Liver fluke  Southern cattle fever

Material Information

Liver fluke Southern cattle fever
Series Title:
Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Bitting, A. W ( Arvill Wayne ), 1870-1946
Place of Publication:
Lake City Fla
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
p. [77]-88, [3] leaves of plates : ill., 1 map ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Liver flukes ( lcsh )
Babesiosis in cattle ( lcsh )
Horses -- Diseases -- Florida ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Diseases -- Florida ( lcsh )
City of Tallahassee ( local )
Cattle ( jstor )
Diseases ( jstor )
Fever ( jstor )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
Statement of Responsibility:
[A.W. Bitting].

Record Information

Source Institution:
Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:
030133240 ( ALEPH )
18154332 ( OCLC )
AEN0336 ( NOTIS )


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text


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 No. 28.

December, 1894.






The Bulletins of this Station will be sent free to any address in Florida
upon application to the Director of the Experiment
Station, Lake City, Fla.



HON. WALTER GWYNN, President . .. Sanford
HON. W. D. CHIPLEY, Vice-President ..... .Pensacola
HON. F. E. HARRIS, Ch'n Executive Committee . Ocala
HON. A. B. HAGAN, Secretary . . Lake City
HON. S. STRINGER . . . Brooksville
HoN. S. J. TURNBULL . . ... .Monticello
HON. C. F. A. BIELBY . . . DeLand


0. CLUTE, M. S., LL. D . . . Director
P. H. ROLFS, M. S. . Horticulturist and Biologist
A. A. PERSONS, M. S. . . . Chemist
C. A. FINLEY. . . .Director's Secretary
A. L. QUAINTANCE, M. S . Assistant in Biology
H. K. MILLER, M. S . .. Assistant in Chemistry
JOHN F. MITCHELL . Foreman of Lake City Farm
J. T. STUBBS.. .Supt. Sub-Station, DeFuniak Springs
W. A. MARSH . .. Supt. Sub-Station, Fort Myers


Cuts I and II.
Infected District in Florida
Description of Parasite .
Life History .
Effects Upon the Animal
Treatment . .
Map of Infected District

. 83

. 84
. o 84
S. opp. 84


Object of Article . . .
Forms of the Disease . .
Symptoms of the Disease . . .
Post-Mortem Appearance . . .
Outbreak of the Disease at Tallahassee ..
Ticks Convey the Disease ....
Danger to Imported Stock ....


Plate II, with explanation as below given, is a reproduction from "Animal
Parasites of Sheep," by Dr. Cooper Curtice-by the courtesy of U. S. Bureau of
Animal Industry.

Fig. I. Adult fluke, natural size : ra, young fluke, natural size. (Raillet).
Fig. 2. Eggs: a, egg with developing embryo; 6, egg with embryo; c, egg-shell.
Fig. 3. Ciliated and free embryo : a, perforating apparatus ; b, ocular spot.
Fig. 4. Encysted embryo found in snails. (A. P. Thomas.)
Fig. 5. Diagram of digestive apparatus and nervous system: a, mouth sucker ; 6,
pharnyx; c, esophagus; d, branches of intestine; e, their branchlets ;
f, nerve ganglia ; g, ventral nerve. (Raillet).
Fig. 6. Limneus trunculatus, the principal snail which is the larval host of the
fluke in Europe: a, natural size. (Raillet.)
Fig. 7. Redia of Distomum hepaticum a, mouth; b, pharnyx; c, digestive tube;
d, the so-called germinative cells destined to produce cercarise.
Fig. 8. Redia containing cercarim : a, mouth ; b, pharnyx; c, digestive tube ; d, d,
cercarise. (Leuckart.)
Fig. 9. Cercaria dissected from its cyst : a, anterior sucker ; b, ventral sucker ; c,
pharnyx : d, d, branches of the intestine terminating in caeca.
Fig. o1. Grass stalk with three encysted young flukes, a, a. (A. P. Thomas.)
Fig. II. Free-swimming cercaria just before it is about to encyst. (A. P. Thomas.)
Fig. 12. A slightly older stage than Fig. II. (A. P. Thomas.)
Fig. 13. Genital apparatus of the liver fluke : a, digestive tube; 6, ventral sucker;
c, anterior testicle ; d, its deferent canal ; e, posterior testicle ; f, its
deferent canal; g, seminal vesicle ; h, genital sinus ; i, cirrhus pouch;
j, ovary ; k, oviduct; 1, shell-gland; m, yolk-glands ; n, longitudinal,
and o, transverse yolk-gland canals ; p, uterus ; q, vagina. (Raillet.)


1: *.., it.
] -'-**- .L ,^.', _"_-,.
'- -@ ,-', '*-''- :''. /*.

.' 7 .-

.. .... .., '._ ,..^..,





.' I~

u. ;




Distonia hepatica, L.


While investigating the external disease of horses and
cattle, called "Leeches," I frequently found the term was
applied to a disease among cattle of a wholly different charac-
ter, and due to the presence of a fluke (Distoma hepatica, L.) in
the liver. Letters were addressed to nearly two hundred
butchers and stock men in the State. From the answers and
specimens received, the appended map has been prepared to
show the permanently infected area. Very few replies were
received from the southern part of the State, so that the region
lying south of Tampa on the west coast, to Lake Worth on the
east coast, remains for future investigation. The permanently
infected area embraces a narrow strip from fifteen to thirty
miles in width along each coast, and a narrow strip along the
rivers to a still greater distance inland from their mouths.
The flukes are sometimes found at other places, but such
areas do not seem to be permanently infected. Cattle that
graze upon an infected area may be driven inland and carry
the flukes for months.
The parasite resembles the water leech very much in gen-
eral appearance. (See Plate I.) It is thin, flat, about twice as
long as broad, terminating in front with a short protuberance,
sides gradually converge from front to the rounding posterior
extremity. They measure from three-fourths to one and one-
fourth inches in length. They have a palish brown color.
They are found in the bile ducts in the liver, single or in
great masses. Owing to their presence the ducts become much

enlarged and depositions of dark gritty matter occur. The
organ is rendered unfit for food. The life history of the par-
asite is one of continued metamorphosis. The egg is hatched
in water. A snail or other molusk becomes its host for a short
time until a change is made. It then leaves its host and be-
comes encysted on the stems of grass, or floats in the drinking
water, when it is taken into the stomach of a cow or steer while
grazing or drinking. Once in the stomach it gains entrance
to the liver through the bile duct. Here it matures, lays its
eggs, and the process is repeated.
Liver flukes in sheep produce a condition known as rot. As
comparatively few sheep are raised in this State, and these are
not in the infected districts, no damage is done to that industry.
The chief loss comes from growing cattle, and especially from
those about two years old. Nearly all cattle in the infected
sections have some flukes in their livers. If only a few, little or
no effect can be observed; they are found in the best beeves.
When they are numerous they may plug the bile ducts, and
otherwise so irritate the organ that a general disturbance of
physiological functions is the result. Digestion becomes irreg-
ular or incomplete, bile is forced into the circulation, the
mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes become yellow.
The animal is unthrifty, although it may eat heartily. The
belly becomes dependent and the brisket and space between
the jaws may become filled with a watery fluid. The animal
becomes emaciated and either dies or drags along for several
months and then makes a recovery.
Medical treatment is not a success. The drugs cannot
come in direct contact with the parasite, but must first be
taken up by the host, so that it reaches the parasite in an
exceedingly dilute form, or as a completely changed agent.

Map showing the area permanently infected with Distoma Hepatica. Represented by shaded lines.

More is to be gained by careful selection of the pasture, espe-
cially for animals under two years old. Very low pastures are
to be avoided, as it is in these that the parasite lives.


Synonyms: Te.cus Fever; Spanish Fever; Spleenic Apoplexy.


There is much less known of Southern Cattle Fever in this
State than in the States north. This is probably true of all
the States in the extreme southern tier, yet each year the Sec-
retary of Agriculture defines the line between the region that
is infected and that which is free, and no cattle can pass from
the south to the north except under specific regulations. The
peculiarity of Southern Fever is that southern stock that are
apparently healthy are capable of causing this disease in
northern cattle, or other cattle that are free from it.
The object of this article is to give only a very brief de-
scription of the symptoms of the disease,to call attention to the
fact that there are farms that are free from the disease in this
State, and to warn those who are desirous of improving the
common stock that it is not wisdom to make importations of
cattle from north of the Southern Cattle Fever line. For a full
dissertation upon the disease the reader is referred to reports by
the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Southern Cattle Fever may occur in the acute or chronic
form. In the acute form it is of short duration and frequently
fatal-particularly so to imported stock. In the chronic form
it passes unrecognized, or is treated as some other malady.


If northern or non-infected cattle come in contact with
infected cattle the disease will develop in from two weeks to
three months. The symptoms come on rather suddenly, the
acute form running its whole course in from two days to a lit-
tle more than a week. The first symptoms are dullness, drop-
ping of the ears, sluggish look from the eye, loss of appetite
and sudden diminution of the flow of milk in milch cows.
The bowels are more or less constipated, fences dry and streaked
with blood and mucous. Fever rises on the second day and the
temperature goes to 103-1050 F. The pulse is rapid and
breathing hurried. There is a decided weakness of the back,
so the animal remains lying down. There is little thirst.
The urine is probably lessened in quantity, but gradually in-
creases in color as the disease progresses until it is very red.
Death or recovery takes place inside of a week.
A post-mortem shows very little blood in the skin or mus-
cles, and the fat is a brownish yellow. The bile is in very
large quantities in the gall bladder, and the intestines and the
liver are very yellow. The spleen (milt) is enlarged from three
to six times its normal size, and is of very blackish pulpy con-
sistency. The kidneys are congested. The blood is in small
quantity and coagulated. Decomposition is rapid.
The acute type of this disease is not of very frequent oc-
currence among native cattle, but does oocur often enough to
make it important that it should be better known. A brief
history of an outbreak among the cattle belonging to Mr.
Cooper, of Tallahassee, will serve as a type. It shows, too,
that some farms are free from the disease, and that it is unsafe
to move animals from them to infected premises, lest the ani-
mals so moved should contract the disease.
Mr. Cooper engaged in the dairy industry northwest of
Tallahassee for a number of years. He had good cows, kept
them always upon his own premises, and allowed none to en-
ter. He kept them scrupulously clean and free from ticks. At
only one time did he buy an animal to take on his farm, and


then kept it for a few days until all ticks could be removed
before admitting it to the other cattle. This was in June,
In January, 1893, he came in possession of a farm and
herd of Jerseys south of Tallahassee, a distance of a couple of
miles from his former place. The land and water were about
the same. On the 29th he transferred his cattle (fourteen
head) to the newly acquired place among the new cattle.
Everything went well until February 10th, when one cow was
found to be ill. Her attack was acute but did not develop
into a severe form. She recovered in about a week.
On the 11th two more became affected. One died on the
fourth day and the other on the fifth day succeeding the
On the 15th another became affected and died on the
On the 17th five of the younger animals became affected,
but all recovered.
During the next two weeks all the cattle that were moved
became affected, but none died.
Those that died were soon due to give birth. None of
the cattle that were already on the place showed any symp-
toms of disease.
The animal that was taken to the former place in 1891
became mildly affected. While we had no means of deter-
mining to a certainty whether she had come from an infec-
tious farm, the probabilities were almost beyond a doubt that
she had. If she did come from an infected place to the former
non-infected farm, then she lost immunity against the disease
in nineteen months.
All these cattle were examined for ticks, and all found to
have them in greater or less numbers. Most of them were
very young, showing that they had been there but a short
time. The cattle that had been on the farm continuously
were badly infected. As the Bureau of Animal Industry has


represented the tick to be an important factor in conveying
the disease, this would seem to lend proof to their position.
As an example of the disease occurring in imported stock,
a carload of milch cows were brought from the North to Titus-
ville and all died in a few weeks. Many similar ventures have
resulted in a similar manner. Many immigrants bring cows
with them, and these can attest to the fact that few survive.
There are good breeders of cattle south of the Southern
Fever line, and to those who wish to purchase stock toimprove
the common grade, our advice would be to buy from
them. The risks of importation from the North are large.
In addition to liability to contracting Southern Cattle Fever
the northern cow is not always easy to acclimate.