Common Diseases Of Cattle In Africa

15 Common Diseases Of Cattle In Africa And How To Treat It

Cattle are important to the African economy and are a major source of food and income. Unfortunately, they are also susceptible to a variety of diseases that can cause significant losses to farmers.

Some of the most common diseases of cattle in Africa include bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, trypanosomiasis, lumpy skin disease, anaplasmosis, East coast fever, heartwater, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine viral diarrhea, and many others.

Above are the 15 common diseases of a cattle farm in Africa and how to treat them. Also, we will discuss preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of disease.

15 Common Diseases Of Cattle Farm In Africa And How To Treat It

Cattle farming is an important part of the African economy and provides a significant portion of the continent’s meat, milk, and other animal products. However, like all animals, cattle are susceptible to a variety of diseases, some of which can be very severe.

Here are the 15 common diseases of Cattle farms in Africa and how other helpful information and tips including how to treat them.

#1. Bovine Tuberculosis

Category: Bacterial Disease

Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious, chronic, and often fatal disease of cattle caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. It is one of the most common diseases of cattle worldwide and can cause severe economic losses in affected herds.

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Causes

Bovine TB is spread primarily through the inhalation of contaminated aerosols from infected animals, ingestion of contaminated milk or meat, or contact with infected material. It can also be spread through direct contact with infected animals or their excretions.

Symptoms

The most common clinical signs of bovine TB include coughing, fever, weight loss, and decreased milk production. Other signs may include swollen lymph nodes, eye discharge, and skin lesions.

Treatment

Antibiotics are used to treat bovine TB. These medications are usually given via injection and can be administered over a period of several months.

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Additionally, infected animals should be isolated from the herd to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Herbal remedies can be used to treat bovine TB. Some of the most commonly used herbs include garlic, echinacea, goldenseal, and thyme. These herbs can be used to stimulate the immune system and help fight the bacteria that cause the disease.

Prevention and Control

Bovine TB can be prevented and controlled through the use of vaccination, quarantine of infected animals, and regular testing of herds.

All cattle should be tested before entering a herd and all contact with infected animals should be avoided. Proper hygiene and sanitation practices should also be used to prevent the spread of the disease.

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#2. Brucellosis

Category: Bacterial Disease

Brucellosis in cattle is a disease caused by bacteria from the genus Brucella. It is a contagious, bacterial infection that affects the reproductive organs, causing reproductive failure in infected animals.

Causes

Brucellosis in cattle is a contagious and infectious disease caused by the bacteria Brucella abortus. It is spread through contact with infected animals and their bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, and milk.

Symptoms

Symptoms of brucellosis in cattle include weight loss, low milk production, reproductive disorders, lameness, and anemia. In severe cases, it can cause abortions and even death.

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Treatment

Treatment of brucellosis in cattle includes antibiotics, vaccination, and improved hygiene. Herbal treatments are also available, such as garlic, ginger, and oregano.

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Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of brucellosis in cattle include vaccination, proper disposal of dead livestock, and quarantining sick animals. Good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of equipment, pens, and stalls can also help reduce the spread of the disease.

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#3. Trypanosomiasis

Category: Parasitic Disease

Trypanosomiasis in cattle is a major threat to the health and productivity of livestock in Africa, the Middle East, and the South.

Causes

The disease, also known as Nagana, is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma evansi. It is spread by the bite of an infected tsetse fly. It

Symptoms

Symptoms of trypanosomiasis in cattle include anemia, weight loss, decreased milk production, nervousness, reluctance to move, and fever. In advanced cases, the animal may become comatose and die.

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Treatment

Treatment for trypanosomiasis in cattle typically involves the administration of antibiotics or antiparasitic drugs. Herbal remedies, such as those containing neem and garlic, may be used in combination with the drug treatments.

Prevention and Control

The best way to prevent and control trypanosomiasis in cattle is to reduce exposure to the tsetse fly. This can be done by keeping cattle in well-lit, insect-proof shelters and by using insecticide-treated nets. Vaccines are also available to reduce the severity of the disease.

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#4. Lumpy Skin Disease

Category: Viral Disease

Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle that is highly contagious. Cattle are the only known natural host of the virus, although they can be spread to other species, such as sheep, goats, and camels.

Causes

It is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) and is found mainly in Africa and the Middle East.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of LSD in cattle are lumps or nodules on the skin, usually on the neck, udder, and abdomen. These nodules can be up to 3 cm in diameter and may have a central core of pus. Other signs include fever, loss of appetite, depression, lymphadenopathy, and in severe cases, death.

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Treatment

The treatment for LSD is primarily supportive. Antibiotics may be used to control secondary infections. Vaccines are available in some countries, but the effectiveness of these is still being evaluated.

Herbal treatments for LSD include a combination of herbs such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, neem, and turmeric. These herbs are known to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating properties.

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Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of LSD can be achieved through good herd management and biosecurity protocols, including vaccination of susceptible animals. In addition, it is important to monitor animals for signs of the disease, as early identification and intervention can help reduce the spread of LSD.

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#5. Anaplasmosis

Category: Bacterial Disease

Anaplasmosis in cattle is a disease caused by the bacterial parasite Anaplasma marginale. It is an infectious, tick-borne disease that affects all species of cattle worldwide.

It is a serious and potentially fatal disease that can cause anemia, weight loss, decreased milk production, and death.

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Causes

Anaplasmosis in cattle is caused by the bacteria Anaplasma marginale, which is spread by ticks and other blood-sucking insects.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Anaplasmosis in cattle can include fever, lethargy, anemia, weight loss, decreased milk production, and death.

Treatment

Treatment for Anaplasmosis in cattle includes antibiotics, which can be administered orally or by injection.

Herbal remedies such as garlic, goldenseal, and echinacea can be used to treat Anaplasmosis in cattle.

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Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of anaplasmosis in cattle involve keeping the cattle in clean, dry pastures and avoiding overcrowded pastures.

It is also important to control ticks by using tick-control products such as natural oils, insecticides, and acaricides. Vaccines are also available to protect cattle from anaplasmosis.

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#6. East Coast Fever

Category: Infectious Disease

East Coast fever (ECF) is an infectious, tick-borne disease of cattle caused by the protozoan Theileria parva. It is a major cause of economic losses due to cattle mortality in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Cause

The main cause of ECF is the bite of infected ticks of the species Amblyomma variegatum. These ticks spread the parasites which cause the disease.

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Symptoms

The typical symptoms of ECF in cattle include fever, anemia, loss of appetite, depression, nasal discharge, coughing, swollen lymph nodes and death. In some cases, the animals may also develop jaundice, respiratory distress and neurological symptoms.

Treatment

The treatment for ECF involves the use of antibiotics, antiprotozoal drugs, and supportive care. Herbal treatments for ECF include the use of tannins, which have been shown to have antiparasitic effects and can help reduce the severity of the disease.

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Prevention and Control

In order to prevent and control ECF, it is important to practice good tick control, such as the use of insecticides and tick repellents. Vaccination is also available to reduce the severity of the disease. Additionally, good husbandry practices, such as preventing overcrowding of animals, can help reduce the risk of ECF.

#7. Heartwater

Category: Bacterial Disease

Heartwater is a tick-borne infectious disease found in cattle that is caused by the bacterium Cowdria ruminantium. It is most commonly found in Africa but can also be found in other parts of the world.

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Causes

The primary cause of heartwater is the bite of the tick Amblyomma hebraeum, which carries the bacterium Cowdria ruminantium. When the tick bites an animal, the bacteria are released into the bloodstream and can cause a severe inflammatory reaction.

Symptoms

The symptoms of heartwater in cattle include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, labored breathing, and anemia. In severe cases, the animal may develop an accumulation of fluid in the chest and abdomen, which can lead to respiratory distress and death.

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Treatment

The most common treatment for heartwater in cattle involves the use of antibiotics. However, there are also some herbal treatments that have been used to treat the disease. These include the use of garlic, ginger, turmeric, and neem.

Prevention and Control

In order to prevent and control heartwater in cattle, it is important to reduce contact between cattle and ticks. This can be done by using insecticides, keeping pastures mowed, and providing shade for cattle.

Vaccines are also available for cattle to help reduce the risk of infection. Additionally, regular blood tests can help detect the presence of the bacterium in the animal’s bloodstream.

#8. Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia

Category: Bacterial Disease

Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is an infectious respiratory disease of cattle caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides (Mmm).

It is a highly contagious and debilitating disease, with death rates of up to 90 percent in some cases. CBPP is found in all cattle-rearing countries, but it is particularly common in tropical and subtropical regions.

Causes

The main cause of CBPP is a bacterial infection with Mmm. The bacteria spread through direct contact with infected animals or through contact with contaminated objects, such as bedding or feed.

The bacteria can also be transmitted through airborne droplets, such as those produced by coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of CBPP include fever, labored breathing, loss of appetite, nasal discharge, and coughing.

In severe cases, the animal may experience respiratory distress, with nasal discharge that can be thick and yellowish green. In addition, the animal may show signs of depression, dehydration, and weight loss.

Treatment

Treatment for CBPP typically involves antibiotics, as well as supportive care such as fluids and nursing care. In some cases, additional treatments may be necessary, such as anti-inflammatory or antiseptic medications.

Herbal treatment for CBPP is not widely practiced, but some traditional herbal remedies have been used for centuries to help treat the disease.

Herbal remedies such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric have been used to reduce inflammation and improve respiratory health.

In addition, some herbs such as Echinacea, goldenseal, and elderberry have been used to boost the immune system and help fight infection.

Prevention and Control

The most effective way to prevent and control CBPP is through vaccination. Vaccines are available to protect against the Mmm bacterium, and they are usually administered to young animals before they are at risk of contracting the disease.

In addition, good husbandry practices should be followed to reduce the risk of transmission, such as keeping animals in clean and well-ventilated areas and ensuring they have access to clean, fresh water.

#9. Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis

Category: Infectious Disease

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a contagious respiratory disease caused by the bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1). It affects cattle of all ages and is especially severe in young calves.

Cause

The primary cause of IBR is through direct contact with infected animals, either through nose-to-nose contact or contact with body fluids from infected animals. In addition, airborne transmission of the virus is possible.

Symptoms

The primary symptoms of IBR include a fever, depression, loss of appetite, a runny nose, and coughing. In severe cases, pneumonia, abortion, and death may occur.

Treatment

Treatment of IBR includes the use of anti-viral drugs and supportive care. It is important to isolate any infected animals to prevent the spread of the virus.

Herbal treatment for IBR includes the use of echinacea, garlic, and elderberry. These herbs are believed to have antiviral and immune-boosting properties. It is important to consult a qualified veterinarian before using any herbal treatments.

Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of IBR include regular vaccination, testing of animals prior to purchase or movement, and management practices that reduce the spread of the virus. It is also important to practice biosecurity measures, such as limiting contact between animals and proper disposal of manure.

#10. Bovine Viral Diarrhea

Category:

Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) is an infectious disease of cattle caused by the Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). It is one of the most economically significant diseases of cattle worldwide.

Causes

BVD is caused by two distinct strains of BVD virus, BVDV-1 and BVDV-2. BVDV-1 is the predominant strain in North America, while BVDV-2 is more common in Europe.

The virus is spread primarily through direct contact with infected animals, but can also be spread by contaminated feed, water, and other materials.

Symptoms

Symptoms of BVD can vary, but typically include fever, lethargy, nasal discharge, coughing, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the virus can cause abortion, pneumonia, and inflammation of the eye and/or brain.

Treatment

Treatment of BVD typically involves supportive care, such as fluids and antibiotics, and antiviral medications, such as interferon and ribavirin.

Herbal treatments for BVD include garlic, echinacea, goldenseal, and slippery elm.

Prevention

BVD can be prevented by vaccination and good biosecurity measures, such as quarantining new animals, avoiding contact with wild animals, and using clean feed and water.

Control

To control the spread of BVD, producers should identify and remove infected animals, practice good hygiene, and use effective biosecurity measures. Vaccination is also recommended for herds that are at high risk for BVD.

#11. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Category: Neurological Disorder

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, is a progressive neurological disorder found in cattle.

Causes

It is caused by an abnormal form of a naturally occurring protein called a prion, which accumulates in the brain and other tissues of affected animals.

Symptoms

Symptoms of BSE include weight loss, decreased milk production, altered behavior, and difficulty walking.

Treatment

There is no known treatment for BSE and it is fatal. Herbal treatments may be used to help support the animal’s health but will not prevent or cure the disease.

Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of BSE involve measures such as testing of livestock for disease, quarantine of infected animals, and control of the animal feed.

#12. Foot and Mouth Disease

Category: Viral Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease, or FMD, is a highly contagious and potentially serious virus that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs.  It is caused by a virus of the species Aphthovirus.

Causes

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is caused by a virus that is highly contagious and can affect many species of animals, including cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and deer.

Symptoms

Symptoms of FMD include fever, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, sores in the mouth and on the feet, and lameness. These symptoms can last up to two or three weeks.

Treatment

Treatment for FMD is supportive and typically involves providing the animals with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and fever. Vaccines are available but are not always effective.

Herbal treatment for FMD may include supplements such as aloe vera and garlic, which can help reduce inflammation and pain.

Prevention

Prevention of FMD is the best course of action. This can be done by ensuring that livestock is vaccinated, avoiding contact with infected animals, and avoiding contact with areas where the virus is known to exist.

Control

Control of FMD is essential in order to protect livestock from the disease. This can include quarantine of infected animals, cleaning and disinfecting affected premises, and culling of infected animals.

#13. Malignant Catarrhal Fever

Category: Viral Disease

Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF) is a contagious viral disease caused by the herpes virus that affects mainly cattle, but can also be seen in sheep, goats, deer, and other bovids.

MCF is characterized by a high fever, ocular and nasal discharge, coughing, anorexia, and severe ulcerative lesions of the mouth and tongue.

The virus is spread through contact with infected secretions and can be fatal if left untreated.

Causes

Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF) is caused by certain strains of the herpes virus. It is most commonly seen in cattle, sheep, and goats, but can also affect other species such as camels, deer, and antelope.

Symptoms

Symptoms of MCF include fever, lethargy, nasal and ocular discharge, swollen lymph nodes, and ulceration of the mouth and tongue. In more severe cases, anorexia, diarrhea, and pneumonia may also occur.

Treatment

Treatment for MCF is mainly supportive, as there is no specific antiviral therapy available. Antibiotics may be used to treat secondary bacterial infections.

Herbal treatment for MCF is limited, but herbs such as goldenseal, echinacea, and garlic may be used to help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Prevention and Control

MCF can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected animals, practicing good biosecurity measures, and vaccinating animals that are at risk.

Control of the disease can be achieved by isolating infected animals, disposing of infected carcasses safely, and cleaning and disinfecting contaminated areas.

#14. Theileriosis

Category: Parasitic Disease

Theileriosis, also known as East Coast Fever, is an infectious disease of cattle caused by the protozoan parasite Theileria parva. It is one of the deadliest diseases of cattle in Africa and is spread by the brown ear tick, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus.

Causes

Theileriosis is caused by the protozoan parasite Theileria parva, which is transmitted by the brown ear tick, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Theileriosis can include fever, anemia, loss of appetite, swelling of the lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, and jaundice. Cattle can die within days of contracting the disease.

Treatment

Treatment of Theileriosis includes the use of antibiotics, anti-parasitic drugs, and supportive care.

Herbal treatments for Theileriosis include the use of herbs such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, neem, and wormwood. These herbs are thought to have anti-inflammatory and antiparasitic properties.

Prevention

Prevention of Theileriosis includes avoiding tick-infested areas, using insect repellents, and controlling the tick population through regular dipping or spraying of livestock.

Control

Control of Theileriosis can be achieved through the use of vaccines, tick control, and the use of drugs such as imidocarb dipropionate and tetracyclines.

#15. Parasitic Gastroenteritis

Category: Parasitic Disease

Parasitic gastroenteritis is an infection of the digestive system caused by a parasite. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss.

Causes

Parasitic gastroenteritis is caused by a variety of parasites, including protozoan parasites such as Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and other helminths, such as tapeworms, roundworms, and flukes.

Symptoms

Symptoms of parasitic gastroenteritis can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Other symptoms include fever, chills, and malaise.

Treatment

Treatment of parasitic gastroenteritis is usually done with antiparasitic medications, such as metronidazole or tinidazole.

Herbal treatments for parasitic gastroenteritis include garlic, ginger, turmeric, oregano oil, and black walnut.

Prevention

Prevention of parasitic gastroenteritis can be done by avoiding contaminated food and water, washing hands frequently, and wearing gloves when gardening or handling soil.

Control

Control of parasitic gastroenteritis can be done by removing any potential sources of contamination, such as water sources, and controlling the environment where the parasites live.

Conclusion

For each of these diseases, prevention is the best approach. When a disease is detected, timely and effective treatment is critical to minimize the spread of the disease and to protect the health of the herd. Treatment options vary depending on the type of disease but may include antibiotics, anti-parasitic drugs, vaccines, and supportive care. It is important to work with a veterinarian to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for any disease that is detected.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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