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Foot and mouth disease in livestock and its treatment.

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious virus disease of animals especially cow, buffalo and goats. It is one of the most serious livestock diseases. Although FMD is not very lethal in adult animals, it can kill young animals and cause serious production losses. It reduces the milk production in the older animals. Bearing animals often lose their foetus and remain sick for prolonged time.

Symptoms:

The disease is caused by a virus of which there are seven ‘types’, each producing the same symptoms. The clinical signs are fever followed by the appearance of vesicles (fluid-filled blisters) between the toes and on the heels, on mammary glands and especially on the lips, tongue and palate. These vesicles often combine to form large, swollen blisters that erupt to leave raw, painful ulcers that take up to 10 days to heal.

Foot lesions leave animals lame and unable to walk to feed or water. Tongue and mouth lesions are very painful and cause animals to drool and stop eating. Adults usually begin eating again after a few days, but young animals may weaken and die, or be left with foot deformities or damage to the mammary glands.

Treatment:

  • Vaccination must be done timely. Vaccination should not be done when there is outbreak because such vaccination does not help much. A course of preventive vaccination must be done 2-3 times in a year.
  • Affected animals must be given instant antibiotics such as amoxicillin and oxytetracycline.
  • In case of high fever medicines such as flunixin melamine diclofenac sodium and ketoprofen must be given.
  • As livestock require a proper balance of water content. So dextrose bottles should be used to avoid storage of water content in animals.
  • Animal’s foot should be soaked in copper sulfate or formalin based water solution and wounds must be sprayed with germicides regularly.
  • For sick animals half kg butter must be heated and it should be fed to the respective animals. In addition to that half dozen desi eggs should be given to the animal, as it gives instant energy. Eggs contain a huge content of vitamins and due to the fluid nature of eggs, wounds are healed and affected animals start feeding.

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