News and knowhow for farmers

Controlling deadly lumpy skin disease in cattle

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(Photo courtesy: DAWE/Shutterstock)

Lumpy skin disease is an infection in cattle that can cause 20 per cent mortality rate and mainly affects cows at the peak of milking and young calves.

It is mechanically transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes and flies which could potentially have been brought into the farm by wind or from an infected area.

The disease is also spread when people come into contact with infected animals or contaminated needles, feed and equipment such as vehicles used to ferry animals.

Symptoms of LSD are round shape skin nodules on the neck, head, limbs and lower genitalia which appear two days after the start of fever. The nodules may spread to other parts of the body and is confirmed through blood testing by a qualified veterinary doctor.

There is a drop in milk production, swelling of legs and nasal discharge.

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To prevent it, disinfect the footbaths at the entrance of the stable and avoid contact between animals of different herds.

Regularly check the health status of your animals by involving the agricultural extension officers in your region or qualified veterinary doctors.

In Kenya, the vaccine produced from goat or sheep pox viruses is used to provide immunity to LSD in cattle.

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