Tips on cattle diseases – Tell Zimbabwe

Kudakwashe Runyowa

By Kudakwashe Runyowa

Due
to the excessive rains that the country has received this season, there is a
lot of vegetation in the grazing lands and as a result, ticks are rife.

Most
diseases that affect cattle are transmitted by ticks and these are called tick-borne
diseases and famers are advised to dip their cattle regularly.

In
most areas, the weekly dipping routine in the community dip tanks have been
abandoned because of lack of chemicals and hence, a number of farmers are
resorting to the use of knap sack sprays for tick control.

The
most common diseases affecting cattle is Theileria and is commonly known as
January disease. More than 500 cattle have been reported dead in the province
by the Veterinary Department in Masvingo and a number are not recorded.

It
is also known as bovine anaemia and its signs are associated with lack of
appetite, weak and lag behind others, and if forced to move they stagger and
gasp for breath and yellow gums.

The
most common treatment is the Oxytetracycline family medicine which includes Butachem,
Hitet, Limoxin, Alamycin and Teramycin.

Bovine
Babesiosis commonly known as Red Water is another common tick-borne disease in
cattle. It is mostly noticeable after seven to 14 days after infection.

Its
symptoms are fever, anaemia, light to dark brown or red urine, poor appetite,
weakness, dry nose, diarrhoea, dull coat and abortion.

As a
tick-borne disease, it is the best preventive measure is tick control through
spraying and dipping or using tick grease as well as avoiding tick-infested
grazing areas during an outbreak

Imizol
Satchetsa and Imochem 120 can be used for treatment of affected cattle.

Another
disease is Foot Rot which is caused by a bacterium and occurs in all ages of
cattle and most incidences are during wet, humid conditions and in some cases
it is caused by hard ground or walking on stones.

Foot
rot is prevented by minimizing exposure to sharp plant stubbles and hard gravel
and minimizing the time animals spend in wet areas. Cattle pens should be well-drained
and effected animals should be kept in dry areas until healed.

Copper
sulphate and foot dip is recommended and penicillin
medicine can also be administered to affected cattle.

Kudakwashe G. Runyowa is a Branch Extension
Officer at Fivet Masvingo Branch

He is a holder of BSC Hon in Agriculture
(Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries

He can be contacted on 0776047692 or visit
him at Fivet Masvingo



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