Livestock Health III (Diseases) - Agriculture Form 3 Notes

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  • Livestock diseases are classified according to causative agents as follows:
    • Protozoan diseases -caused by protozoans.
    • Bacterial diseases - caused by bacteria:
    • Viral diseases - cause by virus.
    • Nutritional diseases - brought about by nutritional disorders.

Protozoan Diseases

  • East coast Fever (ECF).
  • Anaplasmosis (gall sickness)
  • Coccidiosis
  • Trypanosomiasis (Nagana)

East Coast Fever

  • Animals attacked: Cattle
  • Cause: Protozoan. (Theileria parva)
  • It is a tick-borne disease transmitted by red-­legged tick and brown ear tick.


  • Rise in body temperature.
  • Swelling of lymph glands below the ear.
  • Difficulties in breathing.
  • Dullness.

Control and Prevention

  • Control of vectors through dipping and fencing.
  • Treatment by use of clexon in the early stages.

Anaplasmosis (Gall Sickness)

  • Animals attacked:
    • Cattle between 2 months and 2 years.
    • Poultry
    • Lambs and kids.
    • Rabbits.
  • Cause: Protozoan (Anaplasma marginale)
  • Transmitted by the blue tick, contaminated surgical instruments and hypodermic needles.


  • Fever/rise in body temperature.
  • Constipation or hard dung.
  • Paleness in the gums, eyes and lips.
  • Drop in milk production.


  • Tick control.
  • Intramuscular injection of antibiotics and iron giving injections.
  • Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis of Poultry

  • Cause: Protozoan (Eimeria spp.)


  • Sudden death of chicks.
  • Whitish, yellow and blood stained diarrhoea.
  • Ruffled feathers.
  • Chicks become paralysed before dying.
  • Chicks become anaemic and dull.


  • Disinfection of chick house.
  • Prevention of contamination of food and water with droppi
  • Use of prophylatic drugs for example, Coccidiostats.

Trypanosomiasis (Nagana)

  • Animals attacked: cattle, sheep and goats.
  • Cause: Protozoan of the trypanosome species,
  • Vector tsetse flies.


  • Fever.
  • Dullness.
  • Anorexia/loss of appetite.
  • Loss of body condition/emaciation.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Lachrimation which leads to blindness.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rough coat and sometimes without hair and may be cracked.
  • Swelling in parts of the belly.
  • Drop in milk production in lactating cows.
  • Loss of hair at tail end.
  • Anaemia.
  • Abortion may occur in pregnant females.


  • Treating animals with trypanocidal drugs.
  • Effective vector (Tsetse flies)control
  • Confinement of wild animals in game parks.

Bacterial Diseases

  • Fowl typhoid
  • Foot rot.
  • Contagious abortion.
  • Scours.
  • Blackquarter.
  • Mastitis.
  • Anthrax.
  • Pneumonia.

Fowl Typhoid

  • Animals attacked: All domestic birds which include chicken, turkey and ducks.
  • Causes: Bacteria (Salmonella gallinarum}


  • Depression/appearing very sick.
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Dullness.
  • Drooping wings.
  • Sleepy eyes.
  • Anaemia resulting in pale and shrunken
  • combs and wattles.
  • Greenish yellow diarrhoea.


  • Killing all affected birds and proper disposal of the carcasses.
  • Maintaining hygiene in the poultry house.
  • Ensuring that the house is dry and well ventilated.
  • Obtaining chicks from reliable sources.
  • Treatment using sulphur drugs which are mixed in drinking water or mash.
  • For example: application of Furazolidone (Furazol) at the rate of 0.04% in mash for 10 continuous days treats the disease effectively.

Foot Rot

  • It is also referred to as foul-in-the foot.
  • Animals attacked: cattle, sheep and goats.
    • However, it is most serious in sheep.
  • Cause: Bacteria (Fusiformis necrophorus and Fusiformis nodosus).


  • Animal's foot becomes swollen.
  • Lameness is observed.
  • Pus and rotten smell come out of the hoof.
  • Sheep are found kneeling while grazing when the front feet are affected.
  • Animals spend most of their time lying down when the hind feet are affected.
  • Emaciation due to lack of feeding.


  • Hygiene in the living places.
  • Regular foot examination and hoof trimming.
  • Use of a foot bath of copper sulphate solution at 5-10% solution or formalin at 2-5% solution.
  • Treating wounds on the feet with antiseptics.
  • Affected animals should be given antibiotic injections.
  • Isolation of sick animals from healthy ones.
  • Avoid dampness and muddy conditions.

Contagious Abortion (Brucellosis/ Bang's Disease)

  • Animals attacked: cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.
    • It also affects man
  • Cause: Bacteria
    • Brucella abortus in cattle,
    • Brucella suis in pigs
    • Brucella malitensis in goats and sheep.


  • Spontaneous abortion or premature birth.
  • Retained placenta if abortion occurs during the later stages of pregnancy.
  • Infertility in cows while bulls have low libido and inflamed testis also known as orchitis.
  • A yellowish brown, slimy, odourless discharge from the vulva may occur after the abortion.


  • Use of artificial insemination.
  • Slaughtering affected animals followed by proper disposal of their carcasses.
  • The attendant to the animals should avoid contact with the aborted foetus.
  • A blood test should be carried out for all breeding animals to detect the infected ones.
  • Hygiene in the animals' houses.

Scours (White Scours)

  • Animals atacked: calves, piglets, lambs and kids.
  • Cause: A bacterium which attacks young animals in the first week of life.


  • White or yellowish diarrhoea.
  • Pungent smelling faeces.
  • Fever.
  • Anorexia/loss of appetite.
  • Listlessness.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Undigested milk and mucus with blood spots observed in the faeces.
  • Faecal matter sticks to the hind quarters.
  • Sudden death if no treatment is given.


  • Maintaining hygiene in the young animal housing units.
  • Avoiding dampness on the floor of the house.
  • Fingers of the attendant training calves to drink milk from a bucket must be disinfected.
  • Calving should be carried out in a clean area.
  • Have separate attendants for the infected calves to prevent disease spread.
  • Replacing milk with warm water mixture.
  • Treating affected animals with antibiotics.

Black Quarter

  • It is also known as black leg.
  • Animals attacked: All ruminants aged between 8 - 18 months.
  • Cause: Bacteria (Clostridium chauvei and Chauvei septicum)


  • Lameness.
  • Fever.
  • Fast and heavy breathing.
  • Cracking on the swollen parts if touched.
  • Swelling of the affected parts usually the hindquarters, shoulders and chest or back.
  • Dullness.
  • Anorexia.
  • Grunting and grinding of teeth.
  • Animal stops chewing cud.


  • Treating with recommended antibiotics.
  • Vaccinating using black quarter vaccine known as blanthax.
  • Burying the carcass deep or burning it completely.



  • Is an inflammation of the udder.
  • Animals attacked: Goats, cows, pigs and human beings.
  • Cause: Bacteria (Streptococcus spp. or Staphylococcus spp.)

Pre-disposing Factors:

  • Incomplete milking.
  • Injuries on the udder and teats.
  • Weak sphincter muscles of the teats allowing free flow of milk.


  • Milk is watery, blood stained or clotted.
  • Swollen udder


  • Proper milking techniques.
  • Treatment by use of antibiotics.
  • Culling of animals which are often attacked.


  • Attacks all domestic animals.
  • Cause: Bacteria (Bacillus anthracis)


  • Sudden death.
  • High fever.
  • Grinding of the teeth.


  • It is an inflammation of the lungs.
  • Animals attacked: Calves, kids, lambs, piglets and poultry.


  • Bacteria (Mycoplasma mycoides)
  • dust
  • worms in the lungs.


  • Dullness.
  • Anorexia/loss of appetite.
  • Staring coat.
  • Emaciation.
  • Breathing rapidly.
  • Abnormal lung sounds when breathing.
  • Coughing if the chest is pressed.
  • Fluctuating body temperature.
  • Nasal discharge.


  • Keeping young animals in warm pens.
  • Proper sanitation.
  • Isolation of the affected animals.
  • Treating using antibiotics.

Viral Diseases

  • Rinderpest.
  • Foot and mouth disease (FMD).
  • Newcastle
  • Fowl pox
  • Gumboro
  • African swine fever


  • Animal attacked: Cattle and wild game.
  • Cause: virus.


  • Harsh staring coat.
  • Rise in temperature.
  • Eye discharge (Lachrimation)
  • Diarrhoea and dysentery.
  • Ulcers in the mouth.

Foot and Mouth Disease

  • Animals attacked: Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.
  • Cause: Virus .


  • Sharp rise in temperature.
  • Blisters in the mouth, hooves, udder and teats.
  • Loss of appetite.


  • Vaccination.
  • Quarantine
  • nursing wounds with disinfectant.


  • Animals attacked: Poultry.
  • Cause: Virus.


  • Difficulties in breathing.
  • Beaks remain wide open and necks are strained.
  • Birds become dull.
  • The birds stand with eyes closed all the time.
  • Anorexia/loss of appetite.
  • Nasal discharges which force the birds to shake their heads to clear it.
  • Birds walk with a staggering motion.
  • Paralysis of wings and legs may occur.
  • Birds have their beaks and wings down.
  • Birds produce watery greenish diarrhoea.
  • Birds lay soft shelled eggs.


  • Killing all birds and burning them followed by cleaning and disinfecting the houses before bringing in new stock.
  • Vaccination should be done during the first 6 weeks and then 2-3 months later.
  • Quarantine.


  • Animals affected: Poultry.
  • Cause: A virus known as avian fox.


- Two types of fowl pox with different symptoms.

  • Cutaneous type
  • Diptheritic type

- The cutaneous type affects the skin and has the following signs:

  • Injuries on the combs and wattles, legs, vent and under the wings.
  • Loss appetite.

- The diptheritic type affects internal membranes and has the following symptoms:

  • Injuries in the inside of the throat and mouth membranes resulting in difficult breathing and swallowing.
  • Eyes and nose produces a watery liquid.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Dullness.
  • Emaciation.


  • Killing all affected birds followed by proper disposal of their carcasses.
  • Vaccinating remaining healthy birds.


  • It is also referred to as poultry AIDS.
  • Animals attacked: Poultry.
  • Cause: A virus known as Birma virus.


  • The glands above the vent (bursa) become swollen.
  • Drop in egg production.
  • Birds develop respiratory distress.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Low water intake by birds.
  • Loss of immunity making the birds more susceptible to opportunistic diseases.


  • Vaccination.
  • Administering vitamins and especially

African Swine Fever

  • Animals attacked: All domesticated pigs.
  • Cause: A virus known as Irido virus.


  • Fever.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Depression/dullness.
  • Emaciation.
  • Coughing.
  • Nasal discharge.
  • Diarrhoea in serious conditions.


  • Vaccination.
  • Quarantine.
  • Killing all affected animals and proper disposal of their carcasses.
  • Double fencing to keep wild animals away.

Nutritional Diseases/Disorders

Milk Fever

  • It is a non-infectious disease brought about by calcium deficiency in animals which have recently given birth.
  • Animals attacked: Cows, goats and pigs that have recently given birth.


  • Due to low calcium levels in the blood.
  • Which leads to an increase in the magnesium and sugar level in the blood.
  • Mostly occurs in high producing cows in the first few months of lactation.
  • This is because these animals loose more calcium through milk secretion than they are getting from the diet.



  • Dullness.
  • Muscular twitching causing the animal to tremble.
  • Staggering as the animals move.
  • Animal falls down ands becomes unconscious.
  • The animal lies down on its side and the whole body stiffens.
  • Body functions such as urination, defecation and milk secretion stops.
  • Stomach contents are drawn into the mouth which later cause lung fever when breathing in.
  • Loss of appetite.


  • Intravenous injection of soluble calcium salt in form of calcium boro-gluconate ,60gms dissolved in 500cc of water.
  • Keeping the animal in a comfortable position on its sternum.
  • Giving fresh water.

Note: The animals suffering from milk fever should not be given medicine orally for  the following reasons:

  • It will not be able to swallow medicine.
  • The medicine may get into the lungs thereby promoting lung fever.


  • Partial milking for the first 10 days.
  • High yielding cows should be given rations containing phosphorus and calcium.
  • Giving high doses of Vitamin D.


  • Animals attacked: Cattle and sheep.
  • Cause: Accumulation of gases as a result of fermentation in the rumen.


  • The left side is blown up.
  • Sudden death.


  • Relieve by use of trocar and cannula.
  • Chasing the animal around if noticed early.
  • Drenching by use of stop bloat.
  • Feeding ruminants with dry roughages during the wet season before grazing on lush pastures.
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Read 4326 times Last modified on Monday, 17 January 2022 06:22
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