Most common diseases in cattle

The diseases that most commonly affect cattle are those of infectious-contagious nature, since many of them, besides being harmful to the own health of the herd affecting the well-being animal, are zoonoses, that is to say, diseases that can be transmitted to humans , if the meat or milk of that diseased animal is consumed. Because of this, YourCatCareguide has prepared this article on the most common diseases in cattle .

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Most common diseases in milk and beef cattle

Infectious diseases in dairy herds and dairy herds are of great veterinary importance, since they are not only harmful to the animal’s health, they are too difficult to control in very large herds once they are in place, which can lead to serious economic losses , since early death of these infected animals may occur, with low metabolic development, causing these animals not to grow as they should, and low milk production in dairy cattle.

Among them, the diseases that most affect dairy cattle and beef cattle are :

  • Mastitis, also called mastitis.
  • Babesiosis or anaplasmosis, popularly known as parasitic bovine tristeza.
  • Brucellosis
  • Foot-and-mouth disease.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Clostridiose.
  • Leptospirosis.
  • Hull disease.
  • Verminoses in general.

Most Common Diseases in Dairy Cows

In the case of very large herds, the ideal is a veterinary medicine of prevention, since the treatment for the whole herd would be too expensive, not compensating the economic investment, since in addition to being too large a number of animals, they are considered animals as beef cattle, raised for human and animal consumption, and dairy cattle, cows created to supply the dairy market of Brazil and the world.

Among the most common diseases of cows , we have:

  • Bovine mastitis – It is an infectious-contagious disease caused by bacteria of diverse types, that cause an infection in the mammary glands of the cow. It is by far the most important disease that affects dairy cows, due to the high incidence and prevalence of cases, since it entails great economic losses, since the milk becomes salty, in most cases, with purulent secretion and full of molecules from inflammation and should be discarded as it is totally inappropriate to consumption. Read our full article on Bovine Mastitis .
  • Babesiosis or bovine parasitic sadness – It is a disease caused by a protozoan named Babesia sp. , which is transmitted by tick bites. The disease, once installed, is difficult to control due to the cost of treatment in the herd. In addition, it causes great economic damage, impairing the development of the animal, milk production and depending on the animal’s immunological situation, even death.

Postpartum diseases in cows

During the period of 2 to 3 weeks after delivery, care must be taken with diseases of the reproductive tract of cows, as this is the period in which they are most susceptible and predisposed to diseases, since their immune system is vulnerable due to to childbirth.

Among the most common diseases of the reproductive tract in postpartum cows caused by bacterial infections and affecting most cows in the herd are:

  • Metrite;
  • Clinical endometritis;
  • Purulent vaginal secretion;
  • Subclinal Cytologic Endometers.

Studies have been carried out regarding this higher susceptibility in postpartum cows.

Metabolic diseases in cows

The metabolic disease that affects cows is called Hypocalcemia or Postpartum Hypocalcemia, Puerperal Paresis, Vitular Fever or even Milk Fever. It is a metabolic disease that is associated with the low concentration of calcium in the blood and impairs the herd of dairy cows and postpartum cows that are at the beginning of lactation, that is, milk production. Calcium is extremely important for muscle contraction and heart beats, and calcium deficiency can lead to neuromuscular dysfunction, circulatory collapse, and even depression of consciousness.

The cause, although complex, can be avoided by supplementing the minerals and essential vitamins of the cow during the reproductive phase and especially after childbirth , since a large percentage of the calcium that cows have in the body goes to the milk. Because the body can not replace the lost percentage alone, the cows soon fall after giving birth. Other subclinical signs of postpartum hypocalcemia would be cold extremities, muscle tremor of the head and limbs, tetany, drowsy appearance and head facing the flank, the animal may lie on its belly down stretching the neck.

Reproductive diseases in cows

The Brucellosis is an infectious disease that causes economic losses for cows in reproductive period, however, may occur in cattle of all ages and both sexes. Vaccination with vitamin B12 is still the best prevention against abortion, but it does not immunize against the agent causing the disease, so once it is installed in the herd, it can be difficult to control and should be a preventive measure, the elimination of serum-positive animals, although the disease is curable, treatment becomes impracticable due to costs. In addition, Brucellosis is a zoonosis, that is, the disease can be transmitted to humans.

In reproductive cows, Brucellosis can cause miscarriages, retained placenta, metritis, subfertility, infertility, and if the surviving fetus leads to the birth of weak and underdeveloped animals.

Diseases in cows’ hooves

The disease of the bovine hooves is one of the main diseases that affect the dairy cows. It is due to a series of causes, which contribute to the establishment of disease-causing pathogens in the hoof, bone, joint, ligament and cutaneous and subcutaneous tissues. Among the causes, we can have:

  • Digital dermatitis.
  • Dermatite interdigital.
  • Flegmão interdigital.
  • Gabarro or interdigital hyperplasia.
  • Erosion of the bead.
  • Aseptic laminitis or aspergic pododermatitis.
  • Localized aseptic pododermatitis.
  • Septic pododermatite.

A carbohydrate-rich diet, a lack of trimming of the hooves, damp and rough floors, and lack of hygienization of the enclosure contribute to the onset of the disease, which usually occurs due to a secondary bacterial infection. myiasis and a generalized inflammation of the digit, which is the hull, and in the limb.

To avoid this type of disease, dairy cattle should receive a buffered diet in order to avoid ruminal acidosis. Annual hoof trimming should be done, and during the drying of the environment, animals should not be allowed to walk in humid environments, faeces and urine.

Diseases transmitted by cows

Among the most important infecto-contagious diseases are those that are zoonoses, that is, transmissible to humans. The diseases that can be transmitted by cows are :

  • Brucellosis : which can be transmitted by cows to humans through unpasteurized milk, cheese and milk products in general, and direct contact with the blood or dung of infected or sick animals.
  • Tuberculosis : The disease is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis , and can be transmitted through the air, or through the intestinal tract, in direct contact with the manure of sick animals. As symptoms only appear in their final stage, the disease is difficult to diagnose, making treatment difficult. Sick animals have difficulty breathing, weight loss, dry cough and generalized weakness.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest that you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles the following may have more information about Common Diseases in cattle , we recommend you to enter our section on Infectious Diseases .


    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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