Diseases and ailments of cattle

Material Information

Diseases and ailments of cattle
Series Title:
Shealy, A. L
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
Agricultural Extension Division, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
35 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Cattle -- Diseases -- Florida ( lcsh )
City of Tallahassee ( local )
Diseases ( jstor )
Cattle ( jstor )
Herds ( jstor )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
"June, 1923".
Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Extension Division) ;
Statement of Responsibility:
by A.L. Shealy.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
002570132 ( ALEPH )
47285744 ( OCLC )
AMT6439 ( NOTIS )


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The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

Bulletin 37

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)






Fig. 1.-Portion of a herd of 45 cattle showing no external symptoms of
tuberculosis. Tested, 37 or 82 percent of the animals were found to be
tuberculous. The germs of the disease may live for months in manure or
litter. (Courtesy of U. S. D. A.)

Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the Agricultural Extension
Division, Gainesville, Florida

June, 1923

P. K. YONGE, Chairman, Pensacola
J. B. SUTTON, Tampa
JOHN C. COOPER, JR., Jacksonville
W. L. WEAVER, Perry
J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee


A. A. MURPHREE, A.M., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director and County Agent Leader


E. W. JENKINS, B.Ped., District Agent
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., District Agent
S. W. HIATT, District Agent
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
JOHN M. SCOTT, B.S., Animal Industrialist
N. W. SANBORN, M.D., Poultry Husbandman
HAMLIN L. BROWN, M.S., Dairy Specialist
ED L. AYERS, B.S., Entomologist and Plant Pathologist


SARAH W. PARTRIDGE, State Home Demonstration Agent
HARRIETTE B. LAYTON, Assistant State Home Demonstration
AGNES I. WEBSTER, B.S., District Agent
ELLEN LENOIR, B.A., District Agent
MAY MORSE, R.N., Extension Home Dairy Agent
MINNIE M. FLOYD, B.S., Extension Farm Poultry Agent
MADGE HORN, Assistant Clothing Agent

Cattle in Florida do not have many of the ailments common in
sections of the country where winters are cold and where it is
necessary, therefore, to keep the animals confined to close quar-
ters during such cold periods. But wherever there are cattle
there are certain troubles which need attention. In many cases
these ailments and diseases could have been prevented by sani-
tary conditions in and around the barn and pasture and by cor-
rect methods of feeding.
However, even under the best of sanitary conditions and the
best methods of feeding, certain diseases often make their ap-
pearance, and medical treatment is necessary in order to restore
the sick animal to normal health.
Wherever it is possible to secure the services of a graduate
veterinarian to treat such cases, it should be done, for it is often
very difficult to correctly diagnose the trouble (find out just
what it is). Then, the sick animal should receive the correct
treatment for the particular disease, and in most cases only the
person trained along this particular line can prescribe the cor-
rect treatment.
In many communities of Florida there are no graduate veteri-
narians and the farmers are left to their own resources. This bul-
letin is published for the purpose of helping just such farmers.
It may be of service to all cattle owners, in that they may be as-
sisted in recognizing certain diseases or ailments or be enabled
to prevent them by certain sanitary measures and feeding meth-
Tuberculosis is probably the most dangerous disease of cattle,
not only from an economic standpoint (this disease causes a
loss of millions of dollars to the livestock industry yearly), but
also from the fact that it is possible for human beings, especially
children, to contract the disease from cattle by drinking the
milk. It is widespread, occurring in all sections of the country,
but is less frequent where cows are kept outdoors.
One of the dangerous features of tuberculosis is that it is very
deceptive; many cases never show outside or external symptoms.
In most diseases there are certain external symptoms whereby
the disease may be recognized, but in many cases of tubercu-
losis, even in advanced stages, there are no noticeable symptoms.

Florida Cooperative Extension

The Disease is Caused by a Specific Germ called Bacillus tuber-
culosis. This germ gains entrance into the body of the cow
mainly thru contaminated food and water which become con-
taminated by the germs' escaping thru discharges from the
mouth, nose and bowels of affected animals. The milk often con-
tains these germs. The common drinking trough or water hole
is dangerous in spreading this disease. Running water may
carry the germs from one farm to another. Pastures may be-
come contaminated with the discharges which contain the germs
and constitute a source of infection. Feed troughs are apt to
become contaminated with the germs from some of the body
discharges, and it is a very common occurrence for cattle in
stalls adjoining a tubercular patient to become infected. Young
calves become diseased by drinking milk which contains the
germs. Such milk may come from a diseased udder or from
teats which have been contaminated with bowel discharges con-
taining the tubercular germs. Manure which drops from the
hairs of a cow into the milk pail is also liable to infect the milk.
Such milk is dangerous for human consumption.
Swine generally become infected by following tubercular cat-
tle and eating matter contained within the droppings of the dis-
eased cattle. They may also become infected by drinking raw
skimmilk from diseased cows.
Symptoms and the Tuberculin Test.-Since many cases of tu-

Fig. 2.-A reacting cow that was constantly "bloating." The pressure of
greatly enlarged tubercular glands on the gullet was the cause of the
bloating. (Courtesy of U. S. D. A.)

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

berculosis do not show external symptoms, one should never
rely on outward appearances in determining the presence of the
disease. However, one should suspect tuberculosis when any of
the following symptoms occur: Loss of flesh, unthriftiness, di-
minished milk flow, rough coat, cough, increased respirations,
constant bloating, persistent diarrhea, and hard lumps over the
body which indicate infected lymph glands. The lymph glands,
which may be infected with tuberculosis (recognized by external
swellings), are located about the angle of the jaw, in front of
the shoulder blade, in the hind flank and in front of the udder.
In order to determine whether or not tuberculosis is present,
a competent veterinarian should apply the tuberculin test to
the cattle. Such tests should be applied annually, even tho the
herd is found free of tuberculosis. If any cases of tuberculosis
are found, the test should be applied oftener than once a year
until the herd is free. There need be no fear on the part of an
owner that the cattle will contract tuberculosis from the tuber-
culin used in these tests, for tuberculin does not contain germs
of tuberculosis.
There are three methods of applying the tuberculin test. These
are, the subcutaneous, the intradermal and the opthalmic.

Fig. 3.-Beef carcass showing tubercular nodules on ribs. (Courtesy of
U. S. D. A.)

Florida Cooperative Extension

In applying the subcutaneous test, the tuberculin is injected
under the skin; a rising of the temperature following the injec-
tion denotes tubercular infection.
When the intradermal test is applied the tuberculin is injected
between the layers of the skin. A swelling at the point of in-
jection denotes a reaction, which indicates tuberculosis.
When the opthalmic test is given the tuberculin is placed in
one eye. A discharge from the eye after instilling the tuberculin
means that the animal has the disease.
No Cure.-Cattle giving positive reaction to the test should be
slaughtered immediately, for if they are not destroyed they may
spread the disease to many other animals.

The Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture has taken the initiative in the eradication
of tuberculosis from livestock in developing the "Accredited
Herd Plan." This eradication work which is being carried out
by federal and state authorities should receive the hearty sup-
port of all cattle owners. The following are some of the rules
under which the "Accredited Herd Plan" works:
"A tuberculosis-free accredited herd is one in which no ani-
mal affected with tuberculosis has been found upon two annual
or three semi-annual tuberculin tests, and by physical examina-
tion, applied by a regularly employed veterinarian of the United
States Bureau of Animal Industry or of the State in which coop-
erative tuberculosis eradication work is conducted by the United
States Department of Agriculture and the State, or one in which
no animal affected with tuberculosis has been found upon two
annual or three semi-annual tuberculin tests applied by an ac-
credited and a Federal or State Veterinarian.
"The subcutaneous, intradermal and opthalmic methods of ap-
plying the tuberculin test are approved.
"The initial testing in accredited herd work may be by either
the subcutaneous or intradermic method but the opthalmic meth-
od shall only be used in combination with the subcutaneous or in-
tradermic method.
"A herd which in any previous test shows evidence of infec-
tion before being accredited, the final test shall be by a combina-
tion of recognized tuberculin tests applied at the discretion of
the Federal and State authorities.
"A herd which has been removed from the accredited list on

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

account of a reactor shall, when ordered by the proper livestock
sanitary official of the State, be reinstated on tests applied by
accredited veterinarians, provided such tests are made in ac-
cordance with this plan.
"The entire herd, or any cattle in the herd, shall be tuberculin
tested or retested at such time as is considered necessary by the
Federal and State authorities.
"No cattle shall be presented for the tuberculin test which
have been injected with tuberculin within sixty days immedi-
ately preceding, or which have at any time reacted to a tubercu-
lin test.
"An accredited herd in which not more than one reactor is
found at a subsequent tuberculin test, may be reinstated to the
list if the entire herd passes a successful test without reactors;
said test to be applied not less than four months from the date
when the reactor is removed from the herd and farm, providing
the owner has complied with all the requirements with refer-
ence to the introduction of additional animals to the herd, and
also other requirements of the accredited herd plan.
"No cattle other than those of an accredited herd shall be
added to an accredited herd or to a herd that is in the process
of accreditation, until they have passed two tuberculin tests ap-
plied at intervals of not less than sixty days or more than ninety
days by a regularly employed State or Federal veterinarian spe-
cially authorized by the State and Bureau to conduct such tests.
The cattle may, after passing the first test, be placed on the farm
or premises containing an accredited herd or one in the pro-
cess of accreditation but must not be allowed to associate with
said herd until after passing the second test.
"Before a herd can be accredited the stables and premises shall
be placed in a sanitary condition. When reactors are disclosed
as the result of any test, they must be immediately removed from
the farm and the stables thoroughly cleaned and disinfected be-
fore the herd shall be identified as in process of accreditation.
"Cattle from an accredited herd may be shipped interstate, by
certificate obtained from the office of the State livestock sani-
tary officials of the State in which the herd is located or from
the office of the Bureau of Animal Industry without further tu-
berculin test for a period of one year, subject to the rules and
regulations of the State of destination."
Any cattle owner desiring further information on the "Ac-
credited Herd Plan" and also relative to having their cattle

Florida Cooperative Extension

tested should write to "Inspector in Charge, Tuberculosis Eradi-
cation Work, Tallahassee, Florida," or to "State Veterinarian,
Tallahassee, Florida."

Contagious abortion of cattle is far more serious than the av-
erage dairyman thinks. Unless a person is very careful in pur-
chasing cattle, it is very easy to introduce abortion into the herd,
especially when animals are brought from districts where this
disease is prevalent. When buying cattle one should keep this
disease in mind and endeavor to get a history of the herd from
which purchases are made, and particularly of the individual
animals bought.
Cause and How Spread.-Contagious abortion is caused by a
germ known as Bacillus abortus Bang. Some investigators have
found other germs which associate with this one and which may
help in producing the trouble.
An animal is more apt to become infected during pregnancy
than at any other time. The germ gains entrance into the body
thru contaminated food and water. Formerly, it was thought
that the bull was largely responsible for the spread of this dis-
ease. The thought was that the abortion germs got onto the
penis or the sheath of the bull when he served a diseased cow;
the germs were then, in turn, introduced into healthy cows.
However, it has been proved that the bull is in no way respon-
sible for the spread of the disease, except in case his generative
organs are infected and the discharge therefrom comes in con-
tact with food and water. Some investigators have found it im-
possible to infect healthy cows by means of introducing the liv-
ing germs into their generative organs. Yet they found it easy
to infect the same cow by giving them these same living germs
in their food or water.
If the bull is infected, he should be kept away from the cows
at all times except for service. Serving should be done on ground
over which cows do not graze, for should the germs of the dis-
ease in the spermatic fluid escape upon the ground, the grass
may be infested. If served by an infected bull a cow should be
kept away from the rest of the herd and off of the regular pas-
ture for 24 hours.
The food and water may become contaminated with the germs
of contagious abortion from an aborted foetus, the placentae
(or afterbirth), the discharge from the womb which follows

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

abortion, or an apparently normal birth from the infected or dis-
eased cow. The spermatic fluid of the bull may also infect the
food or water. Milk from a diseased cow may contain the germs
and thus infect young calves. But calves so infected become
healthy and normal before reaching breeding age. Therefore,
if they abort upon reaching maturity, they necessarily became
infected after growing up.
How the Germ Acts.-When the germ gains entrance into a
cow thru contaminated food and water, it is carried by the blood
stream to the womb. Upon reaching the womb, it causes a dis-
eased condition of the placentae (the membranes within which
the young develops), thereby interfering with the nourishment
of the young. As a result, the young dies and abortion results,
which means the growing foetus is expelled from the body. The
mucous membrane lining the womb also becomes diseased. Then,
the discharge from the infected womb will contain the germs for
two or three weeks or, in exceptional cases, for a month or two.
From the results of the work of leading investigators, it seems
that after an animal aborts the germs remain within the womb

Fig. 4.-A "carrier" of contagious abortion, altho immune to the disease.
She aborted three calves, then dropped three normal ones. To all outside
appearances she is apparently normal. (Courtesy of F. B. Hadley in
"Principles of Veterinary Science")
for only a few weeks; then they pass to the udder and lymph
glands which drain the udder; and there they remain somewhat
inactive until the next pregnancy. When the animal becomes
pregnant again, these germs are carried back from the lymph

Florida Cooperative Extension

glands of the udder and from the udder itself to the pregnant
womb where they infect the membranes within which the young
is developing and reinfect the womb, and finally abortion occurs
again. In many cases, an infected cow aborts only once or twice,
building up in the meantime enough resistance to the disease to
enable her to carry the young the normal length of time. Yet
she may still harbor the disease germs for years, giving them off
during an apparently normal birth thru the infected afterbirth
or thru the infected discharge from her womb.
Symptoms.-There are no definite symptoms or signs whereby
this disease may be recognized, as is the case in most other dis-
eases. The act of abortion is in itself a symptom of the disease,
so where abortions occur within a herd this contagious disease
should be suspected. Very often infected cows retain their af-
terbirths, do not clean up after aborting, or give birth to an ap-
parently normal calf. Where there are cases of barrenness or
even cases of "shy" breeders, contagious abortion should be sus-
pected. In many cases of this trouble the udder is often affected
at intervals with gargett" (inflammation of the udder).
A cow may be infected and yet give birth to apparently nor-

I ..

Fig. 5.-An aborted fetal calf (Courtesy of F. B. Hadley)
The mother of this fetus was purposely infected witn a large
dose of the abortion germs four months after she conceived.
This caused abortion during the seventh month of pregnancy.
Note the development at this stage.

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

mal calves. But such a cow may be a "carrier" of the disease,
since she gives off large numbers of the germs thru the dis-
charge from her womb after giving birth to an apparently nor-
mal calf.
In order to determine whether or not contagious abortion
really exists within the herd, it is recommended that a graduate
veterinarian be secured to take samples of blood from all cattle
within the herd and that these samples be sent to a laboratory
where the blood tests may be applied. Such tests are valuable in
telling whether or not the herd is infected and, to a certain de-
gree, the extent of infection. However, such tests will not tell
what animals may abort.
Control of Contagious Abortion is far more difficult than that
of most other diseases. The presence of "carrier" cows, those
that are infected, makes the control of contagious abortion most
difficult. Such a cow may give birth to an apparently normal
calf but still give off large numbers of germs after such appar-
ently normal birth.
Sanitation thru cleanliness is the best means of prevention.
There is no drug which is effective in treating this disease. If
the herd becomes infected, one should provide an open isolation
or maternity pen. A small adjoining lot where the cow may take
exercise should be provided. The pen or stall should have a con-
crete floor, and be so constructed as to admit all the sunlight pos-
sible. Let the adjoining lot be completely exposed to the sun's
When a cow aborts she should immediately be put into the
isolation pen. If a graduate veterinarian is accessible, he should
be consulted. In order to help clear up the discharge from the
cow's womb, it is recommended that it be douched syringedd)
out daily, with a warm normal salt solution. Prepare such a so-
lution by adding about 2 tablespoonfuls of common salt to 1 gal-
lon of warm water. This douche may be applied thru a clean
rubber hose attached to a clean pump. Insert the end of the
hose into the womb and by working the pump handle gently,
wash it out carefully. Or insert a clean funnel into one end of a
rubber hose, elevate the funnel end above the level of the cow,
insert the hose into the womb and carefully pour in the solution.
Use at least two gallons of water in giving these douches. Do
not use antiseptic solutions of any kind for this purpose, for they
are dangerous and irritating and thereby aggravate the diseased
and delicate membrane lining the womb. After discharge ceases,

Florida Cooperative Extension

disinfect the skin about the tail and rump and turn the cow out
with the rest of the .herd. The cement floor of the maternity
stall should be washed thoroly with a disinfecting solution after
each douching. The person giving this treatment should disin-
fect his hands and clothes before and afterward, as there is dan-
ger of spreading the disease to another cow by some of the germs'
coming in contact with the food and water.
Abortion Sometimes Followed by Retained Afterbirth.-Many
cases of abortion are followed by a retention of the afterbirth.
If it is possible, always employ the services of a graduate veter-
inarian to treat such cases, as it is dangerous for the average
person to attempt it himself.
To Remove a Retained Afterbirth.-In case it is impossible to
get a veterinarian, the following instructions should prove help-
ful in removing a retained afterbirth: Do not detach the after-
birth by passing the hand into the womb and pulling it out by
force. The proper procedure is: First, separate the patient
from the rest of the herd; put her in the isolation pen. Second,
cut off the afterbirth, which is hanging from the vagina, as close
up as possible. Then let the cow alone for six hours, for often
the remainder of the afterbirth will be expelled within that time.
In case it is still retained begin a series of douchings, giving at
least three such washings with warm normal salt solution within
the first 24 hours. The second day give at least two or three
and, if the afterbirth is still retained at the end of 48 hours and
if a veterinarian cannot be gotten to remove it, proceed as fol-
lows: Thoroly clean the hand, cover it with vaseline, and care-
fully pass it into the womb. Gradually remove the membrane re-
tained. The membrane will be found to be attached to small pro-
jections, called cotyledons. These projections are normal and
should be handled very carefully. The structure of the womb is
quite complicated, containing the delicate cotyledons thru which
the young is nourished, and this is why only skilled persons
should attempt to remove the afterbirth.
Precautions.-After the afterbirth has been removed, it should
be burned or buried. The animal should receive daily douches
of warm normal salt solution until the discharge ceases, as pre-
viously recommended. Then disinfect the hind parts and turn
the cow out with the rest of the herd.
Always burn or bury all aborted foetuses (dropped calves)
and afterbirths, for they are dangerous in keeping the premises
heavily infested with the germs of contagious abortion. Do not

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

purchase cows until the place is finally freed of the infection, for
the introduction into the herd of healthy, normal cows serves to
keep the herd infected, since each of the healthy cows may con-
tract the disease and pass thru all its various stages. New blood
should be introduced by means of a new bull, relying on the old
cows for building up the herd.
Vaccinations either as preventive or cures have never proved
satisfactory. A form of living organisms given to virgin heif-
ers two months prior to service seems to help somewhat in con-
trolling the disease, but such treatment should never be used by
any other than a graduate veterinarian; abortion may be intro-
duced into the herd if this treatment is given otherwise.

There is probably no greater menace to the cattle industry of
the South than the Texas fever tick which causes the disease
known as Texas fever, named from the tick which causes it.
Therefore, to eradicate the tick is to eradicate the disease and
the greatest menace to the cattle industry. As long as there are
Texas fever ticks, there will be Texas fever among the cattle of
the South and it will be dangerous to import tick-free cattle,
unless they are kept on tick-free pastures.
Cause and Symptoms.-The cause of Texas fever is a micro-
scopic organism called the Piroplasma bigeminum which is car-
ried by the Texas fever (or common cattle) tick. It is intro-
duced into the cow thru the mouth organs of this insect when it
sucks blood. It finds its way into the red blood corpuscles and
causes a disintegrItion or breaking down of these cells.
Some cases of Texas fever are more acute than others. Often,
however, the affected animal shows gradual emaciation and un-
thriftiness for two or three months, during which time the tem-
perature may rise two or three degrees for intervals of from
four to five days, the fever gradually disappearing only to reap-
pear in from 15 to 20 days. Gradually the animal gets weaker,
the fever lasts longer, and finally the cow gets helpless. At this
stage, the temperature remains from 104 to 107 degrees Fahren-
heit, and the appetite is totally lost. The mucous membranes are
now pale, and extreme emaciation and unthriftiness are present.
Breathing is rapid and difficult. If the animal is in milk, its
flow is suppressed. Either constipation or diarrhea is present,
and the urine is usually highly colored, being red in color due to
the elimination of the red coloring matter of the red blood cells.

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In some cases, the acute symptoms may be evident at the outset
of this disease.
A cow that dies of Texas fever usually has mucous mem-
branes that are pale yellow in color. The blood is quite thin and
watery. Bloody spots may be seen over the surface of the heart.
The liver is brownish yellow in color and the gall bladder is
greatly distended with an excess of bile. The bile is thick and
ropy or even may be flaky. The spleen or melt is greatly en-
larged and is filled with a dark substance resembling tar. The
bladder is often filled with red-colored urine.
Treatment for Texas Fever is quite unsuccessful and unre-
liable. However, some efforts toward treatment should be un-
dertaken. Give a pound of epsom salts in a drench. If the ani-
mal gets down, a stimulant of aromatic spirits of ammonia, given
in 2- or 4-tablespoonful doses three or four times daily, may be
beneficial. Two tablespoonfuls of sweet spirits of nitre, given
three times daily, tends to favor elimination thru the kidneys
and urinary organs. The aromatic spirits of ammonia and sweet
spirits of nitre are given in water as a drench.
Prevention.-Texas fever should be prevented by eradication
of the Texas fever tick. This can be done by the systematic dip-
ping-in the standard arsenical solution-of all cattle in a given
territory every 14 days. It is necessary to dip every 14 days
in order to insure complete eradication, for by dipping at this
interval the tick is killed before it reaches sexual maturity. If
it reaches this age and is unmolested, it will drop off the cow,
and start a new generation of ticks-thousands of them-to
further annoy cattle.

Hemorrhagic septicemia is a disease caused by a specific germ
known as Bacillus bovisepticus. This disease may be transmit-
ted from one animal to another thru contaminated food and
water. The germ may live within the soil for months.
Symptoms.-An animal affected with hemorrhagic septicemia
usually loses flesh rapidly, becomes emaciated and unthrifty,
and has no appetite. Breathing is rapid and with much effort,
and a cough is usually present. The pulse is faster than nor-
mally. Frequently, diarrhea accompanies the trouble, the bowel
discharges at times being blood-streaked and covered with mu-
cous. The diseased animal is nervous and very easily excited
and in severe cases may even run into objects and tremble as in a

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

spasm. Swellings may be observed about the angle of the jaw,
between the forelegs and under the belly. Such swellings often
leave impressions when pressed with the fingers. The milk:flow
is diminished greatly. In advanced cases, small hemorrhages or
bloody spots may be seen on the membrane of the eye and nasal
A post-mortem examination would show the lymph glands
greatly reddened and congested with blood; and small hemor-
rhages or bloody spots might be found on the lining of the chest
cavity, on the surface of the heart and lungs, over the dia-
phragm, on the outer covering of the stomach and intestines,
over the surface of the spleen, kidneys and the inner lining of
the bladder. Blood-stained fluid usually is discharged from the
rectum within a short time after the animal dies. The mem-
branous sac covering the heart may be filled with a solid gela-
tinous-like, straw-colored substance.
Treatment.-There is no medical treatment helpful in cases
of hemorrhagic septicemia. Preventive measures should be ob-
served. Separate the well animals from the sick ones. The
premises should be disinfected with a solution of lysol, creolin or
other disinfectant. Troughs and mangers may be disinfected
with a solution of formalin made by adding 5 ounces of formalin
to 1 gallon of water.
The use of hemorrhagic septicemia bacterin is helpful in
checking the spread of the disease.
All carcases of animals which die of this disease should be
either burned or buried at least five feet underground.

Actinomycosis, or "lumpy jaw," is a disease caused by the
"ray fungus." This fungus is found on roughage such as dried
pasture grass, hay cut from over-flowed lowlands, straw of
wheat and oats, and the heads of barley.
Symptoms.-This disease is recognized by swellings in the
region of the head, which may involve the upper or lower jaw-
bone, the loose tissue in the region of the lower jaw or the
The animal becomes diseased by eating roughage contaminat-
ed with this fungus. The germs gain entrance into the tissues
thru the mucous membrane of the mouth or tongue, should the
membrane be broken, thru the gums when the animal sheds its
milk teeth, or thru skin abrasions.

Florida Cooperative Extension

Fig. 6.-Typical case of "lumpy jaw," or actinomycosis. (Courtesy of M. H.
Reynolds in "Veterinary Studies")

When the growth occurs in the loose tissue of the lower-jaw
region, it occurs first as a slight swelling, gradually increasing in
size. It is then hard to the touch. Some weeks later, the hard
swollen area develops a soft center and the surrounding tissue
breaks down forming an abscess from which pus is discharged.
The pus discharge is slimy in character, light yellow in color,
and contains yellow granules. In case the jawbone, either upper
or lower, is diseased, the swelling gradually increases. The en-
largement now is extremely hard and cannot be moved around,
for it is a bony growth. When the tongue is diseased, it is swol-
len and the cow eats with difficulty. It becomes stiff, and often
small nodules protrude at the root of the tongue.
Treatment is largely surgical and this should only be attempted
by a graduate veterinarian who can dissect the affected parts
and determine what the trouble is. After removing the dis-
eased tissue, the area usually is painted with tincture of iodine.
Internal treatment consists of giving 1-dram doses of potas-
sium iodide twice daily for ten days, then waiting for four or five
days and again repeating as before. If the jawbone becomes in-
fected, the chances for successful treatment are few, this stage of
the disease usually being considered incurable.

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

Cowpox is a disease in which small vesicles or blisters appear
around the udder and teats of the cow. It is due to a specific
germ which may be transmitted very easily to other animals
within the herd, if proper precautions are not taken to pre-
vent it.
Symptoms.-When the disease first appears, small, red, swollen
areas may be observed over the surface of the udder or teats.
At first these areas are about the size of a pea or even smaller,
but they soon grow larger. The areas in a short time form small
blisters or vesicles which contain a clear, thin, watery-like fluid.
The blisters eventually break open, allowing the fluid to escape,
leaving behind a raw sore surface.
Treatment consists in washing the parts with a mild antiseptic
solution, drying thoroly and applying carbolated vaseline or zinc-
oxide ointment twice daily. Always let the badly affected cow
be the last of the bunch to be milked. Even then, the hands must
be thoroly disinfected after milking in order to prevent the
spread of the disease to other cows in the herd.

White scours is a contagious type of diarrhea and, should
precautions not be carried out, many calves in the herd may be
infected with it. It is due to a specific germ found in the dirt,
filth and manure around dark, poorly ventilated, damp or un-
sanitary dairy barns. The young calf becomes infected by the
germ's entering thru the broken navel cord or the mouth. The
cow's teats may be contaminated with this germ, or the calf may
lick its own coat or the coat of another animal to which the germs
may be clinging and thereby become infected.
Symptoms.-The disease usually comes on within from 48 to
72 hours after birth and ordinarily lasts only two or three days,
most affected animals dying within that time. The bowel dis-
charges are extremely loose, grayish to white in color, and are
passed out at very frequent intervals. The calf weakens very
quickly, its temperature rises, its appetite is lost, and its eyes
take on a glossy appearance.
Prevention the Remedy.-Medical treatment has very little
effect upon this form of scours. The use of white-scours serum
as a preventive is very helpful. Should the dairy barn be put
in a sanitary condition, many cases of white scours would be pre-

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vented. Clean out the manure regularly and thoroly. Use a
disinfective solution in cleaning the floors. Apply whitewash to
the walls. Allow as much sunlight to enter the barn as is possi-
ble. See that the calf is born in a clean stall. The broken navel
cord may be painted promptly and thoroly with tincture of ido-
dine as a preventive measure. As a further precaution the hind
parts of the cow may be washed daily for a week prior to calv-
ing, and the teats may be washed with boric-acid solution, for
the first few days before each nursing of the calf.

Simple diarrhea is a rather common ailment of calves and may
affect them at any age. However, it usually develops during the
first two or three weeks after birth. It should not be confused
with the contagious type of scours known as "white scours;" the
latter usually develops within from 48 to 72 hours after birth.
Causes.-It is a digestive disorder and may be caused by any
one or a combination of the following: The calf's consuming
too much milk, or milk that is too rich in fat; the calf's taking its
meals at irregular intervals; milk fed from dirty pails; faulty
methods of weaning, especially if the calf is fed rough, coarse
feed; mouldy or spoiled feed.
The Symptoms come on suddenly as a rule. The bowel dis-
charge is watery in character and grayish white in color, having
an offensive odor. It may be passed out in a jet or a liquid stream.
These discharges increase in frequency as the disease progresses
and the solid matter therein clings to the hair of the tail and legs,
often loading them very heavily. The calf loses flesh rapidly,
has a dejected, unthrifty appearance, and becomes weak and list-
less. The coat of hair appears rough and the skin is dry. Bloat-
ing may be present. The legs usually are cold and the muzzle
dry. In severe cases the bowel discharge may be streaked with
blood, but in such a case death may take place within two or
three days, altho they have been known to linger for several
days and finally recover.
Treatment.-In many cases this disease may be prevented by
observing such precautions as not overfeeding, feeding at reg-
ular intervals, feeding from clean milk pails, feeding only whole-
some, nutritious feed, weaning the calf gradually.
To treat the trouble give 1 or 2 ounces of castor oil. The fol-
lowing powder is also helpful:

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

Bismuth subnitrate ................. ..- ........-------. 2 ounces
Salol ................. ........... .. .................... 1 ounce
Give 1 teaspoonful of this powder mixture two or three times
daily in from 1/2 to 1 pint of sweet milk.
Lime water is very helpful in checking this disease and should
be given in 2- or 3-ounce doses three or four times daily.

Diarrhea is a digestive disorder in which the bowel discharges
are watery and too frequent.
Causes.-It usually results from some irritating substance in
the intestinal tract, such as mouldy, musty or spoiled feed. A
sudden change of diet, especially from a dry to a green feed, or
the drinking of stagnant water may be the direct cause of the
Symptoms. When the animal has diarrhea the bowel dis-
charge has a very foul odor and may be blood-streaked in severe
cases. The animal loses its appetite and rumination (chewing
the cud) is stopped. The hair appears rough, the patient rapidly
loses flesh, weakness is noticed and death may result, if treat-
ment is not successfully and promptly administered.
Prevention and Treatment.-Efforts should be made to prevent
this disorder by avoiding the feeding of mouldy or spoiled feed,
by not making too sudden changes in feeding and by not allow-
ing the cattle to drink stagnant water. When the symptoms de-
velop, it is best to give 1 quart of raw linseed oil to work off
the intestinal irritant. One pint of lime water two or three times
daily is often helpful in checking the disease. Lime may be given
by putting a few pieces in the drinking water and letting the
animal drink it. If the trouble persists, give a powder mixture
of 2 parts of bismuth subnitrate and 1 of salol, giving 2 heaping
teaspoonfuls of this mixture three times daily.

Milk fever is a disease of cattle which usually occurs within
two or three days after calving, altho cases are on record in
which it appeared before and several weeks after calving. Ani-
mals in the best of condition and that are heavy milkers seem to
be most often affected by this trouble.
The Cause of this disease is not known. Some authorities claim
that it is caused by toxins or poisons formed within the udder

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Fig. 7.-Early stage of milk fever, showing animal just before "going down"

at calving, due to the extreme activity of the glandular tissue of
this organ at that time. Others claim that at calving time the
udder becomes congested with blood, depriving other parts of
the body, especially the brain, of the normal blood supply, and
thereby causing the disease. Fat animals and especially animals
that have been fed large amounts of concentrates containing a
high percentage of protein just prior to calving, seem most apt
to develop this disease. Lack of exercise during advanced preg-
nancy seems to make the animal more apt to be affected by this
disease. Milking out the udder completely, soon after calving, is
often thought to act as an additional predisposing cause.
The Symptoms of the disease usually begin with a chill, the
animal trembles, is nervous, uneasy and does not eat. Rumina-
tion, or chewing the cud, is stopped and there is difficulty in
swallowing. Breathing is not as fast as it is normally. The tem-
perature is either normal or slightly subnormal, and the name of
the disease is somewhat misleading, due to this fact. A stagger-
ing gait is observed as the animal walks and this becomes more
pronounced as the disease progresses. Finally, the affected ani-
mal becomes unable to walk and is compelled to lie down. At
first it lies slightly on one side, resting the front part, the breast
bone or sternum upon the ground, with the head thrown around
against the side of the body. As the disease progresses the hind
parts and back become apparently more paralyzed and the ani-
mal stretches itself out on her side. At first it is nervous and
uneasy, but later it becomes unconscious.

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

The Treatment should consist mainly of preventive measures.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, reduce the amount of
concentrates which have a high percentage of protein. Give eas-
ily digested feed and do not change feeds suddenly. Give the
cow plenty of exercise. Let the calf have all the milk it wants
immediately after birth. Do not milk out the udder completely
during the first few days after calving, but rather milk out just
about the amount the calf would normally consume. A laxative
given one or two days before calving seems to be helpful in pre-
venting milk fever. The laxative may consist of 1 pound of
epsom salts or 1 quart of raw linseed oil.

Fig. 8.-Early stage of milk fever, showing cow just "down." She has been
treated by filling the udder with air. Note stiffness of neck and paralysis
of hind quarters

Treatment after the cow has already developed the disease
consists in putting the patient in a comfortable, well-bedded,
well-ventilated stall. Then milk out the udder thoroly and clean
the teats with an antiseptic solution, as a 1-percent solution of
lysol (made by adding 1/ tablespoonful of lysol to 1 quart of
water) or bichloride of mercury (1:1000 strength). Insert the
sterilized teat tube of a milk fever outfit up the teat canal and
inflate all the quarters of the udder with air.
It is always advisable to employ the services of a graduate
veterinarian when such is possible, as this treatment for milk
fever should be done very carefully, since it is easy to infect the
udder unless antiseptic precautions are observed. Thoro disten-
tion of the udder with air is necessary in order to get the best

Florida Cooperative Extension

Fig. 9.-Outfit for treating milk fever The small teat tube is inserted into
the teat canal and air is pumped into the quarter

results. When this treatment is applied to animals down and
even unconscious, many respond and soon get up. If no re-
sponse is made to the first treatment, the udder may be distended
for a second time. Do not try to drench the cow while she is
down, for she cannot swallow when this stage of the disease is
reached and the medicine is apt to be passed down the windpipe
and into the lungs, which is dangerous.

There are two types of gargett," or inflammation of the udder.
One type is a simple inflammation which usually develops soon
after calving, while the other type is caused by a germ and may
develop at any time during the lactation period. This latter type
often affects several cows.
Causes.-The udder becomes congested with blood immediately
after calving and in some cases inflammation follows the conges-
tion. This inflammation is called "simple mammitis," gargett"
or "caked udder." The inflammation may be brought on by ir-
regular milking, from any outside blow or injury to the udder,
or by the chilling of this gland. It appears that the udder is
more subject to gargett," if the cow, just before calving, is fed

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

large amounts of concentrates which contain a high percentage
of protein.
Symptoms.-In cases of simple garget the udder usually be-
comes swollen, is red and hot and very painful. It feels "doughy"
or hard to the touch. The cow loses her appetite, and walks with
the hind legs spread apart as far as possible. The secretion
from the udder is often watery, whey-like in character, and may
contain lumps of solid milk. Often in severe cases it is bloody.
The Treatment of simple garget should begin as early as pos-
sible. Bathe the udder in warm water two or three times daily.
Dry the parts thoroly and apply camphorated oil or lard and
camphor. Take a piece of gum camphor about half the size of
an egg, dissolve it in a pint of fresh lard and apply. Another
good application for this trouble consists of a mixture of:
Fluid extract poke root ................................................... 4 drams
Turpentine ...................................... ........................... 4 dram s
Sweet oil ........................ ..... ... ..................... 3 ounces
Apply two or three times daily. A thick layer of antiphlogistine
applied once or twice daily is also helpful. Another treatment
which is often good is the application of a 10-percent solution of
iodine petrogen. The udder should be massaged well in apply-
ing this drug. When the external applications for garget are
being carried out it is also advisable to give a laxative consisting
of 1 pound of epsom salts in a quart of water as a drench.
The type of garget that is caused by a specific germ is more
dangerous than the simple type, for it may spread thruout the
herd if precautions are not taken. When a cow has udder trou-
ble, always milk her after all the rest of the herd have been
milked. The hands should be washed in an antiseptic solution
after milking such a cow, in order to prevent the spread of the
germ to the other cattle. The secretion from a garget-affected
udder should be buried, especially if it appears to have pus in it.
In the case of the infectious type, the inflammation is about
the same as in the simple type except that it lasts longer. The
discharge from the udder in this type contains pus and may be
ropy. In severe cases a quarter of the udder may have an ab-
scess formation in which case the glandular tissue breaks down
and thick yellow pus breaks out thru some part of the udder.
The quarter in such cases, of course, shrinks up and loses its
The treatment of the infectious form is not very successful.
The same treatment as outlined for simple mammitis should be

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carried out, and in addition the cattle should be inoculated with
the Streptococcic mastitis bacterin, which is of some help in cur-
ing and preventing this disease. Any graduate veterinarian can
inoculate the cow with this bacterin.


The cow's teats sometimes become sore and painful as a result
of some irritation. In such cases the skin may crack open and
become rough. Germs may get into the cracked areas and often
produce open sores.
In Treating Sore Teats, washing with a solution of boric acid,
then drying thoroly and applying zinc-oxide ointment or carbo-
lated vaseline, will be found effective generally. This treatment
should be applied twice daily until relief is obtained. A 10-per-
cent solution of iodine petrogen also will be found effective in
healing some teats.


Warts on the teats of milk cows are very troublesome. They
especially interfere in the milking operation, and in many cases
the teats are kept sore as a result of the continuous irritation of
the warts in the milking of the cow.
If the warts are not too flattened, they may be removed simply
by clipping them off with a sharp pair of scissors and then cau-
terizing the cut surfaces with lunar caustic. The teat should
be cleansed thoroly with an antiseptic solution before the warts
are cut off, and the scissors should be boiled or allowed to re-
main in a strong antiseptic solution for five or ten minutes before
being used. Many warts may be removed by smearing them
thoroly with castor or olive oil after each milking. Each of these
oils often give better results, if 1 part of salicylic acid is added
to 8 parts of the oil.


Occasionally the side or end of a cow's teat is cut by a barbed
wire, and the wound may extend to the teat canal. When the
wound does extend to the teat canal, if the cow is in milk, the
milk flows out thru the wound continually, or intermittently,
during the milking. As a result of this constant passage of milk

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

thru the wound, the edges of the wound will not heal together
and thus leave a complete opening into the teat canal, and this
opening is what is called a teat fistulaa." It is impossible to heal
the edges together closing the fistula as long as the cow is in
In treating it is always rec-
ommended that the services of a
veterinarian be secured, if such
is possible, for the farmer sel-
dom is able to get satisfactory
results, since a tedious surgical
operation is necessary. Attempt
treatment only when the animal
is dry. Clean the teat thoroly
with an antiseptic solution, then
use a clean, sharp-pointed knife
to scarify thoroly and deeply Fig. 10.-Fistula of the teat,
caused by barbed-wire cut. The
the edges of the fistula, making milk constantly flows out of the
them raw. Then sprinkle a small opening. Efforts have been made
to dry up the affected quarter,
amount of powdered zinc oxide for it is almost impossible to
over the wound, and cover with milk it
a small piece of sterilized gauze, pulling the edges together with
adhesive tape. The adhesive tape is kept on for at least ten
days, after which, if the treatment has been successful, the
fistula (hole) will be grown up.


Occasionally the membranes which cover the young calf as it
develops in the womb of its mother, are retained in the womb af-
ter calving. This is sometimes true in the case of abortion (pre-
matured expulsion of the young).
Treatment for afterbirth retention is given in the section of
this bulletin which discusses contagious abortion. (See page
Due to the fact that the womb is such a delicate organ, and
since great damage may be done to it by a person not familiar
with its structure, the farmer should never attempt treatment
for a retained afterbirth unless it is impossible to secure the
services of a graduate veterinarian.

Florida Cooperative Extension

Quite often cattle have no appetite for their usual food but
rather may have a desire to eat substances which are indiges-
tible and extremely unnatural as feed; such as, sand, dirt, rags,
wood, hair, etc. The cause of this condition is some digestive
disorder, which is in most cases brought on by an unbalanced
ration or a lack of mineral matter in the feed.
This condition indicates unthriftiness and, if treatment is not
given, the animal becomes emaciated (loses flesh) and weak, and
its hair becomes rough.
Treatment consists in prevention. Feed a ration containing
the proper amounts of nourishing substances. Give a little com-
mon salt daily. The following tonic powder seems helpful in
stimulating the appetite:
Powdered nux vomica ..-..--.....-............................. -- 4 ounces
Powdered gentian .-....--- .......-...........--------- ........... ---- --- 4 ounces
Powdered ginger .-----........-....... ..................-....---- 4 ounces
Sodium bicarbonate ....................--- ... -........ ......--- .... 4 ounces
Give one heaping tablespoonful of the mixture twice daily in soft
feed, as ground oats or cornmeal, or in a quart of water as a
drench, should the animal not eat the soft feed.
A liquid tonic which is often helpful in these cases consists of:
Fluid extract nux vomica ....-........-......................-....-- 2 ounces
Fluid extract gentian ......................--.....................--- 6 ounces
Give 1 tablespoonful in a pint of water as a drench twice daily.
Feed green feeds when possible.

Bloating is a digestive disorder in which large amounts of gas
collects within the paunch.
Cause.-This disorder may be caused by suddenly changing
the ration from dry to green feed, and by the animal's eating
any feed which ferments easily; such as, improperly cured hay,
partially decomposed feed, spoiled silage, mouldy feed, the sec-
ond growth of many of the green crops, especially if such crops
have been frost bitten.
Symptoms.-Bloat may be readily recognized by the swelling
of the abdomen. This is especially noticeable in the left flank,
due to the fact that the paunch is located near that point, and it
is within this compartment that the gas collects. If the swelling
be tapped with the fingers, a drum-like or metallic-like sound is

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

produced. Gas is belched up frequently. The breathing is diffi-
dult and somewhat more frequent than normally. There is a
loss of appetite and rumination (the belching up and chewing
the cud) is stopped. The animal is restless and uneasy, and
groans, manifesting a pain in the abdomen..
Treatment.-Prevention should constitute the principal treat-
ment. Do not give feed which ferments easily, such as impro-
perly cured hay, spoiled silage, or partially decomposed feed.
Medical treatment consists in giving a purgative, which may
consist of 1 pound of epsom salts, given in 1 quart of water as a
drench. This is given in order to remove the fermenting mate-
rial which is responsible for the gas formation. The salts should
be followed by from 1 to 2 ounces of aromatic spirits of am-
monia in 1 pint of water every hour until the formation of gas
is stopped. Another drug useful in preventing gas formation is
hyposulphite of soda, 3 or 4 ounces given in from 1/ to 1 pint
of water every hour until the gas ceases to accumulate within
the paunch.
In severe cases the paunch may be punctured by inserting an
instrument, known as a trocar and canula, into the left side be-
tween the last rib and the external angle of the hip in order to
relieve the gas. This should be done only by a veterinarian who
has the proper instruments and understands what antiseptic
precautions to observe.

Many persons believe that a cow may lose its "cud" and that,
in such a case, a prepared one must be given in order to bring
relief. This belief is a mistake.
A Cow's Stomach Has Four Compartments or divisions. The
first, commonly called the paunch, is by far the largest of the
four and serves only as a storehouse for the rough, coarse, bare-
ly chewed food. A cow masticates or chews the food but little
immediately after taking it into the mouth. The food, there-
fore, reaches the paunch imperfectly masticated. After grazing
for three or four hours, or after eating all her roughage, the
paunch may be about filled with poorly masticated food. The
cow then goes to some quiet place, and can be seen regurgitating
("belching up" from the paunch) this imperfectly chewed food.
She then thoroly chews this material. After mastication, or
chewing, the food is again swallowed, passing this time thru the
first and second into the third stomach compartment called the

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Fig. 11.-Stomach of cow, showing the four compartments. A, Rumen or
"paunch;" B, reticulum or "honey-comb;" C, omasum or "books;" D,
abomasum or true stomach; 1, esophagus or "gullet;" 2, small intestines

"books" or maniplies. Here the juices are squeezed out. From
this compartment the food passes to the fourth compartment, or
true stomach, for the process of real digestion.
What the "Cud" Is.-The "cud" is merely the food which was
hastily eaten and later brought back to the mouth for chewing.
It is evident that a sick cow usually lacks appetite. If she eats
nothing, she can have no cud to chew. Often lack of appetite is
caused by digestive disorders, the result of eating mouldy food,
drinking stagnant water, etc.
Since there is something wrong with a cow, if she fails to eat,
it is advisable to call a graduate veterinarian. However, if this
cannot be done, the owner will make no mistake by giving a
pound of epsom salts in a quart of water as a drench. He should
see that the cow gets good, wholesome feed, such as bran, corn-
meal or ground oats. Encourage the eating of as much green
feed as possible and see that the water is fresh and wholesome.

Many people believe that cattle have "hollow horn" at times.
This belief is a mistake. The horn is attached to a bony core,
which is a prolongation of the frontal bone. Some of the bones

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

of the head have air spaces, or sinuses, one purpose of which is
to give bulk and shape to the bones without adding to their
weight. The frontal bone has such an air space and it extends
out into the bony core over which the horns are attached. There-
fore, "hollow horn" is not a disease, but a natural condition, the
condition in which the horns were made.
What "Hollow Horn" Really Is.-Cattle are apt to have diges-
tive disorders, and what often is thought to be hollow horn us-
ually is indigestion, an indigestion from eating mouldy or too
much feed, from changing the feed too suddenly, from overload-
ing the paunch, or from drinking stagnant water.
The Unwise Practice of boring a hole into the horn and pouring
into it such ingredients as turpentine, vinegar, black pepper, lin-
iments, common salt or other such substances, is not only use-
less and cruel, but actually dangerous. These things often cause
an inflammation of the membrane lining the air space, or pro-
duce abscesses within this cavity.
Symptoms of "Hollow Horn" Indigestion.-When a cow appears
dejected, lacks appetite, shows weakness, its hair loses its lustre,

Fig. 12.-Skull of cow, showing that the horny core is naturally hollow.
The arrows point to the frontal sinus

Florida Cooperative Extension

its skin becomes tight and unpliable, its horns feel hot (indicat-
ing fever) or cold (indicating deranged circulation), call a grad-
uate veterinarian, if one is available, for the animal has some di-
gestive disorder which demands attention.
Treatment.-If a veterinarian is not to be had, forget about
hollow horn and give the cow 1 pound of epsom salts and from 2
to 4 tablespoonfuls of aromatic spirits of ammonia in a quart of
water as a drench. Feed only nourishing feed such as ground
oats, cornmeal, middlings and bran. Allow the animal to eat as
much green feed as possible. A good tonic powder consisting of
a mixture of powdered nux vomica, 2 ounces; powdered gentian,
2 ounces; powdered ginger, 2 ounces; sodium bicarbonate, 2
ounces, may be given for a week or more after a digestive disor-
der. A tablespoonful of this mixture should be given three times
daily in the feed or in a pint of water as a drench.

Removing the horns of cattle is practiced quite generally, and
often is a necessary thing to do. It makes cattle less dangerous
to both attendant and themselves.
Removing Horns With Caustic.-The operation may be per-
formed on a young calf by use of caustics which prevent the
growth and development of the horn. This should be done be-
fore the calf is ten days old.
When the young calf is from three to nine days old a "button"
or thickened area, may be felt at the point where the horn ap-
pears. Clip the hair from over each button, leaving each spot
about the size of a nickel. Put a heavy layer of vaseline around
the edges of the clipped area. Take a pencil-like piece of caustic
soda or caustic potash; wrap one end securely with paper to
protect the hands; moisten the other end; rub very briskly over
each button three or four times, until the caustic becomes dry.
Repeat this operation three or four times. Be careful to see
that the caustic is not applied too wet, or it may flow over the
vaseline and down the side of the face and possibly into the eye.
The calves should be kept out of rain for 12 hours after this
treatment as this substance may wash down onto and injure the
side of the face.
Using the Dehorner.-If the calf is to be dehorned by other
than the caustic method, one should wait until it is over four
months old. The horns of cattle from four months to three or
four years old may be removed by a dehorning instrument. It

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

is best to saw off the horns of older cows, since the dehorner is
apt to cause the bone forming the horn core to sliver. Also there
is less danger from bleeding when the saw is used. However,
the dehorning clippers give good results with younger animals,
because the horns are not yet brittle.
If many cattle are to be dehorned, it would pay to construct
a dehorning chute. If no chute is available, then the animal
may be thrown down and held for the operation, but this method
is not very satisfactory.
When the dehorners are used they should be washed thoroly
in an antiseptic solution just before the operation. The skin at
the base of the horn also should be washed with an antiseptic
solution. Then grip the base of the horn with the dehorner and
with one stroke of the handles detach the horn, removing about
a quarter of an inch of the skin with the horn in order to remove
the horn-forming cells at the base of the horn. When the saw is
used, the procedure is the same.
Healing over the Wound.-After dehorning it is advisable to
apply a thin layer of either pine tar or coal tar over the wound
and adjoining areas, in order to keep flies away. The cut areas
may be bandaged up with sterile gauze, if such is possible, but it
is very difficult to keep the bandage in place.
Select as cool weather as possible in which to dehorn cattle,
for then is the least danger from flies, carriers of disease germs
which gain entrance into the cavity of the frontal bone. These
germs infect the membrane lining this cavity, often producing
pus. Should this occur, treat by opening the hole into the cavity
where the horn was cut off and syringing it out with boric-acid
solution. An infected cavity should be irrigated as long as there
is any discharge. Should maggots collect in the wound, saturate
a piece of clean cloth with chloroform or gasoline and insert
into the cavity, or syringe out with carbolic-acid solution, using
3 tablespoonfuls of carbolic acid to a quart of water.

The best times to castrate a calf is when it is from ten days
to six months of age. However, they may be castrated safely at
an older age, yet the older the animal the greater the danger
from hemorrhage, or bleeding.
Two Methods of Castration.-There are two general methods
of castration, the one to practice depending upon whether or not
the individual will be used for show purposes. If the animal

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is not to be shown, throw it down, wash the scrotum well with
an antiseptic solution, and with a clean knife cut off about a
fourth or a third of the lower part of the scrotum which exposes
the testicles. Then cut thru the glistening membrane which en-
closes the testicles, and pull these organs outward, stretching
the cord. Scrape the stretched cord with the sharp edge of a
knife until it is severed. This scraping process crushes the
cord and tends to close the ends of the severed blood vessels, les-
sening the danger from bleeding.
In case the steer is to be used for show purposes, the operation
is performed in an identical manner, except that instead of cut-
ting off the lower end of the scrotum, this bag is split length-
wise on the front surface over each testicle. The testicles are
then removed, the cord being severed as in the previously de-
scribed method.
In Case of Aged Animals it is best to use the emasculator, an
instrument which crushes the blood vessels, thereby preventing
prolonged bleeding. In case the emasculator is not at hand, the
cord may be tied with surgeon's sterilized catgut or silk thread.
Precautions.-After removing the testicles, it is well to dust
into the wound some boric acid or powdered zinc oxide. If the
flies are prevalent the outer surface may be smeared with pine
Always have the knife clean and keep it in an antiseptic solu-
tion after each handling until the castration is completed. The
time to castrate is when the calves are of the proper age and
when the knife is sharp and clean.


"Ox warbles" are the larvae of the "warble" or "heel" fly,
sometimes commonly known as the "wolf fly." This insect is
about the size of a large honeybee and is yellowish white in color.
The legs are rough and covered with hairs. The fly is techni-
cally known as the Hypoderma lineatum.
Life History.-The warble fly deposits its eggs on the hair
about the fetlocks, pasterns, knees and hocks. Quite often as
many as from eight to ten eggs are attached to a single hair.
The eggs hatch in about a week, depending on the temperature.
The young warbles (larvae) are only about a twenty-fifth (1-25)
of an inch in length. After hatching, the young crawl to the
base of the hairs, gain entrance into the hair follicles and bur-

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle

row thru the skin. The passage of the larva thru the skin pro-
duces irritation in the infested region causing the animal to
rub it.
The larvae or young warbles (grubs) evidently wander exten-
sively thru the tissues of the body, for they can be found in the
walls of the esophagus (gullet) in summer and early fall. From
the walls of the esophagus, the larvae migrate to the region of
the back where they finally locate and finish their larval devel-
opment. They occur here within swellings about the size of a
pigeon's egg. Upon examination it will be observed that there
is a hole thru the skin at the highest point of each swelling, and
it is thru this hole that the larva breathes and excretes waste
In Florida, November and December are the months when
these warbles are commonly found in the cow's back. Finally
the grubs or warbles leave their swollen cavities, passing out
thru the holes in the skin and dropping to the ground. They
burrow into the ground and rest inactive (pupate) for about a
month after which they come forth as the adult ox warble fly.
Control Measures.-In treating animals infested with warbles,
the most satisfactory method is to extract them by gently press-
ing on the base of the swellings with the fingers, thereby forc-
ing the warble thru the hole at the highest point of the swelling.
If the natural hole is not large enough for the warble to be forced
thru, it may be enlarged slightly with a sterilized sharp-pointed
knife blade. Wash the skin thoroly with an antiseptic solution
tion before doing this. After pressing out the larvae crush them
with the foot in order to prevent their burrowing into the ground
and, in time, developing into adult warble flies.
The above method of dealing with this insect is always most
satisfactory, but, in case it is impossible to adopt it, the larvae
may be destroyed by applying spirits of turpentine to the swell-
ing. Turpentine may be substituted by a mixture of 1 part of
kerosene and 2 parts of lard.
The damage produced by grub or warble infestation is from
the loss of flesh, the reduction of the milk flow and the decrease
in the value of the hide.

During the warm months of the year, cattle are often dis-
turbed by flies. Considerable damage is done by such insects,
particularly if the cows are of a nervous temperament, for often

Florida Cooperative Extension

a marked decrease in milk production is shown during the fly
Many fly repellents are made and recommended, but it is
difficult to get a mixture that will satisfactorily keep flies off
the animals for more than two or three days at a time. Many
commercial repellents are on the market, but often they are no
more satisfactory than some of the cheaper home mixtures.
Among the mixtures which seem to give quite satisfactory re-
sults are the following:

1. Powdered resin .--....----......... .......- ...-- ...-........... 2 pounds
Laundry soap .....................----...... .......-............ 2 pounds
Fish oil .......- ...-....-....................--. ............-..... 2 pints
Oil of tar ...-....... ----..... ...... ........- -....-- ---- 2 pints
K erosene ........................-....--.........-...................... 3 pints
Boil the powdered resin in 2 quarts of water to which have been
added the soap and fish oil. Then add 1 gallon of water, and then
the kerosene and oil of tar. Boil for 15 minutes. Thoroly agi-
tate the mixture and apply as needed.

2. W after ............................-- ................ .................... 3 gallons
Laundry soap ....--....-.......-- ...........---------------........... 1 pound
Powdered naphthalin ...... ----..............-- ................-. 5 ounces
Kerosene ...................................... ...------.. ... .-...... 1 gallon
Chip up the soap and dissolve in the water. Add the powdered
naphthalin, then the kerosene, and mix thoroly into an emulsion.

3. Kerosene ......... ---------..... -.... .......-------...---. 1 gallon
Pine tar ....-.........-......-.......... .. -- -----------. 1 pint
Crude carbolic acid ..........---.........---- ..--..-- ........... 4 ounces
Fish. oil ........................--.........-......--- .......-- ------- 1 quart
Linseed or cottonseed oil ..........-- .....-....................... 1 gallon
Mix and apply.

4. Laundry soap ......-- .....-........ ...... ..............-- 1 pound
Water ......--....-....--......-----------.--- ------- 4 gallons
Creolin .....---....--..---.. ....----.......-- .....--. 8 ounces
Kerosene ........-..--...... ...........-...... ---------- 1 gallon
Chip up the soap and dissolve in the water. Add the creolin and
then the kerosene. Mix into an emulsion and apply.

Diseases and Ailments of Cattle 35

TUBERCULOSIS .............-------------..-.--------- ----------- 3
CONTAGIOUS ABORTION .....---.........--- ----- -------._-. -------------- 8
TEXAS FEVER .--.........------------- --------------- -13
HEMORRHAGIC SEPTICEMIA .............-----....------- --- ---.---------- 14
ACTINOMYCOSIS, OR "LUMPY JAW" ...............-------------- -----------15
CowPox ..--.................----...-------------------- -- ...17
WHITE SCOURS IN CALVES .......--......----- ..---------------- ---- 17
SIMPLE DIARRHEA OR SCOURS IN CALVES ........----------------- ----------- 18
DIARRHEA ....................----------------- ------- ---- 19
MILK FEVER ................................----- .......----------- -------------- 19
"GARGET," OR INFLAMMATION OF THE UDDER ..........--............-----------------.. 22
SORE TEATS ............-.........--..--.---- ------------ --------------- 24
WARTS ON TEATS ....---...............-........ ---... ----------.------------ 24
FISTULA OF THE TEAT ..................--... ....---- --- -- ---------------- 24
To REMOVE RETAINED AFTERBIRTH .........----.............. ...- -...---- ..--- 25
DEPRAVED APPETITE ............-..-..... ......-..-- -------..--------.... 26
BLOAT IN CATTLE ..............---..............------ --------------- 26
SUPPOSED "Loss OF CUD" ..-...............-...........--..... ---- .--------- 27
So-CALLED "HOLLOW HORN" ............-.................. ----- ...-..--..---. 28
DEHORNING .-....-.....- ----------..... .......... ----........ ....----..------------. ... 30
CASTRATION ........-----.............. -- --- ------ ------------------- 31
"Ox W ARBLES" OR GRUBS .............................................................. 32
FLY REPELLENTS ....-.....--.. .........------ ...--- --------........ 33