Anthrax is a dangerous disease affecting cattle, sheep, goats, and deer. Bacillus anthracis is the bacterium responsible for this disease. It is transmitted either by inhaling spores or ingesting contaminated grass. The symptoms, including high mortality, occur within 3 to 7 days after exposure.
In animals, death often occurs within two days of the onset of symptoms. The bacteria generate powerful toxins that cause severe disease symptoms. To protect animals, it is critical to prevent the spread of anthrax. Good cleanliness standards and quick treatment of diseased animals can aid in disease management.
Anthrax Disease Management in Cattle
Causes of Anthrax Disease in Cattle
Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacteria, causes anthrax. It affects all warm-blooded animals, including humans, and is especially lethal to herbivores like cattle. The incubation period can last between 1 and 17 days, depending on the method of transmission and the susceptibility of the infected party.
Infected animals with low resistance, like goats, horses, mules, and cattle, often suffer an acute or peracute reaction and die within 2 hours to 3 days of exposure. Carnivores and omnivores have some resistance to the disease but can still suffer serious illness or death.
Lifecycle of Anthrax Disease
Anthrax’s life cycle involves the bacterium’s presence in vegetative and spore forms. The disease-causing form is the vegetative form, which grows within infected animals and releases spores upon the host’s death if exposed to oxygen. Infected carcasses must be properly disposed of to prevent the spread of anthrax.
The disease can survive in the soil for over 50 years, resist disinfectants, and withstand extreme weather conditions. The disease can survive boiling water and remain active even if frozen. Once inhaled or consumed by an animal, the spores revert to the disease state and complete the life cycle.
What are the Different Kinds of Anthrax?
Anthrax is classified into three types: cutaneous, inhalation, and intestinal. Cutaneous anthrax is spread through the skin, inhalational anthrax is spread through the air, and intestinal anthrax is spread by eating contaminated meat. The mechanism of transmission has an impact on the symptoms of infection.
Cutaneous anthrax is contracted through cuts or skin abrasions. This form of anthrax results in a skin lesion, starting as a raised, itchy bump and evolving into a painless ulcer with a black center. Humans can contract this form by handling infected animal products or carcasses. If left untreated, cutaneous anthrax has a 20% death rate.
Ingestion anthrax occurs when an animal or human ingests Anthrax fragments, usually by eating contaminated plants or matter or consuming infected meat or milk. This form of anthrax infects the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to serious illness.
Inhalation anthrax is contracted by breathing in fragments of the bacteria, typically through grazing animals. Cattle are most susceptible to inhaling anthrax spores in the pasture. Humans are unlikely to contract inhalation anthrax unless handling infected carcasses.
What are the Symptoms of Anthrax Disease?
Anthrax in cattle can cause symptoms such as lac