Black Leg Disease: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Black leg disease

Black leg disease is an acute, febrile disease of cattle and sheep caused by Clostridium chauvoei Cattle between six months to two years old are mainly affected though at any age and condition may be affected.

Clinical Symptoms  

Depression
anorexia
rumen stasis
high fever (41-42oC) and tachycardia are most common
marked lameness with pronounced muscle swelling of the upper part of the affected leg with crepitation may follow.
At necropsy affected tissues are filled with rancid serosanguineous fluid and gas pockets, which crepitate when squeezed and the muscle appear dry.

Treatment 

Treatment is generally unrewarding due to the rapid progression of the disease, but penicillin is the drug of choice for treatment, Treatment is only effective in the early stages and as a control measure.

Prevention 

Vaccination with C. chauvoei bacterin.

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