Lumpy Jaw (गलझोंठ रोग) in Cattle, Goats, and Sheep

Lumpy Jaw in Cattle Goats and Sheep

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Lumpy jaw or actinomycosis is a dangerous bacterial infection. It affects cattle, goats, and sheep.  When cattle, sheep, or goats get affected with Lumpy jaw diseases, they get hard swellings on the jaw bones because of the by-products that accumulate and start breaking the bones! And to cure the broken bone, the body’s immune system starts fighting the bacterial infection by creating new bone.  

Refit Animal Care is proactive in communicating and spreading awareness about the ways to enhance your cattle’s productivity and have better profitability.  Thus, this blog discusses the causes and symptoms, prevention, and treatment of lumpy jaw to always have a healthy herd of cattle, goats, and sheep.

Causes of Lumpy Jaw

  • Bacteria named Actinomyces bovis is responsible for this disease. 
  • The bacteria live and remain active in the mouths of cattle, goats, and sheep. 
  • The bacteria enter the body when some damage occurs to the mouth because of coarse or hard feed, sharp objects, or dental issues.
  • While getting new teeth wounds are caused in the mouth.
  • During these periods if hygienic conditions are not maintained along with required care, bacteria get a chance to enter the body through these wounds.
  • Lack of nutritious food especially lack of Vitamin A or iodine. 
  • Weak Immune System can also increase the chances of infection. 

Symptoms of Lumpy Jaw

  • Fever due to low immunity.
  • Swelling on the jawbone, usually on the lower or upper jaw. 
  • With the increase in infection, the skin may get draining sinuses that may discharge pus containing yellow granules (sulfur granules).
  • As the jaw becomes swollen and deformed, cattle, goats, and sheep may have trouble chewing and holding food.
  • Weight Loss due to non-ability of eating food.
  • Severe swelling of the face.

Species Variations of Lumpy Jaw in Cattle, Sheep, and Goats

Cattle: Lumpy jaw is most common in young cattle. The disease generally progresses slowly. Till some time, the affected animal may look in good health.

Goats: Though the disease is less frequent in goats as compared to cattle, it can be more sever and progress faster, once the goat gets affected. 

Sheep: Sheep are the least susceptible of the three species to the lumpy jaw.

Treatment of Lumpy Jaw

Apart from the visible signs like a swollen face and distorted jaw, diagnosis of a lumpy jaw can also be done through laboratory tests like radiography (x-rays) and pus samples analysis.

For treatment contact your local veterinarian. Effective treatment for lumpy jaw may involve a multipronged approach.

  • Long-term administration of antibiotics to treat bacterial infection. Generally, antibiotics like penicillin are administered by local veterinarians. 
  • In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the infected tissue to control the spread of infection. 
  • Regular medication, care, and nutritious food can further enhance the health of the cattle, sheep, and goats.
Prevention of Lumpy Jaw

Though no vaccine is yet available for the treatment of Lumpy Jaw or Actinomycosis, some of the practices may help you avoid or reduce the risk of the infection in your herds. 

  • Provide high-quality, nutritious feed including vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and amino acids to enhance the immunity of the cattle.  
  • Add cattle feed supplements to regular feed.
  • Always opt for branded cattle feed supplements that are locally available, branded, and proven to provide the required boost to the immune system of cattle.
  • The higher the immunity, the lesser the chances of getting infected with bacteria.
  • Maintain good dental hygiene.
  • Regular veterinary checkups.
  • If animals are under stress, then it can weaken the immune system. 
  • This can make them more susceptible to infections.
  • Do not introduce new animals to the herd directly.
  • Quarantine and isolate new animals initially and then gradually add them among your healthy animals after thorough observation for any kind of infections or issues. 

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