Cattle Dictation: Symptoms and Treatment

Cattle are often subjected to parasitic attacks, which subsequently cause serious health problems and often lead to the death of animals. This article will examine detailed information about dictiocaulosis, the features of its treatment and effective preventive measures.

What is dictiocaulosis?

Dictiocaulosis is a disease that is parasitic in nature. Parasites that enter the body of herbivores, settle in the trachea and bronchi and cause a sharp development of bronchitis, which often develops into pneumonia. Basically, young individuals are susceptible to the disease, but adult cattle can also get sick.

Economic damage

Large financial losses from dictyocaulosis in cattle owners are associated with growth retardation and development of individuals, a sharp decrease in productivity and resistance to other diseases. Often, the disease not only affects the condition of the animals, but also causes mass death of livestock. Even if the calves were cured of parasites, in the future they will be unsuitable for breeding, which also provokes economic damage.

Did you know? It is interesting that the frequency of development of the disease in animals is interconnected with the climate in the regions. The cooler and wetter the climate in summer, the more frequent the outbreaks of the disease.

Pathogen and development cycle

The causative agent of dictyocaulosis in cattle is the nematode Dictyocaulus viviparus - a filamentous helminth, which is characterized by a white color, body length from 3 to 6 cm and a thickness of up to 6 mm. The beginning of the chain in the development of dictiocaulosis occurs in the bronchi and trachea of ​​the cow, in the form of the isolation of eggs with larvae. In the process of a cough reflex in livestock, nematode eggs are transported through the throat to the intestine, where larvae emerge from the eggs.

Then they, together with feces, enter the external environment. In excrement, the larvae survive for 4 days, gradually develop and grow. After this, the nematodes migrate and contribute to the infection of other animals that swallow them with food or liquid. In pasture, the viability of invasive larvae is 2 months.

Sources and routes of infection

The main sources of infection are animals that were previously infected. Together with feces, they carry larvae throughout the pasture. Then, the feces are washed away by rain and the larvae are released, which are transported with a stream of water, settling in the grass and populating large areas. In addition, there are studies that confirm that nematodes are able to move independently, however, no more than 50 cm.

Calves are often infected by eating green food. This happens on pastures or in the process of feeding grass at a stall. Nematodes feel great in the aquatic environment, so the animal can become infected by drinking water from a meadow puddle or a dirty pond.

After the nematode enters the intestines of the cow, it is able to gnaw through tissues, reaching the blood vessels, and transported through the bloodstream to the bronchi, where the parasite develops further.

Cattle often become infected in the summer when they eat grass from pasture. With the onset of the first frosts, the larvae that remain in the pasture die, so next year the sources of infection will be minimal.

Did you know? Parasites can live in the body of the animal from 2 months to 1 year. In the autumn, female nematodes stop laying eggs, but some of them remain in the cattle lymph. In the spring, when the conditions for cattle are often violated, the immunity of animals is greatly reduced, which can cause parasite activity and their movement into the lungs, where the process of their development and reproduction starts again.


The degree of manifestation of dictiocaulosis in animals depends on the number of parasites in the body. In calves, the reaction of the body is more acute than in adults.

Dictiocaulosis is characterized by:

  • general depressed state of animals: the activity of individuals decreases and they cease to respond to irritant factors;
  • poor appetite;
  • loose stools;
  • a mild cough, which gradually increases, and painful sensations develop;
  • rapid breathing;
  • the presence of wheezing and cod, which are traced in the process of listening to the chest;
  • the release of a large amount of mucus from the nose;
  • an increase in body temperature to +41 ° C.

Particularly severe cases of the course of the disease are characterized by:

  • severe cough and the appearance of lingering pain;
  • constantly open mouth;
  • the release of large amounts of foamed saliva from the mouth;
  • falling animals to one side, lack of reaction to what is happening around.

Important! The severe course of the disease often provokes the death of cattle due to suffocation. In the absence of high-quality treatment, dictyocaulosis greatly weakens the body, which causes secondary diseases that aggravate the general condition of the animal.


Diagnosis of dictyocaulosis in cattle is quite difficult, because the clinical signs of the disease are very similar to other respiratory diseases. Even if it was established that dictiocaulus is located in the bronchi, this is not a basis for establishing a final diagnosis, since larvae can only be an aggravating factor against the background of the main lung lesion.

If the animal has larvae in the body, laboratory tests are performed, clinical signs are revealed, excluding similar diseases.

Be sure to check the feces in the laboratory, removing material from the body (rectum) of the animal. The material is examined by microscopy or Berman's method. Larvoscopy is also an effective method, which allows you to detect helminth eggs in the feces (this method is not effective in the cold season, when nematodes stop laying eggs).

Pathological changes

Changes in the body of an animal with dictation are characterized by:

  • anemia of the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose;
  • severe signs of exhaustion;
  • a significant increase in lung volume, which, in addition, acquire a gray color;
  • enlarged lymph nodes;
  • fluid accumulation with parasites in the bronchi and trachea;
  • multiple mucous plugs in the bronchi;
  • foci of hemorrhage in the intestine;
  • enlarged heart.


After detecting the main symptoms of the disease and conducting a diagnosis, it is necessary to immediately begin treatment of the animal in order to avoid death or the development of serious pathological changes.

Important! At the end of the course of treatment, livestock are kept in a new place for another 6 days, the feces of patients and healthy cows are recommended to be disposed of separately.

General recommendations

In order to get a good effect from the treatment of dictyocaulosis, it is necessary to follow the general recommendations for keeping the animal, which are characterized by:

  • moving animals to dry and warm rooms, without drafts;
  • regular cleaning of pens, with daily cleaning of the room from excrement and food debris;
  • daily litter replacement;
  • providing livestock with a balanced diet, which is strengthened for the period of medical procedures;
  • providing cattle 2 times a day with clean water, after thoroughly washing the tank.

Veterinary drugs

If timely treatment of the disease in cattle is started, then a good effect can be achieved. The best effective drugs for dictiocaulosis are:

  1. The solution of Loxurana. A sterilized preparation is administered to cattle under the skin at the rate of 1.25 ml per 10 kg of weight. The introduction of the drug is practiced once a day, re-treatment is carried out a day after the first injection.
  2. The solution of "Divezida". The therapeutic fluid is prepared independently by mixing water and medicinal powder, which is packaged in plastic bags. For 3 packets use 750 ml of boiled water. The solution must be boiled for 5 minutes and can be used throughout the day. After the specified time, the solution becomes unusable. Use 1.5 ml per 10 kg of live weight.
  3. The solution of "Ditrazine citrate" (25%). Sterilize for 5 minutes using a water bath. Subcutaneous administration of 2 ml per 10 kg of weight is carried out. Three injections are made on the 1st, 2nd and 4th day.

Important! The iodine solution is unsuitable for long-term storage, so after preparation it must be used immediately.


Most often, dictyocauliasis is treated using a solution of crystalline iodine. The solution is prepared independently. To do this, use 1 g of crystalline iodine and 1.5 g of potassium iodide. It is recommended to carry out the procedure in containers of dark glass with thick walls. The resulting mixture was diluted with distilled water in an amount of 1.5 liters. The solution is heated so that it reaches a temperature of + 27-30 ° C.

The treatment mixture is injected into the trachea. Before carrying out the manipulation, the injection site should be cut and disinfected.

For the introduction of the drug to be effective, you need to make an accurate injection, so the animal is recommended to lay on its side and immobilize. About 80 ml of the mixture is administered to the calf for up to a year, and for animals older than a year, the amount of the administered medicine is increased to 130 ml. During the entire course of treatment, it is necessary to make 2 injections to each sick animal.


To exclude the possibility of infection of animals with dictyocauliasis, it is necessary to observe some preventive measures, which include:

  • ensuring proper conditions of detention - warm cowsheds, high-quality litter, good lighting, lack of drafts;
  • good sanitary and hygienic conditions of detention - regular cleaning and removal of manure, litter change, aeration of the barn;
  • providing animals with high-quality feeds that are regularly checked for rot and mold;
  • conducting regular examinations of livestock by veterinarians and monitoring the state of health;
  • compliance with quarantine conditions for cattle imported from other farms within 30 days.
There are also specific preventative measures, as cattle are particularly susceptible to dictiocauliasis. Animals that were born last year and this year are separated by grazing on pastures. Such a measure is necessary to protect only born calves from infection with parasites, as older individuals could become infected last year.

The same measures are observed when kept in cowsheds. In order to avoid infection of calves, they are grazed on dry pastures, and if this is not possible, the swampy pastures are drained before grazing. Before sending animals for grazing, drained areas are checked for parasites by examining soil samples in laboratories.

Thus, dictyocaulosis is a serious disease that affects cattle. In order to avoid infection of individuals, it is recommended to carry out preventive measures, and in case of parasite damage to the cows, immediately start treatment. The sooner the disease is detected, the better the result of treatment will be, which will save the animal’s life and avoid significant economic losses.

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