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Lumpy skin disease [Cattle only]

3161

12/30/01

Organism:  A herpes virus, a relative of sheep and goat pox. It was originally thought to be transmitted by insect vectors, but recent studies point to contact with infected saliva.Although "LSD" is a Capripox virus, sheep and goats in close contact with infected cattle do not become infected.

Symptoms:

To date, this disease is currently limited to cattle in Africa, but there are fears that it may spread beyond that area (into the Near East, for example) in the fairly near future. The symptoms are extremely informative as to the varied results which a single viral organism can cause. It is being included here both to demonstrate this phenomenon and to cause the symptoms to appear in our diagnositc tool for the benefit of cattle producers in Africa.
Affected animals will show pox-like "eruptions" or nodules on various parts of the body, especially around the muzzle, nose, head, neck, genitalia, udder and tail head. The linings of the respiratory, genital and digestive tracts are also affeced. Patients can become severely debilitated and can even result in death (2 to 40% morbidity). The swellings will be raised, round, firm and obviously painful. Regional lymph nodes may be enlarged. Other signs include lacrimation, fever, decreased milk production, nasal discharge, salivation, reluctance to move and eat. The infected areas of the skin may slough. For survivors, the sores will leave obvious scars thereby reducing the value of the hide.
Other diseases to consider:

[See "fao" link below]
Difficulty rating:   [bold type applies]

DEFINITELY a matter for your veterinarian
Do these things until you can reach the vet
You may be able to handle it youself; for the moderately experienced
Fairly simple; give it a try!

Treatment options:

There is no treatment for lumpy skin disease. Secondary skin infections can be helped by the administration of sulfonamides. The most promising prophylactic approach has been the use of Neethling and Kenya [sheep] and capripox [goat] vaccines, but in some areas of Africa the spread of the disease has outpaced vaccination efforts. During the summer of 2000 Botswana, for example, initiated a vaccination campaign. Certainly, there is a lot more to learn about this disease. Its relationship to goat pox may not be thoroughly understood and one can only speculate about the existence of yet undiscovered, related viruses that may prove troublesome for goats. This is a disease deserving of a great deal of study.
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