Anthrax in Sheep and Goats

Anthrax in Sheep and Goats:-

What Causes it?

Anthrax is a naturally occuring disease with worldwide distribution. It is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacteria that can remain alive, but dormant in the soil for many years. The bacteria can “bloom” and contaminate surface soil and grass after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by several weeks of hot, dry conditions.

Grazing animals–such as cattle, sheep, goats, exotic and domestic deer, and horses–ingest anthrax bacteria when they consume contaminated grass. By the time an animal displays signs of disease, including staggering, trembling, convulsions, or bleeding from body openings, death usually follows.

Domestic and wild swine are fairly resistant to anthrax and although they may become ill, some of these animals recover fully.

Anthrax outbreaks depend on two factors working together: the presence of the spores in the soil…and suitable weather conditions. Outbreaks usually end when cool weather arrives and the bacteria becomes dormant.

  • Symptoms
    • Sudden death within 48 hrs of illness of animal
    • Following death there is oozing of blood from the natural orifices.
    • Bloat may develop
    • Oedema may predominantly notice under the neck, brisket region, thorax, abdomen and flank.
    • anthrox in sheep
      anthrox in sheep

    Suggested first aid 

    • The dead animal body should not be opened.
    • Should have consultation with nearest qualified veterinary doctor.
    • This disease should be brought under the notice of the regulatory officials in case of an outbreak.
    • Care should be taken to destroy the dead body by deep burial with quick lime.

    Prevention and control

    • Periodical and regular vaccination should be done.
    • Strict quarantine measures in anthrax prone areas.
    • Preventing the introduction of infected animals into disease free areas.
    • Care should be taken to destroy the dead body by deep burial with quick lime.
    • Persons handling the anthrax infected animals should adopt adequate sanitary measures.
    • The adjacent areas of the dead and infected animals should be thoroughly disinfected by 3% per acetic acid or 10% caustic soda or 10% formaline.
    • The fodder from infected pasture should be destroyed and not to be given to the other animals.

Courtesy By Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

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