United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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beneath them, the contents of hay-lofts should be destroyed, and the
woodwork and soil beneatli the stables should be thoroughly drenched
with a solution of bichloride of mercury, one part to two thousand of
water. After the flooring is replaced the woodwork should be coated
with lime wash, containing one-fourth i>ound of chloride of lime to the
gallon of mixture.

Usually in these cases the owners are dc]>cndcnt upon their herd of
cows for their living, and, consequently, it is difficult or impossible to
hold the stables vacant for any considerable period. In a majority of
instances cattle maybe at once admitted to stables so disinfected, with-
out the reappearance of the disease. Occasionally, however, it will
reappear without apparent cause. For this reason the inspection and
other measures must be maintained in the infected district for six
months or a year after the last case of disease has been disposed of.

Many people have objected to the slaughter of diseased and exjiosed
animals as an unscientific and expensive method of eradicating this


disease. To these it may be answered that it is the only method -which
has ever proved successful, and that in the end it is much more eco-
nomical than temporizing measures.

Inoculation has been adopted in many countries, and has undoubt-
edly lessened the death rate, but the disease is kept up and spreads
where this practice is allowed. For this reason it should be prohibited
wherever there is a possibility and disposition to eradicate the con-


[Description of plates.]

PLATE XXX. The dorsal or upper surface of the lungs of the ox reduced to one
sixth of the natural size : a, a', the right and the left principal lobe. Those are the
largest and are situated posteriorly, resting upon the diaphragm ; &, I', the ventral
lobes, situated between the principal lobes, and c, c', c", the most anterior or
cephalic lobes; c, c', c", anterior or cephalic lobes. The right auterior is divided into
two lobes (c, c'), the left is single (c") ; d, trachea or windpipe.

Those portions of the lung tissue lying outside of the dotted lines are the ones
most commonly affected in the ordinary types of pneumonia. In the majority of
the lungs examined in the laboratory of the Bureau, which were affected with con-
tagious pleuro-pneumonia, the principal lobes (a, a') were primarily affected.

PLATE XXXI. The ventral or middle lobe of the right lung affected with collapse
and beginning broncho-pneumonia. The light yellowish portions represent healthy
lung tissue, the red represents the disease. It will be noticed that the lines between
the lobules are quite faint, indicating little or no inflammation of the connective
tissue between the lobules. The healthy lung tissue is seen to be raised above the
level of the diseased portion. In contagious pleuro-pneumouia the exact reverse is
the case, the diseased portions being very much larger than the healthy.

PLATE XXXII. Appearance of a cow's lung affected with contagious pleuro-pneu-
monia when sections or slices are made of it and cut surfaces examined. Fig. 1.
Transverse section through the right principal lobe in a case of acute pleuro-pneu-
inonia. The area drawn includes the air -tubes, veins, and arteries, and illustrates
the great thickening of the interlobular connective tissue into broad whitish bands,
and of the walls of the air-tubes, veins, and arteries: a, air-tube, cut obliquely; a',
air-tube cut directly across ; b, arteries cut across ; c, large vein completely occluded
by a thrombus, or plug formed during life. The great thickening of the walls of the
artery and vein in this disease is especially brought out by stating that in the
healthy lung they are so thin as to be easily overlooked. Fig. 2. Transverse sect ion
of the principal lobe in a case of acute pleuro-pneumonia, illustrating the different
kinds of hepatization or consolidation of the lung. These arc indicated by the
different colors from dark red to reddish yellow. This variation of color is regarded
by some as the real marbling characteristic of pleuro-pneuuionia, while the whitish
bands penetrating the lung tissue in all directions constitute the true marbling ac-
cording to other observers.

PLATE XXXIII. Illustrates what are called infarctions in pleuro-pneumonia. The
right half of the figure shows nearly normal lung tissue. The left represents a
blackish mass in Avhich the lung tissue is filled with blood and solidified. This is
caused by the plugging of the vein carrying away the blood from this portion.
The heart forces the blood through the artery into the tissue at considerable pres-
sure, but, owing to the fact that its return is prevented, the minute blood-vessels
rupture and the air vesicles become distended with blood which coagulates and
causes the firmness of the tissue.



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PI.'ATE xxxi

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< '<, r.\<;i<>rs iM.KriM) PXI.I



Rinderpest, also known as cattle plague, is an acute infectious dis-
ease of cattle in which the digestive organs are mainly involved.
Though unknown in this country, the importance of having near at
hand a few definite facts concerning this disease, should it ever reach
our shores, will be at once appreciated. A knowledge of such facts
may aid in an early recognition of the disease. It must not be for-
gotten, on the other hand, that a superficial knowledge of diseases,
such as the layman may gain through reading, not infrequently leads to
confounding comparatively harmless, nouinfectious maladies Avith such
as are truly dangerous (foot-and-mouth disease, rinderpest, etc.), and
causes temporary panics among stock-owners.

liinderpest has its home, according to some authorities, in the terri-
tory around the Black Sea and the Volga River in Russia, according to
others, in Central Asia. Thence it has been conveyed at various times
by cattle to the countries of western Europe, where it has proved a
veritable bovine scourge. It probably visited Europe as early as
the beginning of the Christian era, and the migrations of people from
the far East have since then introduced the disease from time to time.
Especially during the eighteenth century it was more or less prevalent
in Europe, owing to the frequent wars, during which herds of cattle were
brought from eastern Europe and Asia to supply the demands of the
armies. As late as 1870 it prevailed in Europe during the Franco-
Prussian war.

The virus is conveyed from one country to another chiefly by means
of infected cattle. The railroad facilities of the present, which furnish
the means of such rapid communications, are particularly liable to aid
in the dissemination of the disease.

In the past rinderpest has been supposed identical with various hu-
man diseases, among them smallpox and typhoid fever. These sup
positions are unfounded, and the view of authorities to-day is that it
is a disease of a peculiar kind, not identical with any other known
infectious disease.

The contayium of Ihc rinderpest. The cause of rinder^st must be
looked for among microorganisms most likely bacteria. The investi-
gations made thus far hardly permit us to draw any positive conclu-
sions. It was formerly supposed by various authorities that rinder]H\st
virus appeared spontaneously under the influence of deteriorated food
and long and exhausting drives, also during unusual meteorological
conditions. This view, however, is no longer maintained. It is proba-
ble that the disease in it* homo in Asia is perpetuated by continual in-
fection of fresh animals, and some authorities even go so far aa to be-
lieve that the disease would 1> entirely stamped out, even in its native,
haunts, by :i destruction of all sick and inferted herds. However this
may be, the success of sack an undertaking would largely depend on


the nature of the cause. If a strictly parasitic organism, like the con-
tagium of pleuro-pneumouia, it might be completely extirpated in this
way. If, however, the germs or bacteria may live and multiply outside
of the bovine body, in the soil, water, or some other animal, extirpation
would be impossible.

The virus may be transmitted from sick to healthy animals in a vari-
ety of ways, both direct and indirect. It is said to be present in the
various excreta of the diseased, such as the discharges from the nose
and the saliva, the urine, and the manure. It retains its vitality out-
side of the body in a moist state for months, even a year or more,
according to some authorities. Hence manure and the fodder and bed-
ding soiled with the discharges may convey the disease. When dried,
however, its vitality is said to be lost in a few days. Persons may
carry the virus on their shoes, clothing, and implements. Even small
animals, such as cats and rats, which frequent barns and stables have
been looked upon as carriers of the virus.

Cattle are very susceptible to the disease, and in its virulent type
all those exposed are said to become infected. Buffaloes, sheep, and
goats are likewise susceptible, but in a less degree.

It is also claimed that animals after having passed through one attack
are able to resist successfully future attacks. Inoculation with virus
is said to produce immunity, but the process of inoculation itself is
followed by death in many cases.

Symiitoms. The symptoms of rinderpest are not very characteristic,
and hence the diagnosis of a suspected case in the beginning of an
invasion is attended with difficulties. Certain appearances which are
characteristic of one epizootic may be absent in another. Different
observers are not quite agreed as to the most constant and important.

The period of incubation, i. <?., the time elapsing between the expos-
ure to infection and the earliest outward symptoms, varies from 3 to 9
days. Then the first sign is a very high fever temperature, which may
reach 107 F. The heat of the skin varies in different parts of the
body, and may be felt at the base of the ears and horns. Eepeated
chills are frequently observed. The pulse reaches 50 to GO beats per
minute, and may rise to 90 or 100 in very severe attacks.

The animal manifests great debility. The head droops a\id rests on
some object of support. One or both ear's may droop. The coat is
staring and the muzzle dry. The secretion of milk diminishes very
rapidly. Within twelve to twenty hours the usual quantity may have
become reduced one-half or two-thirds. The back is arched, and the
four limbs brought together under the body.

As the disease progresses symptoms with reference to the digestive
and respiratory organs become prominent. The mucous membrane of
the mouth, the nose, as well as that of the rectum and vagina, becomes
reddened either in patches or diffusely, and assumes a scarlet hue. The
discharges, at first firm, become softer, and soon diarrhea sets in. This


is said to be one of the most constant symptoms. The rectum may
become everted and paralyzed, and the bowels move spontaneously.
The discharges may be streaked with blood. Coughing is a common
symptom, and by some considered characteristic. It is associated with
discharges from the nose and vagina, and dribbling of saliva from the
mouth. The eyes also are affected. There is an increased formation
of a viscid secretion which flows down the face.

Another series of changes prominent in some epizootics and mild or
absent in others are the ulcers or so-called erosions in the mouth.
These begin as red patches and streaks. The mucous membrane in such
localities is converted into a grayish-white slough, which, when shed,
leaves a small erosion or ulcer. At the same time similar changes may
go on in the skin of the thighs, the udder, or the scrotum, and about
the vagina, which lead to small sloughs.

In severe cases, which are the most common in the susceptible cattle
of western Europe, death ensues four to seven days after the first
appearance of the disease, and is preceded by great emaciation and
debility, fetid, purulent discharges from nose and mouth, and the
relaxed rectum and vagina.

After death, if the animal be opened and the organs carefully exam-
ined, the chief changes will be found in the digestive organs. The
lining membrane of the mouth and pharynx is covered with mucus, is
reddened in spots, and shows superficial yellowish gray, cheesy patches,
which represent dead tissue and when removed expose ulcerated depres-
sions. The same reddening in spots and the yellowish gray, clicesy
deposits or patches are found in the fourth stomach, the small intes-
tines, and more rarely in the crecum, while the third stomach or many-
plies is more or less impacted with dry, hard food. Similar changes
may be found on the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity, the uterus,
vagina, and rectum. In addition to these lesions are others with refer-
ence to the heart, liver, and other vital organs, which need not concern
us here.

Neither treatment nor inoculation is permitted in European countries.


This disease is also known as epizootic aphtha, aphthous fever, eczema
epizootica, and may be defined as an acuto, highly contagious fever of a
specific nature, characterized by the eruption of vesicles or blisters
in the mouth, around the coronets of the feet, and between the toes. It
is not restricted to cattle, but attacks swine with equal facility. Sheep
and goats are less susceptible. Horses, dogs, cats, and fowls are rarely
attacked. Human beings may become infected by drinking the unboiled
milk from animals suffering with the disease. In such cases the symp-
toms resemble those observed in animals. There is fever and diOieulty in
swallowing, followed by an eruption of blisters in the mouth and very
rarely by similar ones on the lingers. The disease is very seldom fatal.


and chiefly restricted to children and to those adults who handle sick
animals or drink large quantities of unboiled inilk. Some veterina-
rians regard the human affection as by no means uncommon in countries
where foot-and-mouth disease prevails, but that the disturbance of
health is usually too slight to come to the notice of the family doctor.

The disease prevails in European countries and occasions great losses.
Although the actual mortality is quite low, and not more than 1 to 3 per
cent of the affected animals die, serious losses result from the diminu-
tion of the milk secretion and consequent interference with the busi-
ness of the dairy. There is likewise more or less loss of flesh in

According to the very accurate statistics collected by the German
Empire, 431,235 head of cattle, 230,868 sheep and goats, and 153,808
swine were affected with the disease in that country in 1890. The
infection, quite insignificant in 1880, had been gradually spreading
until it reached the enormous figures given above in 1890. During
this same year it prevailed in France, Italy, Belgium, Austria-Hungary,
Switzerland, Koumania, and Bulgaria.

Contrary to most other infectious diseases, foot-and-mouth disease
may attack the same animals repeatedly, provided the intervals between
the attacks are longer than six to twelve months. The immunity or
protection conferred is thus only of limited duration. Hence protective
inoculation with the virus, in whatever manner it may be practiced, is
not only of no use but decidedly dangerous, as it will introduce the
disease. It is, however, not uncommon in European countries to practice
inoculation after the disease has appeared in a herd in order to hasten
its progress. This is highly recommended by some, since it not only
hastens the infection, but the disease is apt to be milder and limited to
the mouth. It consists in nibbing with the finger or a piece of cloth a
little of the mucus from the mouth of a diseased animal upon the inner
surface of the upper lip of those to be inoculated. From 50 to 75 per cent
of the inoculated animals take the disease.

As with other communicable diseases, the source and origin of foot-
and-mouth disease has given rise to much speculation. The disease had
been known in Europe for centuries, but it was not until a comparatively
recent date that the erroneous conceptions of its spontaneous origin as
a result of climatic and metorological conditions, exhausting journeys,
etc., were abandoned. It is now generally conceded that foot-and-mouth
disease is propagated by a specific virus and that every outbreak starts
from some preexisting outbreak.

The infection is contained in the eruptions, and hence shed from the
mouth and the feet. A wide distribution of the virus and a rapid infec-
tion of a herd is the result. Animals may be infected directly by coming
in contact with the diseased, or they may be exposed to the virus in
stables, in the field and along roads, in cars, and in all places shortly
before frequented by diseased cattle. Human beings may carry the


vims on their clothing and transmit it on their hands when milking,
since the udder is occasionally the seat of the eruption. Milk in a raw
state may also transmit the disease to animals fed with it.

The observations made by some veterinarians would lead us to sup-
pose that the virus is quite readily destroyed. It is claimed that stables
thoroughly cleaned become safe after drying for a short time. Hence
litter of all kinds, such as manure, soiled hay, and straw, may remain
infective for a longer time because they do not dry out. Other author-
ities maintain that the virus is quite tenacious and may live in stables
even as long as a year. They also state that animals which have passed
through the disease may be a source of infection for several months
after recovery.

Symptoms. After a period of incubation, lasting from three to five
days and sometimes not longer than two days, the disease begins with
a fever. The temperature does not as a rule rise above 104 F. The
lining membrane of the mouth becomes reddened, the appetite is dimin-
ished, and rumination ceases. The mouth is usually kept closed and
the quantity of saliva is increased. A smacking sound is not infre-
quently made by the animal. These symptoms are chiefly due to the
pain accompanying the disease in the mouth. After two or three days
the eruption appears. This consists of small yellowish- white vesicles
or blisters, about as large as a hemp seed or a pea, on the gums and
inner surface of lips, the inside of the cheeks, the border and under
surface of the tongue. They may become half an inch or more in diam-
eter. In some cases the back of the tongue near the tip may be the
seat of large blisters.

These vesicles burst soon after their appearance, sometimes on the
first day. More rarely they may persist two or three days if small.
After they have ruptured the grayish white membrane forming the
blister may remain attached for a day or more, or disappear speedily
and leave deeply reddened spots or erosions, which are very painful.
These exposed spots may soon become covered again with the normal
epithelium, or else bo converted into ulcers under unfavorable condi-
tions. In this stage the saliva forms in large quantities and hangs in
strings from the mouth. In eight to fourteen days the disease may
have entirely disappeared.

In'addition to the changes going on in the mouth, one or more feet
may become diseased. The skin around the coronet and in the cleft
between the toes becomes hot and tender and may swell. Blisters ap-
pear in the inoutli, but they are speedily ruptured, and the inflamed,
exposed spots covered with a viscid substance (exudate).

The disease may attack t tlu> udder in cows, or more particularly the
teats. Some authorities regard the udder disease merely as the result
of infection during milking. The vesieles are broken as they appear
by the hands of the milker, and the teats become covered with red-
dened spots deprived of the superficial layer of skin, and are very


tender. The healing, however, goes on quite rapidly. The milk is
said to be somewhat changed in appearance. It becomes viscid and
coagulates more quickly and is more or less unfit for making butter
and cheese.

These are the main symptoms accompanying an uncomplicated case
of foot-and-mouth disease. In all such recovery is rapid and complete;
but occasionally complications arise which are not only very injurious
but may be fatal. Thus the mouth lesions may be accompanied by
nasal catarrh or pneumonia. The feet, especially, are liable to suffer
when neglected. They may become very much swollen, and the inflam-
mation and suppuration extend to the tendons and bones of the foot,
or the hoof may be shed. In such cases the animals rarely recover.

As a result of the general affection young calves may succumb to a
secondary inflammation of the stomach and bowels, and older animals
may abort or suffer from inflammation of the udder.

Treatment. As the disease is mild and tends to rapid recovery, no
general treatment, excepting that which tends to put the animals in the
best condition, is required. Since the secondary diseases and compli-
cations are the most injurious, and as they are. largely the result of
other bacteria, the greatest care should be exercised in keeping the
animals and their surroundings clean. The bedding should be light and
dry, and frequently changed to prevent further injury to the feet. The
animals should not stand upon hard or rough floors.

To relieve the irritation in the mouth various solutions have been
recommended. Among these are borax, 1 ounce in 3 pints of water;
water containing vinegar and salt; alum 1 ounce in a quart of water.
These may be applied with a syringe or poured in from a bottle, or else
an irri gator may be improvised by attaching a funnel to a rubber tube.
The funnel is elevated and the liquor poured into it. The pressure
necessary may be increased or diminished by raising or lowering the
funnel. The injections may be practiced once or twice a day, and about
half a pint injected each time. The blisters should not be opened.

For the feet in mild cases, in addition to cleanliness and proper bed-
ding, nothing is required. Some veterinarians, however, recommend
antiseptic and astringent applications to prevent further mischief. For
this purpose they may be gently bathed in water containing 1 ounce of
alum to the pint, or in Burow's solution (powdered alum 1 ounce, pow-
dered lead acetate 2 ounces, water 3 quarts). Carbolic acid, 1 ounce in
3 pints of water, or equal parts of wood tar and olive oil are recom-
mended. At the same time some veterinarians state that these sub
stances communicate unpleasant odors to the milk and therefore should
only be used for oxen and young animals.

For the affection of the teats simple glycerine or glycerine contain-
ing one-fourth dram of boracic acid to the ounce may be applied several
times a day, or zinc ointment containing preferably 30 drops of the
tincture of opium to the ounce. Burow's solution given above may


also be applied. Care should be taken to withdraw the inilk at proper


This contagious disease is iiot known in our country, but it is more
or less prevalent on the Continent. It is the subject of legislation in
Germany, and governmental statistics are published annually concern-
ing its distribution in the Empire. According to the latest reports
5,782 head of cattle were attacked during 1890, and there has been a
constant increase in the number of cases since 1886.

A similar or perhaps identical disease of horses has the same distri-
bution. Whether, however, such disease is transmissible from horses
to cattle and vice versa has not been definitely determined.

The disease may be defined as a highly contagious eruption situated
upon the external genital organs of both sexes, and accompanied with
little or no general disturbance of health. The contagion is transmitted
mainly during copulation. The bull may have the disease and convey
it to all the cows with which he comes in contact. Or he may become
infected by one cow, and, although not showing the disease, he may
transmit it for several days after to all other cows during copulation.
Simple contact between one cow and another may convey the disease,

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 45 of 56)