animal diseases and their treatment


It is impossible to accurately estimate all the losses caused by livestock diseases.

In Agriculture, it is estimated that losses caused by mortality, reduced productivity, lower fertility, condemned products, and restricted access to potential markets “exceed 17.5 billion dollars annually in the United States”.

Those losses represent almost 15% of the production costs associated with the livestock industry. Livestock production is an integral part of the way-of-life for the people of the world.

Many farmers and ranchers depend upon livestock production for their livelihoods.
Consumers expect adequate supplies of meat at economical prices.

With livestock mismanagement and the spread of these animal diseases, we are all affected, which is why in Nigeria most people are afraid to but meat from roadside sellers.

CAUSES OF animal diseases

Animal diseases cause the body to function improperly. Three principal reasons most often mentioned for the spread of diseases are
1. animal diseases caused by poor sanitation,
2. improper management, and

3. Introduction of new animals into a herd. One or more of the following defects cause diseases. Nutritional defects – An imbalance of required food nutrients in the ration is the cause of nutritional defects.

4. Animals receiving inadequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and protein cannot produce efficiently.

Therefore, their levels of resistance to disease are lowered. Physiological defects
5. These defects cause improper functioning of glands, organs, or body systems.

The relationship between the diet and the proper functioning of body parts is directly related. For example, the thyroid gland regulates the rate of body metabolism and depends upon an adequate supply of iodine to function properly

.read more about balanced diet

An improperly functioning thyroid gland may increase the nutritive requirements of animals to the point that very few nutrients are available for growth or production.

2 – Morphological defects (physical defects)
An accident or negligence is responsible for physical defects. Cuts, scrapes, scratches, bruises, and broken bones are examples of morphological defects.

Any one of these can temporarily or permanently reduce the efficiency of an animal.
Good management practices help eliminate defects of this nature.


Certain organisms produce toxins or poisons that upset the normal metabolic activity of the animal. Viruses and bacteria are the most common disease-causing pathogens.

They are microscopic in size and capable of multiplying themselves under ideal environmental conditions.
* Other pathogens are fungi and protozoans.

Viral diseases read here. are the most difficult to control because viruses closely resemble the chemical compounds that make up a cell.

Another problem in controlling viruses is that the chemicals capable of killing or controlling them also kill or destroy the host cell.
PREVENTIVE VACCINATIONS are the most successful method of controlling viral diseases.

BACTERIA are microscopic in size, produce powerful toxins, and multiply rapidly.
Many bacteria are capable of forming spores, resistant forms of bacterial cells able to withstand severe environmental conditions.

These spores are difficult to control and may lie dormant for years before being provided with the opportunity to cause disease.

Antibiotics are used successfully to control bacteria. Fungal diseases are caused by fungi, which are small organisms. Read more on respiratory tract diseases

Many disease-producing fungi live in the soil. It is often difficult to determine the cause of fungal diseases, because bacteria cause a secondary infection and are often erroneously identified as fungi.

Protozoa are one-celled and the simplest form of animal life.


Some protozoa cannot move themselves and must be transported by other means.
Some move by making whip-like lashes or vibrating projections. A number of different kinds of protozoa prey upon animals and cause disease.

Animals to be added to a farm should be isolated for at least 4 weeks before they are placed with the herd.

This includes both new animals and those removed from the herd and exposed to other animals.
A sound immunization program should be followed.
Clean, healthful surroundings should be provided.

Rations must be nutritionally adequate.
Visitors and new animals should not be allowed in the livestock area.
Diseases should be accurately and quickly diagnosed.

A competent veterinarian should be consulted when a health problem arises.
Livestock should be handled properly.

Examples of how to handle animals include the following,
1. Canvas slappers, rather than clubs and whips, should be used.
2. Protruding nails and broken boards should be eliminated
3. Machinery and equipment should be removed from the lot
4. Horned cattle should be dehorned.

5. Barns and trucks should be bedded properly.
6. Animals should be loaded slowly and carefully.
7. Partitions should be used to separate different classes of livestock.
8. Livestock should be protected from inclement weather.


All farm animals are susceptible. Iron deficiency prevents the formation of haemoglobin, a red iron-containing pigment in the red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen to the cells.
Characterized by general weakness and a lack of vigour.

Balanced ration usually prevents the occurrence of anaemia.
Bloat typically occurs when animals are grazing on highly productive pastures during wet seasons.
Swollen abdomen on the left side, laboured breathing, profuse salivation, groaning,

lack of appetite, & stiffness. Maintain pastures composed of 50% or more grass.
Improper feeding. Pain, sweating, & constipation, kicking, & groaning. Careful feeding.
Bacteria and over-eating.

Constipation is an early symptom & sometimes followed by diarrhoea.
Antitoxin vaccine should be used at the beginning of the feeding period. Founder Overeating of grain, or lush, highly improved pasture grasses.

Affected animals experience pain and may have fever as high as 106 degrees F. Good management & feeding practices prevent the disease.


Cholera Caused by a filterable virus is a type of animal disease which causes Loss of appetite, high fever, a reddish-purplish patchwork of colouration on the affected stomach, breathing difficulty& a wobbly gait.

A preventive vaccine is available.
Producers should use good management. Equine Encephalomyelitis Viruses classified as group A & B are transmitted by bloodsucking insects, such as the mosquito.

Fever, impaired vision, irregular gait, muscle spasms, a pendulous lower lip, walking aimlessly. Control of carrier, use of a vaccine.


Used by a bacterium that seems to multiply rapidly when animals are subject to stress conditions.

Fever, difficulty in breathing, a cough,
Discharge from the eyes & nose.
Vaccination several days prior to shipping or other periods of stress.

Newcastle Poultry disease
Caused by a virus that is spread by contaminated equipment or mechanical means. as a type of animal disease

Chicks make circular movements, walk backwards, fall, twist their necks so that their heads are lying on their backs, cough, sneeze, and develop high fever & diarrhoea.

Several types of Newcastle vaccines are available, antibiotics are used in treating early stages of the disease.
Protruding growths on the skin.
The most effective means is with a vaccine.


Pneumonia Bacteria, fungi, dust, or other foreign matter.
The bacterium, pasturella multiocida, is often responsible for the disease. A general dullness, failing appetite, fever & difficulty breathing.

Proper housing, ventilation, sanitation, and antibiotics. Tetanus A spore-forming anaerobe bacterium is the cause of this animal disease and their treatment is described here

The spores may be found in the soil & faeces of animals. Difficulty swallowing, stiff muscles, & muscle spasms. Immunizing animals with tetanus toxoid. Atrophic Rhinitis Two different bacterium,

Bordetella bronchiospetica & Pasturella, cause atrophic rhinitis. Affects the nose, making it crooked and wrinkled. Sneezing, nose bleeds, and a tear-stained face occurs.

Sanitation and a good health program are important for prevention.
Vaccines are available.
Anthrax spore,

Forming bacterium causes the disease. Fever, swelling in the lower body region, a bloody discharge, staggering, trembling, difficult breathing, & convulsive movements.

types of bacteria,read here

animal diseases and their treatment, An annual vaccination.
Manure & contaminated materials should be burned & area disinfected.

Insects should be controlled. Blackleg (Cattle-Sheep) A spore-forming bacterium that remains in an area permanently.

The germ has an incubation period of one to five days & is taken into the body from contaminated soil & water. Lameness, followed by depression & fever.. The muscles in the hip, shoulder, chest, back, & neck swell. A preventative vaccine.

Brucellosis Caused by bacteria.
Brucella abortus is a bacterium.

The abortion of the immature fetus is the only sign in some animals. Vaccinating calves with abortus prevent cattle from contacting the disease.

Infected cattle must be slaughtered. Distemper (Horses) – Contagious. Exposure to cold, wet weather, fatigue, and an infection of the respiratory tract aid in spreading the disease.

Increased respiratory rate, depression, loss of appetite & discharge of pus from the nose are visible symptoms.

Infected animals have fever & swollen lymph glands, located under the jaw Animals with the disease should be isolated, provided with rest, protected from the weather, and treated with antibiotics.

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