Diseases of cattle: their causes, symptoms and treatment

Any disease has an effect on the further health and even life of the cow, and also poses a danger to humans when eating products from a sick animal. In the article, we consider the most common cattle diseases, their symptoms, treatment and prevention features.

Diseases of cattle, their symptoms and treatment

Cows are prone to many diseases that breeders should know more about, especially since some diseases are dangerous to humans.


All infectious diseases are treated with antibiotics.

Pasteurellosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium from the Pasteurella family. The disease can lead to the death of the animal within a few days. In addition to cattle, pasteurellosis is a danger to most agricultural animals and humans.

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Cattle Pasteurellosis: Symptoms and Treatment

As a result of infection in the animal, as a complication, sepsis, pneumonia (including purulent), conjunctivitis, endometritis and other lesions of internal organs can occur.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • the animal ceases to eat;
  • oppressed state;
  • body temperature over 40 ° C;
  • the cow stops giving milk.

Further, the disease develops into one of three possible forms: thoracic, intestinal, edematous; symptoms may vary depending on this.

Clostridiosis - the causative agent is a microorganism from the genus Clostridium, which forms spores and is resistant to external factors. In cattle, the disease can manifest itself in the form of botulism, tetanus, or malignant edema. The disease primarily affects the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.

The symptomatology of the disease depends on the form, but the most typical can be distinguished:

  1. Edema of subcutaneous fat, the condition quickly worsens, the temperature rises, breathing and palpitations increase, appetite is absent (malignant edema, in this case, the animal dies 3-5 days after infection).
  2. Impaired coordination of movement (anaerobic enterotoxemia), the animal is apathetic and lethargic, the temperature rises to 41 ° C, diarrhea.
  3. Violation of the swallowing reflex (with botulism), the temperature is normal, but body weight drops sharply.
  4. Violation of the gait and the appearance of hot edema, alternating with cold swelling (emkar), the body temperature rises to 42 ° C, breathing is difficult, the heartbeat slows down.
  5. Muscle paralysis with tetanus, while there is complete dysfunction of the digestive system.

Important! The most common routes of entry of Clostridia into cattle are: feed (enterotoxemia, botulism), through wounds (malignant edema, emkar, tetanus).

Necrobacteriosis - the causative agent of the disease is an anaerobic bacterium. The likelihood of infection increases in cowsheds, where rodents live.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • lethargic state, apathy, general weakness;
  • decreased appetite;
  • falling milk yield.

Viral diarrhea is a disease that poses a great danger to cattle, especially young animals. If measures are not taken in time, often the result of an ailment is cattle death. The cause of the disease is a viral infection of Pestivirus, leading to inflammatory processes in the intestines. If the animal bears a fetus, it is most likely a miscarriage.

The virus is highly viable, can live for more than 30 minutes at a temperature of +56 ° C, and in the tissues it remains dangerous and capable of reproduction at –20 ° C for 2-3 years or more.

Read more

Cattle Viral Diarrhea: Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms of the disease:

  • hyperthermia;
  • respiratory failure (frequent and shallow);
  • cough;
  • the number of contractions of the heart muscle increases;
  • diarrhea, possibly with blood;
  • discharge of pus from the nose;
  • the formation of ulcers on the mucous membrane in the mouth.

As a treatment, blood serum of cattle that have suffered a disease is used. Enter as a vaccine or aerosol (more effective).

Did you know? The younger the animals, the more often they suffer from viral diarrhea. Cows 0.5–2 years old are most susceptible to disease. During this period, the body is depleted extremely quickly, and mortality reaches 10–90%.

Nodular dermatitis is a fairly new disease for the countries of the former Soviet Union (the first case was noted in Chechnya in 2015). The causative agent is a very viable virus (normally tolerates 3 freezing cycles, lives at 0.5 ° C for 0.5 years).

Known in acute and chronic forms. Key features:

  • temperature rises;
  • appetite falls;
  • tears flow and discharge from the nose appears;
  • after 2–3 days, dense spherical formations appear on the skin with a diameter of 0.6–6 cm and a height of up to 0.6 cm;
  • milk may turn pink;
  • milking is very difficult (a few drops);
  • weight loss;
  • ulcer formation on the eyelids;
  • uncontrolled salivation;
  • the cornea of ​​the eye becomes cloudy, vision falls.

It is extremely difficult to completely prevent the disease, but with the help of vaccines, the risk of infection can be minimized.

Actinomycosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium belonging to Actinomycetes. Among the symptoms, the following should be highlighted:

  • actinomics nodules form on the head that begin to grow;
  • a fistula forms in the pharynx, as a result of which breathing is extremely difficult;
  • the fistula begins to fester.

The most effective treatment option is the surgical removal of actinomics, although antibiotics are also used.

Tuberculosis - the causative agent is a species of mycobacteria Koch's bacillus. The most characteristic symptoms:

  • increased body temperature (up to 40 ° C);
  • wet cough with sputum, especially in the morning;
  • respiratory failure;
  • wheezing in the lungs;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • stable weight loss;
  • diarrhea;
  • uterine discharge.

Important! Tuberculosis is not treatable; a sick animal is killed.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease, most often occurs in a chronic form. In periods of exacerbation, the following symptoms are characteristic:

  • a short increase in body temperature;
  • diarrhea;
  • yellowing of almost all the mucous membranes of the animal;
  • abortions.

The main reason why treating leptospirosis is quite problematic is that the causative agent of the disease remains in the blood of cows that have been ill earlier, for 24 months.

Brucellosis is a chronic infectious disease of cattle and other large ruminants. The main consequence of the disease is miscarriage. In the event that the offspring is still born, it is most often not capable of procreation. Brucellosis does not respond to treatment, but it can be diagnosed and screened sick cattle.

Did you know? Sometimes in the form of complications with brucellosis, cows suffer from mastitis, and joints become inflamed in bulls. The consequence of eating milk from sick cows by humans can be the emergence and development of arthritis in a chronic form.

Udder Diseases

Mastitis, or inflammation of the udder, occurs as a result of delayed milking, in which case milk stagnates. The milk-forming gland is associated with the genitals, so any inflammatory processes in the genitals can cause mastitis. In this case, milk should not be eaten.

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How to treat smallpox in cattle

Smallpox - Coworthopoxvirus and Vaccina orthopoxvirus are causative agents. Characteristic symptoms:

  • rashes on the udder (in bulls - on the scrotum);
  • lethargic state;
  • lack of appetite;
  • milk production decreases;
  • high body temperature;
  • fever.

Edema of the udder - the main cause of the disease is stagnation of milk, irregular milking. Symptoms of the disease:

  • the udder (or some part of it) is noticeably increased in volume, it tactilely feels like a dough;
  • the skin turns blue;
  • sensitivity to external stimuli is lost;
  • the skin becomes cold to the touch;
  • milk loses its fat content.

Papillomatosis (warts on the udder) - infection with the papilloma virus can occur as a result of contact with a sick animal, through micro-wounds and cracks at the moment when the animals drink water in a herd.

Papillomas are grouped in several pieces or in single copies. The latter can be deduced as follows: the hair is pulled out of the tail of the cows and the base of the wart is bandaged with it, which soon dies.

Did you know? In the treatment of papillomatosis, vaccination is used, which the veterinarian can do on site from powdered papillomas, saline, formalin and glycerol.


For the treatment of diseases caused by parasites, anthelmintic drugs are used.

Find out more

How to Remove Worms in Cattle

Worms are the common name for a disease caused by various types of parasites. The most common symptoms are:

  • the animal ceases to eat;
  • cow condition is depressed;
  • diarrhea;
  • cough, which can lead to pneumonia;
  • weight loss;
  • fatal outcome - either as a result of asphyxiation from accumulations of worms (acute form), or from exhaustion (chronic).

Hypodermatosis often affects young cattle. This is due to an underdeveloped immune system and a thin layer of fat under the skin.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • the esophagus swells;
  • swallowing reflex
  • belching;
  • lack of appetite;
  • hind legs cramped, causing gait disturbance.

Important! As a preventive measure, it is necessary to treat the livestock every 3 weeks before the summer walk with the following means: Stomazan, Butoks, Ektomin.

Bovine teliasis is a type of helminthiasis, its pathogen is one of the types of nematodes that affect the eyes of an animal. Statistics say that on farms with a large herd, more than 90% of individuals can be infected.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • photophobia;
  • tears flow abundantly;
  • conjunctival inflammation.

Dictiocaulosis - a disease caused by parasites, as a result of which the lungs of an animal suffer, can lead to bronchitis and pneumonia. The causative agent of the disease refers to nematodes. Symptoms are more pronounced in mature individuals:

  • apathetic state;
  • weight loss;
  • anemia;
  • edema in the chest and legs;
  • diarrhea;
  • loss of appetite;
  • coughing and nasal discharge;
  • hyperthermia.

Did you know? From a human cestode, cattle enters the body in a rather unusual way: through the fecal masses of an infected person who has defecatedin nature. After this, the parasite through the grass enters the esophagus of the cow. Thus, the cestode carries out its life cycle.

Cysticercosis - the causative agent is the cestode (bovine tapeworm), an adult of which can be about ten meters long. The main purpose of the parasite is the human body, where it gets as a result of the fact that a person will eat infected meat of insufficient degree of roasting.

In the cow's body, the parasite develops for 8-12 days, the symptoms of the disease are as follows:

  • temperature rise;
  • diarrhea;
  • lymphadenitis.

Skin diseases

Emkar is a form of clostridiosis, the causative agent is the same clostridia, previously considered a type of anthrax.

Symptoms of the disease in acute form:

  • hyperthermia (41 ° C or more);
  • swelling of the body that turns red over time;
  • enlarged lymph nodes;
  • the gait is noticeably disturbed, the cow drags its hind legs;
  • apathetic state with loss of appetite;
  • frequent breathing
  • foam from the nose and mouth.

Learn more about treating cattle emcar.

An abscess is a subcutaneous purulent formation, which in severe cases, when penetrating deep into the body, can lead to sepsis. Signs of an abscess:

  • the animal does not eat;
  • apathy;
  • the appearance on the body of a hard and hot cone of a spherical shape, the touch of which gives the cow pain.

The abscess is removed in an invasive way: by opening and cleaning the wound, followed by the application of the Levomekol ointment. An antibiotic treatment method is also used.

Lichen is a fungal disease, the main factors of infection of which are rodents and sick animals.


  • the appearance on the body of bald spots with flaky skin;
  • an increase in the area of ​​bald spots;
  • hair loss.

Read more about how to treat lichen in a cow.

Endometritis develops most often during calving. It is an inflammation of the uterine mucosa caused by contact with pathogenic bacteria. There are 5 different types of inflammation. In almost all cases, you can observe such signs:

  • increase in body temperature;
  • impaired motor function;
  • purulent discharge from the uterus;
  • lack of appetite.

Blood diseases

Leukemia - the cause of the onset and development is the virus. The characteristic symptomatology becomes clearly visible in the final stage of the disease, expressed in such signs:

  • milk yield sharply reduced;
  • the animal is noticeably exhausted;
  • lymph nodes increase.

Those cows in which the disease proceeds without visible signs are most likely to spread the disease. The most susceptible animals are animals with a weak immune system, living in unsanitary conditions and not having a balanced, nutritious diet.

You will be interested to read what cows leukemia is.

Pyroplasmosis is transmitted by cattle through a tick bite, while babesias, blood parasites, enter the body of the cows. Characteristic features:

  • loss of appetite;
  • hyperthermia;
  • impaired motor function;
  • general weakness and high pulse.

Gastrointestinal diseases

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What to do if the cow has lost gum

The cow has lost gum - a violation indicating problems with the digestive tract. The most likely causes that may result in such a situation are:

  • change in diet;
  • a large amount of feed or succulent feed in the diet;
  • poor water quality;
  • lack of walking;
  • eating poisonous grass.
For treatment, ichthyol, magnesia, fresh milk are used.

Diarrhea in cattle is very dangerous if it is a consequence of the viral diarrhea mentioned above. If this is an individual non-contagious gastrointestinal upset, it is most often treated by adjusting the diet.

Scar tympanum - an ailment develops when grazing on raw bean grass. If the animal eats wet grass, the fermentation process begins, a foam forms, which blocks the sphincters. In this case, chewing gum disappears, swelling of the left side appears.

“Tympanol” is used for treatment, the animal is forced to move a lot. They also practice piercing the sides and accurately bleeding gases.

Important! As a measure of prevention of tympanum, before releasing the animal in the meadow, the cows are given cereal hay. It is advisable to expel the animal for grazing after drying the grass.

Poisoning - the characteristic symptoms are loss of appetite and chewing gum, the cow is lost in space, its movements look abnormal. The reasons may be feeding with grain waste, clogged with seeds, eating poisonous plants on grazing.

Hepatosis, hepatitis, amyloidosis, fatty liver disease are liver diseases of cattle, the main causes of which are feeding spoiled feeds, poisoning, complications of gastritis, endometritis, parasites, and various infections.

Acute and chronic nephritis is the most common kidney disease.

Pyelonephritis often occurs as a result of inflammation of the genitourinary system.

Nephrosis - appears as a result of poisoning with salts of heavy metals or organics containing chlorine. The first symptom measure is to use milk or egg white.

Important! For any kidney disease, priority should be given to controlling the intake of water and salt.


Inflammation of the lungs, or bronchopneumonia of cattle. Most often develops in conditions of keeping a large herd in a small area, unsanitary conditions, poor nutrition, due to prolonged maintenance on the street or in a cold barn (at low ambient temperature).

Symptoms of the disease:

  • apathetic state;
  • cough;
  • nasal discharge;
  • lack of appetite;
  • hyperthermia;
  • diarrhea;
  • respiratory failure.

For treatment, a sick animal is transferred to a warm place, a high-quality balanced feed is given, after which they begin therapy with antibacterial drugs and immunostimulants.

Infectious rhinotracheitis is a danger to the respiratory tract, reproductive system, sometimes for the central nervous system. The causative agent is one of the types of herpes viruses. Signs of the disease:

  • hyperthermia;
  • apathy;
  • cough, shortness of breath, nasal discharge.

Read more about the treatment of infectious cattle rhinotracheitis.

Schmallenberg disease is a new disease that is little known, except that the causative agent is bunyavirus. The following diseases belong to this group: Nairobi virus, Akabane virus, CCHF virus. Some species are dangerous to humans.

Foot and mouth disease - most ruminants, pigs and humans are affected. Most acute in cattle. It is characterized by the following features:

  • excessive salivation;
  • the animal has difficulties with chewing gum, the swallowing reflex is disturbed;
  • markedly reduced milk productivity;
  • the udder is covered with ulcers, pain interferes with milking the animal, mastitis develops;
  • gastroenteritis develops;
  • inflammatory processes in the hooves, the cow begins to limp.

Other diseases

Cattle eye diseases are common enough. The etiology of diseases is different - it can be an infection, mechanical or chemical injury. Among the most common diseases, it should be said about the following:

  • thorn;
  • conjunctivitis;
  • keratitis.

Gynecological diseases occur most often during calving or after it. One of the most common diseases is retention of the placenta (occurs in approximately 30% of all cows). It is also worth mentioning the subinvolution of the uterus (the organ does not take the prenatal form), endometriosis and ovarian cyst.

Ketosis is a disease in which incompletely oxidized ketones are formed from fatty acids. The acid-base balance of the blood changes, the functioning of biocatalysts is disrupted, as a result, the animal begins to rapidly lose weight - up to 2.5–3 kg daily. A clear sign of the disease is the smell of acetone when breathing.

Learn how to treat ketosis in a cow.

Maternity paresis, or milk fever, is a disease that develops shortly after calving, most often in cows with high productivity, after the third birth.

Characteristic features:

  • корова перестаёт жевать, теряет аппетит;
  • при ходьбе у животного заносит заднюю часть, ноги заплетаются;
  • животное падает, закидывает голову назад;
  • падает температура тела, теряется восприимчивость к внешним раздражителям;
  • после появления первых симптомов корова может погибнуть в последующие 48 часов.
Did you know? Причиной развития пареза является резкое падение содержания кальция в крови, так как этот минерал уходит из организма в молоко для кормления молодняка. Чаще всего возникает из-за того, что в сухостой животное неправильно кормят.

Воспаление копыт (ламинит) развивается в результате осложнения ацидоза рубца. Сопутствующие факторы — антисанитария, авитаминоз, мацерация. Вторичные микроорганизмы провоцируют гниение копыт и некроз тканей конечностей.

Какие болезни могут быть опасны для людей

Некоторые болезни КРС представляют опасность для человека:

  • anthrax;
  • rabies;
  • foot and mouth disease;
  • tuberculosis;
  • brucellosis;
  • лестериоз;
  • оспа.

Следует помнить о том, что наиболее распространёнными причинами большинства болезней КРС являются антисанитария и плохое кормление. Постарайтесь создать бурёнке нормальные условия содержания и предоставить хорошее питание, и её продуктивность будет на высоком уровне.

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