Cattle Diseases That Cause Weight Loss

There will be a lot of problematic things happening in your farm. You cannot just take care of your cattle by providing them food and shelter. You should also take care of their healthy by keeping their vaccines on time, by monitoring their condition daily. If one becomes sick, you should put the sick one aside from the group.

How to choose which chicken to breed is a good link if you want to start poultry. Or you might read 5 things you should know before starting a cattle farm if you just about to start cattle farming.

Since animals can’t speak for themselves, it is our duty to observe their physical appearance and daily behavior. If you think they are showing abnormal behavior, get them examined. One of the condition where you need to be alert is when you see they lose weight. This is an indication that they are not having proper meal. And you should find out what’s the cause of it.

Let’s discuss cattle diseases that cause weight loss.

1. Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (EBL)

This disease is caused by a virus which is related to leukemia and multiple tumors. Because of this virus, your cattle might experience progressive loss of weight, weakness, anemia and also anorexia. The virus will make skin lesions appear and tumor will be formed in various organs like intestines, lymph nodes and liver. If this happen to your cattle, there is not solution but to slaughter all the infected cattle.

2. Johne’s Disease

It’s also known as paratuberculosis. This Johne’s disease is caused by bacteria mycobacterium paratuberculosis. It’s quite difficult to recognize this disease if it is still in early stage. These bacteria will cause intestinal inflammation. And it will follow with milk production decreasing, diarrhea, and drastic weight loss. Up to now, no cure been found to treat this disease but putting your cattle down. You need to do it to all your infected animals to prevent wider contamination.

3. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or known as BSE is a neurological disease. And the cattle infected with this disease are usually older than 5 years. The symptoms show any hyper reaction to touch or sound, skin tremors, excessive nose licking, weakness of the hind legs and loss of body weight and definitely affects to milk production. This is one of a very dangerous disease that can happen to your cattle.

4. Ketosis (Acetonaemia, Slow Fever)

This is a disease of ruminants which resulted in a failure to metabolize carbohydrate and volatile fatty acids. Ketosis is seen in dairy cattle. This disease will gradually decrease the appetite of the cattle.

5. Actinobacillosis (Wooden Tongue)

This disease can cause lesions in the tounge, pharynx and its associated glands and in stomach of cattle. The symptoms in the tongue is known as syndrome ‘wooden tongue’ which relates to swallowing. The cattle will experience difficulty in swallowing and it will show excessive salivation. There will be swell under cattle’s jaw, especially if lymph nodes are infected. Base of the tongue will be seen thicken and fibrous. If your animals got infected, they should be quarantine to avoid further contamination to others.

6. Abomasal Ulceration

This is the condition where severe gastric bleeding takes place accompanied by perforation which may be fatal. Not only can happen to adult cattle, but it can happen to calves as well.  Usually it can happen to young cattle because of the introduction of solid feed and sometimes because of the presence of abomasal hair-balls. 

7. Acute Bracken Poisoning

This disease occurs sporadically, related with a low morbidity but high morality. This disease occurs in all ages of cattle, thought the highest risk happen to young cattle between 1 and 3 years old. The disease usually happens in the early summer or in autumn which related to the availability of adequate pasture. Acute Bracken Poisoning is caused by ingestion of many bracken fern. Both the fronds and the rhizomes are toxic. And the symptoms of this disease won’t be shown unless the animals been infested for at least a month. The symptoms shown are fever, dullness and hemorrhage.

This disease can present as sudden death though mostly they present as extremely dull animals. Those animals poisoned should be treated with high doses of antibiotics for a long period.

8. Acute Mycotoxocosis

This disease shows different syndrome from a variety of feedstuffs. This includes neurological conditions, hemorrhagic syndrome and fever. This usually happens to adult cattle. The disease happens because under certain condition some fungi will create harmful toxins. You should pay attention on feed storage as it might occur there.

9. Actinomycosis (Lumpy Jaw)

This type of disease occurs in the bone of jaw and give a lumpy jaw which resulted in lesion. It will interfere with eating and will cause death by starvation eventually. Besides, there can be other infection in the gastrointestinal tract. Though this disease is most common in mature cattle, still the cattle owner really has to pay attention with the symptoms. At first, the lesions are seen as a hard, painless swelling on the jaw bone. However, this swell may enlarge rapidly where pain can be felt on palpation. Then another swell on soft tissue may appear. Sinuses may erupt through the skin and discharge yellowish pus with hard Sulphur granules. Then while the lesions growing bigger, the cattle will experience difficulty in eating and breathing.

You should contact your vet immediately to treat the infected cattle. Usually the cattle got penicillin therapy which is repeated daily for 3-5 days. However, for large lesions, it may take longer treatment.

10. Babesiosis (Red Water)

This disease is attacking red blood cells and is characterized by fever, anemia and red urine. The cause of the disease is Babesia divergens and comes from the tick. The severe symptom is characterized by sudden onset dullness, reduced milk yield, ‘redwater’ and anorexia. Hemoglobin released from the blood cells maybe excreted in the urine which makes it red in color.

11. Blackleg

This is considered as a fatal disease for young cattle. The spores of this organism can live in the soil for many years. It’s easily to enter the calf body through small punctures in mucous membrane of the digestive tract. The disease shows symptoms of lameness, loss of appetite, depression, rapid breathing and high fever. There will be swelling in the hip, shoulder, back, chest, neck and elsewhere. At first the swelling is only small lump, but it’s hot and painful. When it progresses the swelling enlarges and becomes spongy and gaseous. This disease is very dangerous as it only takes 12 to 48 hours for the animals to die. It makes individual treatment useless due to the speed of the disease. However, this disease can be prevented by vaccination.

As we have discussed cattle diseases that cause weight loss, I hope cattle owner can become more alert on how to take care of the animals. Other than this discussion, please click 9 Natural Methods To Control Flies On Cattle and 4 Organic Treatment Of Mange In Cattle to enrich your knowledge about cattle farming.