner of the eye).
Inability to swallow food and water.


Inject the following drugs into the muscles:

Tetanus antitoxin. Dosage: 10,000-50,000 International Units (IU) for cattle and buffaloes; 3,000-15,000 IU for goats and pigs

The exact amount will depend on:

—Degree of tissue damage.
—Amount of wound contamination.
—Time passed since injury.

Acepromazine. This will lessen pain or excitement of the affected animal.

Penicillin-streptomycin. Dosage: 5-15 cc per animal. Inject into the muscle of hip or neck. Repeat injection after 24 hours.


Regularly trim hooves. (See section on hoof trimming in Restraining animals and simple treatments.)

Thoroughly clean all wounds as soon as they occur.

Instruments for castration should be properly cleaned and disinfected. (See section on Restraining animals and simple treatments.)

Inject tetanus antitoxin at a dose of 1,500 IU to protect the animal from tetanus for at least 10 days after the wound occurs.

Husbandry measures

Put the animal in a quiet, dark place.
When infection is found, the wound should be reopened and thoroughly cleaned.

Foot rot

Foot rot is a major cause of lameness in ruminants of all ages.

The bacteria multiply in wounds in the skin between hoof sections.

FIG.1.Foot rot

Prolonged standing in mud, water, manure or urine can lead to foot rot. The bacteria enter cracks in the skin, causing painful swelling on the affected foot. The flesh dies and rots, causing a foul smell.


Hoof smells bad.
Pus in the inflamed foot.

Warning: If you see sores in the mouth of ruminants with foot rot, the problem may be FMD.


Wash the foot with lukewarm water and soap. Remove dirt or manure in the affected area.

Apply or spray fly repellent like Gusanex or Negasunt, 2-3 times a day until the infected area is cured.

Inject an antibiotic preparation such as penicillinstreptomycin. Inject into the muscle of hip or neck. If symptoms remain after 2-3 days, repeat the injection.


Provide salt in diet.
Keep animals in a dry place.
Regularly trim the hooves.
Clear the pasture area of sharp objects such as glass, wire or sharp stones.

Tick infestation

Ticks are external parasites, dark in color and two or three centimeters in size when full of blood. They get on the livestock by climbing up on bushes and weeds and waiting for an animal to brush against them. They attach themselves to the skin of animals and suck their blood. Ticks can transmit serious diseases like tick fever.

Direct damage

Hundreds or thousands of ticks infesting an animal can result in anemia, low milk production, weight loss and even death.

Some species of ticks can cause tick paralysis.

Ticks damage the animal's hide. A damaged hide reduces the market value of the animal.


The animal scratches.

The animal's hide has red patches (tick-bite marks noticeable in white-colored cattle and buffaloes).

The animals show discomfort.

A large number of ticks may be found in less hairy areas.

Humans can be infected with ticks while handling infested animals.

After sucking the blood, an adult female tick falls from the animal. It lays eggs on the ground, in sheltered places, under stones and in cracks in walls. After this, the tick dies.


Herbal medicine. Leaves of Gliricidia or Premna (Refer to section on Herbal medicine for animals).

Dissolve 1 tsp of either Asuntol or Neguvon in 1 gallon of water. Use the solution to bathe the animal. Thoroughly rinse after 10 minutes

Warning: Do not allow the animal to lick the solution; it is toxic.


Regularly bathe the animal.
Give salt to the animal.
If your farm is near the sea, bathe your animal in the sea at least once a month.

Lice infestation

FIG.1.Lice infestation

Lice infestation in ruminants is the result of bad sanitation.



Animals scratch or rub their bodies against trees, posts or their pens.

Lice eggs concentrate at the tip of the tail, hair inside the ears, hair around the eyes and at the neck.


Herbal medicine. Leaves of Gliricidia or Premna (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western medicine. Dissolve 1 tsp of Asuntol or Neguvon in I gallon of water. Bathe the animal with the solution. After 10 minutes, rinse the Knin al thoroughly.

Warning: Asuntol and Neguvon are toxic. They can cause poisoning and death to animals and humans.


Wash your animals regularly.

If the place is near the sea, bathe the animals in the sea once a month for half an hour or so.

Shave water buffaloes, especially during summer.

Allow animals, particularly water buffaloes, to wallow in mud. Dried mud on the animal's skin stops parasites like ticks and lice from biting.

Fig.1.Lice infestation

Tapeworm infestation

Tapeworms are long, flat worms that live in the intestines of ruminants, robbing them of nutrients.

FIG. 1. Tapeworm infestation

FIG. 2. Life cycle of tapeworms in cattle, water buffaloes and goats

Tapeworms from cysts in the muscles of ruminants and pigs

Animals infected with these type of tapeworms do not show signs of infection. Humans can be infected with these tapeworms if they do not properly cook the meat of infected animals before eating. To avoid tapeworm infection in humans, eat only meat that is properly cooked and keep human feces away from areas where animals feed or drink.


· Anemia.
· Repeated diarrhea.
· The animal tires easily.
· The animal is weak.


· Herbal dewormers—Nuts of Areca catechu. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)
· Western dewormners—Valbazen or Total Spectrum Dewormer (TSD).
· Keep pastures and animal yards well- drained.
· Keep water tanks and troughs leak-free.
· Avoid overstocking pasture.
· Isolate animals which are heavily parasitized.
· Isolate newly acquired animals.
· Rotate grazing areas.

Roundworm infestation

These are the most common internal parasites of ruminants and other animals.

FIG. 1. Roundworm infestation


Ascaris lumbricoides, Strongyles


· Loss of appetite.
· Animal is thin and weak.
· Anemia.
· Repeated diarrhea
· Enlarged abdomen.

FIG. 1. Life cycle of roundworm in cattle, water buffaloes and goats


Herbal dewormers: nuts of Areca catechu, seeds of Carica papaya, leaves of Chrysophyllum cainito, vines of Tinosphora rumpii. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western drugs: Valbazen, Piperazine or TSD


Rotate pasture. Do not use the same pasture area over and over.
Cover stagnant pools of water with soil.

Liver fluke infestation

FIG. 1. Liver fluke infestation


Liver fluke (leaf-shaped worm). Adult liver flukes live in tubular passages of the liver and gall bladder.

FIG. 2. Life cycle of liver fluke


· Anemia.
· Gradual loss of weight.
· Repeated diarrhea.
· Swollen face ("bottle neck").
· The animal tires easily.


Herbal dewormer—nuts of Areca catechu. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western dewormer—Valhazen or TSD. These are given Orally. Because animals may have liver fluke without showing symptoms, deworm all animals in your herd twice a year or when needed.


· Raise ducks to eat the snails.
· Improve the pasture. Cover stagnant pools.
· Keep the animals away from areas with many snails.

FIG. 1. Keep the ducks away from areas with many snails

Udder infection (mastitis)


Bacteria, wounds, insect bites and abscesses.

The following can lead to udder infection:

· Injury to the udders.
· Rough handling of the animal, especially during milking.
· Unclean pens and feeders.


· Reddening of the udder.
· Swelling of the udder.
· Infected udder is warmer to the touch than a healthy udder.
· Fever.
· Absence or reduction of milk in infected udder.


· Carefully massage the mammary organ with lukewarm water 2-3 times a day for 2 days.

· Western medicine. Inject antibiotics in either the hip or neck of the infected animal (e.g., penicillin-streptomycin). Repeat injection for 2-3 days.


· Provide adequate bedding.
· Keep pens dry and clean.
· Milk cows regularly.
· Avoid udder injuries.
· Milk infected animals last. Wash hands after milking infected animal.

Lack of milk
Milk flow from any ruminant can decrease from time to time, often due to disease. Some animals are normally hard milkers.

They produce less milk no matter what you do.

Cows, goats and sheep normally give their maximum milk yield during their second or third lactations. Buffaloes give their highest yield in the third or fourth lactations.


· Disease.
· Loss of calf or kid after birth.
· Hard milkers.


· Less milk production compared to previous lactations.
· Milk is drawn with difficulty.
· Sudden drop in milk production.


· Inject oxytocin in the muscle of hip or neck. Oxytocin is a hormone which stimulates milk flow and uterine contractions.

· Inject penicillin-streptomycin in the muscle of the animal's hip or neck.


· A week before the animal gives birth, provide it with a continuous supply of a solution of boiled leaves of Moringa oleifera. This will induce milk production.

· Avoid stressing the animal.

Uterus infection, udder infection and leek of milk can occur simultaneously. They affect cattle, pigs and goats.

Birthing difficulties

FIG.1.Birthing difficulties

Difficult births can occur in females of any age. However, birthing is often slow and difficult for first-time mothers.


· Abnormal position of the offspring inside the uterus.
· Very large offspring.
· Weak or no uterine contractions.


· Long hours of labor without progress: two hours for sheep and goats; four hours for cattle and buffaloes.

· A part of the offspring or afterbirth has come out.

· The water bag has broken, yet birth has not taken place is within 2 hours.

· The animal strains without result.

Note: The above causes and symptoms also apply a' pigs

Warning: Before giving assistance to the animal, trim your fingernails very short. Thoroughly wash your hands and arms with soap and clean water. If possible, disinfect them with alcohol. Apply unused vegetable oil to hands and arms to ease entering the reproductive canal.

Inadequate uterine contraction.

FIG.1. Inadequate uterine contraction.

Infect oxytocin in the muscle of hip or neck Once the drug takes effect, e.g., the mother starts pushing, perform traction by doing the following:

1. Disinfect a l-meter lone rope with boiling water

2. Carefully tie each end of the rope a little above the hoof joint of each of the forelegs or each of the hind legs (whichever end is closes to coming out) of the offspring.

3. Insert a clean stick about 30 cm in length through the loop.

4. Pull the stick only when the mother pushes.

5. Pull the baby animal only towards the udder.

Note: Make sure that both are hind legs and not one front leg and one hind leg. If both are hind legs, tie the rope in the same way as above and pull when the mother gushes.

- After delivery, inject the mother with penicillinstreptomycin.

- Wash the vagina with a strained solution of boiled guava leaves. The solution can also be used to irrigate the uterus. Repeat the guava wash 2-3 times a day for 2 days.

Abnormal position of offspring

Trim your nails, wash your hands and arms and lubricate them with unused vegetable oil. Then do the following:

1. Cup one hand into a cone shape.

2. Insert this hand into the vagina following along the length of the placenta and reaching as & as you can, until the baby animal is reached. Identify the part of the baby animal you are holding. Gradually, position the baby animal in a normal position. Then, pull the legs at the same time the mother pushes. If the reproductive tract has dried up, apply vegetable oil to ease pulling the baby animal. Once the baby animal is out, inject the mother with penicillin-streptomycin. Wash the vagina with a strained solution of boiled guava leaves. The solution can also be used to irrigate the uterus. Repeat the guava wash 2-3 times a day for 2 days.

FIG. 1. Abnormal position of offspring

FIG. 1. Normal positions of cattle and water buffalo offspring

FIG. 1. Abnormal positions of cattle and water buffalo offspring

FIG. 1. Normal positions of goat offspring

FIG. 1. Abnormal positions of goat offspring

FIG. 1. Normal birthing of a goat

Very large offspring

FIG. 1. Very large offspring

Do the following simple techniques if faced with this problem:

1. Apply unused vegetable oil along the reproductive tract for ease in pulling.

2. Pull the legs of the baby animal as the mother pushes. The direction of pulling should be out and downward toward the mother's udder as the baby animal passes through the birth canal. After delivery, inject the mother with penicillin-streptomycin into the muscle of hip or neck.

3. After delivery, do the following to the mother

· Wash the external reproductive tract with a strained solution of boiled guava leaves.

· Irrigate the internal reproductive tract with the solution of boiled guava leaves.

· Insert Nitrofurazone capsules into the uterus.

· Inject oxytocin into the muscle of neck or hip.

· Allow the mother to lick the new born. This also helps to induce milk flow in the mother.

· If the mother refuses or is too weak to lick the newborn, dry the newborn with a clean, rough cloth. Remove any mucus from its nostrils. Rub the hooves with the cloth to remove the plasticlike coating.

· If the newborn animal does not breath, do one or a combination of the following:

FIG. 2. Very large offspring

Massage the chest. Pump a foreleg. Blow in the mouth. Swing it back and forth by the hind legs. Insert a clean finger into the mouth to remove all mucus. Insert a piece of rice straw to tickle the newborn animal sneeze. This expels the mucus blocking the breathing passage.

FIG. 3. Very large offspring

Tip: A live baby animal will suck your finger or move.

Drying the navel cord

Choose any of the following practices to dry the navel cord. These practices also prevent bacterial infection and infestation by maggots.

1. Pound 1 medium-sized head of garlic and apply it to the navel.
2. Apply vegetable oil to the navel and then cover it with wood ash.
3. Spray fly repellents like Gusanex or Negasunt into the navel.

Warning: Do not pull the navel cord unnecessarily. This could lead to hernia, a swelling in the navel region.

The mother's first milk

Within 24 hours, the newborn ruminant should suck the colostrum. This is the first milk from the mother. It contains antibodies that will provide resistance to diseases later in the newborn's life. It is also rich in protein, Vitamin A and fats.

Prolapse of the uterus

FIG. 1. Prolapse of the uterus

Sometimes, the entire uterus comes out of the vulva after birth. It will look like a red, inflated inner tube of car tire. If this happens, seek professional help. While waiting, do the following:

If the animal is lying down, gently clean and wrap the uterus with a large, clean cloth. Be sure not to injure the uterus.