Necrobacteriosis of cattle: symptoms, treatment and prevention

To avoid losses, a modern farmer should be sufficiently aware of cattle diseases, methods of their prevention and treatment. Necrobacteriosis is a dangerous but treatable disease. Having become familiar with the symptoms and causes that are presented in the article, it is easier to identify the disease in the early stages, thereby reducing the economic damage to the economy.

What is this disease

Necrobacteriosis is an infectious disease of domestic as well as wild animals caused by the anaerobic microorganism Fusobacterium necrophorum, belonging to the genus Fusarium. The disease causes purulent necrotic lesions, which are located mainly in the lower regions of the limbs, sometimes in the mouth, on the lungs, udder, genitals, liver, muscles and similar organs and tissues.

Its main negative result is a significant loss in milk production or cultivation for slaughter. Cattle death due to this disease is common, and this can cause enormous damage to farms.

History reference

The fact that the virus Fusobacterium necrophorum is the cause of the appearance of necrobacteriosis was described in 1882 by Leffler, conducting experiments on diphtheria calves. Robert Koch removed the wand of this virus from smallpox-affected cornea in 1881. The virus was later discovered by Schutz and Tartakovsky. Pure bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum was first obtained in 1890 by Bernhard Bang. Autonomously from Bung's research, in 1891, the microbiologist Schmorl made the same discovery.

Economic damage

According to statistics, deer and sheep are more often affected by necrobacteriosis, less often cattle and pigs. Under adverse conditions, death occurs in 30% of adult livestock and 80% of young animals. Even in cases of cured illness, a farm can suffer large losses due to a decrease in the number of by-products of production (for example, milk).

The causative agent, sources and routes of infection

The causative agent is the polymorphic bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum, which has the form of rods or ultra-thin long threads. The microorganism Fusobacterium necrophorum is motionless, has no flagella, does not create spores and capsules. It destroys glucose, sucrose, levulose, galactose, salicin and maltose. The virus is relatively unstable.

It can be stored for a long time in various natural objects: for example, in cattle excrement it lasts up to 50 days, in urine and water - about 15, and in milk - about 35 days. The sun's rays for this infection are destructive - under them, the microorganism dies after half a day. Sources of infection are different:

  • sick and already cured cattle, in the body of which there is still a bacterium;
  • healthy cattle - the virus is in a vegetative state in the digestive system;
  • rodents - the bacterium can be located in their stomach for a long time.
The main way of infection is the consumption of food by the animal, which contains the described infection. Also, bacteria can remain on inventory, bedding, hay. The disease is contagious, therefore, the likelihood of infection of livestock is much higher if you keep sick animals along with healthy ones.

Necrobacteriosis can occur due to unhygienic conditions in the barn, non-compliance with the recommended frequency of trimming hooves, lack of necessary equipment, and insufficiently large stalls.

Symptoms and forms of the disease

Necrobacteriosis is expressed mainly in purulent formations. Sick animals are depressed, lose their appetite, lose weight, visually age, moan with movement. This disease also causes inflammation of the oral cavity, larynx (its mucous membranes), internal organs, and temperature may rise. So most often the infection manifests itself in young animals.

Important! Consultation with a veterinarian when the described symptoms appear is required.

The disease has acute (mainly in young animals) and chronic forms, as well as benign or malignant. The characteristic specificity of infection of the extremities, the most popular form of the disease in cattle, is damage to the hind limbs, usually one of them. This process can be malignant, causing damage to the connective tissue and joints. In this case, the temperature of the flesh of the animal can rise to 40–42 ° C.


Diagnose necrobacteriosis in the laboratory. The process consists of three stages:

  1. Initial bacterioscopic examination of smears from diseased areas to detect infection.
  2. Bacteriological check - identification of infection culture, its identification.
  3. Biological test - infection with pathological material or detected culture of experimental mice and rodents.

Pathological changes

If the disease affects the limbs, in addition to external suppurations and wounds, tenosynovitis, putrefactive (ichorous) exudate in the space between the muscles, abscesses, and necrosis in the hip muscle may appear. If the disease affects the internal organs, abscesses (with pus inside) and necrosis are formed from solid tissue in the liver, spleen and other organs. Pericarditis, peritonitis, purulent-necrotic pneumonia may develop.

How to treat

It is possible to cure cattle necrobacteriosis by both group and individual methods. It is important to start treatment on time in order to minimize possible losses.

Individual methods

Surgical intervention is used to individually cure infected scores - removal of infected tissue, exudate, section of excessively curved horns, etc. The lesion area is washed with 3-5% hydrogen peroxide, not concentrated potassium permanganate solution (0.1-0.2%), furatsilina chloramine (0.5%). After processing, various drugs and antiseptics are used.

Important! Be sure to follow the rules of personal hygiene when dealing with infected animals - wear special clothes and gloves, take a bath after contact.

When prescribing antibacterial therapy, the characteristics of the pathogen should be taken into account. Due to the fact that anaerobic bacteria form a layer between the infected necrotic tissue and the vascular layer, which complicates the ingress of drugs, it is necessary to use antibacterial agents in a larger dosage or increase the duration of treatment. Antibiotics should be used, given the sensitivity of the pathogen.

For this, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, penicillin, tetracycline, tylosin and other latest broad-spectrum antibiotics are used. It is more profitable to use long-acting antibiotics, such as bicillin, ditetracycline, dibiomycin, oxyvettrin, etc.

Group funds

As a group remedy for the treatment of the disease, hoof baths with a disinfectant solution are often used, which are installed in stalls, walkways and pastures. Bathtubs must be made of drug-neutral material. The procedure is carried out for at least a few minutes - the longer, the better the result.

Is it possible to eat meat and drink milk from sick animals

People are at risk of contracting necrobacteriosis from animals, so the issue of eating meat and milk from sick animals must be approached seriously. The milk of infected animals is suitable for consumption only after a thorough pasteurization process.

Did you know? Cows perceive only two colors: green and red.

In cases of advanced form of the disease, cattle meat is unsuitable for use as food. If the animal has an initial stage of the disease, the meat is sent for examination to the laboratory, after which the veterinarians decide whether to destroy the product or send it for sale. The skin of a patient with cattle should undergo disinfection and dry for a long time in isolation, after which it can be allowed for sale.

Necrobacteriosis vaccine

Vaccination is a reliable way to avoid infection. Polyvalent emulsified vaccines can be used to prevent this disease. For example, the vaccine "Armavir Biofactory" (Armavir) is used for cattle older than 3 months. After double administration in the body of livestock, immunity to necrobacteriosis is developed in 20–29 days.

General preventive measures

A series of prepared actions will help prevent an outbreak of such a dangerous infection as necrobacillosis of cattle. Farms located close to infected should take preventative measures:

  1. Farm staff must carry out activities aimed at strengthening the livestock body, their immunity. For this, it is necessary to balance the nutrition of cattle. In the diet of cows, bulls and calves, various vitamin and mineral supplements are required. In addition, you need to carefully monitor the quality of food.
  2. Hygiene. The stall must be periodically cleaned of manure. Keep the equipment clean and periodically disinfect.
  3. To minimize the possible risk of livestock death, endometritis and mastitis should also be cured in animals on time. The reason is that these diseases can significantly complicate the course of necrobacteriosis.

In case of infection in a small number of cattle, it is necessary to immediately begin treatment and isolate them from healthy individuals (and for them to begin prevention).

Did you know? The number of cattle in the world reaches 1.3 billion individuals: these mammals are the second largest after human.

Necrobacteriosis is a disease that every farmer needs to know about. Awareness and timely prevention will reduce the risks of infectious diseases in your household .

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