General information

How to treat actinomycosis in cows?


From my experience I will tell you how I cured my cow of actinomycosis and helped others with advice. Actinomycosis (popularly, old people called “nodule”) is a headache. It affects the tongue, skin, sometimes other organs. The causative agent is an actinomycous fungus that penetrates the tongue or skin of the parotid gland, affecting the bones of the lower and upper jaw. First, small swelling, painless solid tumors appear.

The swellings increase with time, abscesses appear in them, which break through, highlighting purulent exudate. Over time, connective tissue grows, swelling increases to a considerable size. Actinomycosis fungus parasitizes on feed (straw, chaff, various plants, most often - on barley, spikelets). Eating infected food, animals become infected. Most often cattle are sick, sometimes pigs and other animals.

Cows and calves, if not treated, are ill for years. If you find a tumor in the calves, when the connective tissue has not yet grown, you can cure the disease with antibiotics: penicillin + streptomycin intramuscularly (7-10 days). Penicillin 1000000 units. per 1 g of streptomycin, once a day. If the disease is running, you can add 1-2 g of potassium iodide diluted in 0.5 liters of water to the feed every day, the course of treatment is 5-7 days. This is for the young.

I treated the cow at home like this: I bought 100 g of potassium iodide at the pharmacy and divided it into 14 even parts. Veterinarians recommend giving cows 5–10 g of potassium iodide daily for 10–20 days plus antibiotics. I chose the middle. At 7 g of the powder was diluted in 0.5 l of water, poured into 1 kg of dust, stirring thoroughly, and gave the cow every morning for 14 days. I bought penicillin at the pharmacy (1000000 units - 7 pieces) and streptomycin (1 g - 7 pieces), diluted with novocaine and, when I started to give the powder, intramuscularly injected into the neck once a day. The course of treatment is 7 days.

A month later, our cow had no tumor. If it is not possible to give a powder with feed, you can pour it into the throat of a half-liter bottle every morning. I chose antibiotics for my cow myself, you can give bitsil-lin-3, penicillin and other antibiotics - on the recommendation of a veterinary specialist. If the cow is productive, then it can be treated, but 100 g of potassium iodide nowadays stands at around 100 hryvnia, plus plus antibiotics, i.e. All this will cost almost 130 hryvnia. If the owners themselves make injections, it will be much cheaper.

And although now most veterinarians offer in such a situation not to engage in serious diagnostics (such as screening with an x-ray panel), but simply to give a cow for meat, as treatment is expensive, I am sure that if the diagnosis is correctly made, you can cure your cow.

Forms of actinomycosis

There are nodular, ulcerative, and diffuse types of actinomycosis. Druses are formed in the affected tissue - very small grayish-yellow formations or mushroom-like growths interspersed with necrotic foci. If nodules appear on the mucous membranes, they fall off and ulcers form. Diffuse form of actinomycosis is characterized by thickening of the skin.

Animals become infected with actinomycosis in an exogenous way, through the penetration of the pathogen into wounds, teat canals, and nostrils. Sometimes infection occurs endogenously. Pathogenic forms of actinomycetes enter the oral cavity of a healthy animal. If the mucous membranes are injured by harmful plants - the remains of mouse barley, bristles, oats, sedges, the pathogen penetrates into the submucosal layers, from there it spreads through the parenchymal tissues. The disease often occurs in the stall period, when meadow hay is fed to cattle. The person is susceptible to actinomycosis, but no cases of infection from animals have been reported.

From the moment of infection to the first clinical manifestations, it takes several weeks, but with strong immunity the animal may not get sick at all, or the illness will overtake the cow after a year. In actinomycosis, the following pathological signs are observed:

  • Actinomycoma formation. The tumor is formed mainly on the head, often on the lower jaw.
  • The spread of tumors in the lymph nodes, bone tissue, udder.
  • Opening abscesses out or into the pharyngeal cavity.
  • Deformation of the bones of the skull.
  • Tooth loss.
  • The syndrome of "wooden language".


In addition to the analysis of clinical manifestations using methods of laboratory recognition. Colonies of the fungus are found in the purulent contents or granulomatous tissue. The following infections with similar diseases should be excluded:

Animals with clinical signs of actinomycosis are isolated. The concept of treatment develops in the following directions:

Conservative treatment

Conducted at the initial stage of the disease. The fungus is sensitive to iodine preparations that are poured into actinomycmas. Antibiotics are used to inhibit concomitant pyogenic microflora. Oxytetracycline and Polymyxin are effective. Practice intravenous infusion of a mixture of iodine with the potassium salt of the element. In recovered animals, immunity to the radiant fungus does not develop, therefore relapses of the disease are not excluded. If conservative therapy does not bring the desired result, proceed to surgical excision of actinomycosis.

Epizootological data

Actinomycosis affects young cattle, as well as adult individuals. Very often, the disease is observed in the winter-spring period, when rough feed is fed to animals.

Infection with actinomycosis occurs by eating plants that are affected by a fungus of radiant actinomycete. In most cases, the fungus infects the awns of ears of various cereals, as well as mouse barley.

The fungus enters the body of cattle through the affected mucous membrane or skin. In the presence of inflammation of the gums, actinomycetes can easily penetrate into the alveoli of the teeth. With such an infection, pathogens become quite virulent.

Once in the body, a radiant fungus provokes the occurrence of an inflammatory process, after which antinomycous granuloma with suppuration is formed. With the development of the disease, the internal organs and tissues are damaged, which destabilize the normal vital activity of the animal, after which the meat of the animal is not suitable for consumption.

In cattle, actinomycosis primarily affects the tissues of the mandible, bone and lymph nodes.

Symptoms in actinomycosis of the skin of the head, neck, lower jaw

At the site of injury appear dense formations that grow together with the skin. After a time, they burst out or into the laryngeal cavity. From the fistula comes pus with granular grains - Druze fungus. After a time, the pus is mixed with blood due to tissue necrosis.

With the defeat of the mandible, the shape of the animal's head changes. Teeth can gradually loosen and fall out. From the fistulas formed on the mucous membrane, yellow-red pus is released.

Pathogen, sources and routes of infection

The causative agent of actinomycosis was identified in the XIX century. At that time, it was determined that the disease develops under the action of the fungus Actinomyces bovis. The parasite enters the body of the cow through wounds on the mucous membranes and on the body, upper respiratory tract, lower intestine, nipples.

Most often, an infection occurs when the animal eats grass infected with fungus. He usually settles on cereal. The main condition for infection is the presence of a wound through which the pathogen enters the body.

Sources of infection can be:

  • feed,
  • water,
  • objects of the external environment.

Most often, the disease develops in the winter-autumn period - a time of reduced immunity, feeding with roughage and eating stubble, which injures the oral mucosa.

When ingested, the fungus causes an inflammatory process, which results in the formation of actinomycous granuloma with the release of pus. The lower jaws, bones and lymph nodes are affected first. As the lesion develops, it passes to the vital internal organs, as a result of which the meat of the animal becomes unfit for food. The pathogen can live in the environment from 1 to 6 years. Destroyed by chemical and physical effects:

  • formalin solution (3%),
  • heating to a temperature of 75–85 ° С,
  • steam treatment.

Actinomyces bovis is sensitive to antibiotics such as tetracycline, erythromycin, chloramphenicol and other drugs that have fungicidal action.

After the fungus enters the body before the first symptoms occur, it can take several weeks or even a year - the incubation period is so long.

The manifestation of the disease will depend on:

  • localization sites
  • pathogen pathogenicity,
  • the ability of the animal organism to resist it.

A common symptom for all animals is the formation of actinomycmas: a slowly growing and spreading dense tumor. Actinomycous lesion may be located on the head, neck, mandible, udder, tongue and oral mucosa. Perhaps its development in the lymph nodes.

If only soft tissue is infected, the cow is most often cured and she quickly recovers. With the defeat of the joints, bones, internal organs most often the prognosis for an animal is unfavorable.

With the defeat of the skin of the head, neck, lower jaw

In these areas, the disease manifests itself in the form of the appearance of dense tumors, fused with the skin, which eventually opened, and from them come purulent discharge of yellow color, sometimes mixed with blood.

In them with the naked eye you can see grains of gray - this is the fungus of the pathogen. Ulcers can be opened both outside and into the larynx. They are then drawn out, then reopened.

With the defeat of the lymph nodes

An encapsulated purulent accumulation forms in the lymph nodes when the fungus-causative agent enters them. Sometimes there is a decrease in actinomycous tumors, and it seems that the animal has recovered. However, after some time, with a decrease in immunity, tumors may return to the same areas where they were located before.

After opening the abscess in a cow, fever, puffiness and poor health are possible. Remission can occur if there is no fistula on the site of the affected lymph node. In this case, the tumor can go for an indefinite period.

With udder disease

On the udder dies tissue. Actinomycomas form in the mammary gland tissues, reaching several centimeters across and provoking the appearance of ulcers and fistulas.

If you feel the udder, you will feel a large seal with many small formations. After the actinomycoma has matured, a large wound with purulent contents appears in its place. After treatment, a scar remains on the udder.

With the defeat of the tongue and mucous

When localized by actinomyc in the larynx and pharynx, it becomes difficult for the cow to swallow and chew, as a result her appetite decreases and she loses weight sharply.

If the tongue, gums, or mucous membrane of the mouth are affected, then ulcers can be seen from which a yellow-red fluid oozes out. Teeth begin to stagger and fall out. There is increased salivation.

When the pathogen enters the alveoli of the teeth, the infection develops rapidly in the body. If the infection began with the tongue, it will increase in size. In this case, the cow can not tightly close the jaw, and the tongue falls out.

How to treat actinomycosis in cows

Therapy of actinomycosis involves different treatment regimens. However, in each of them there is a mandatory treatment of wounds with iodine, its intravenous injection, as well as injections of antibiotics. It is also possible surgery, in which the tumor is removed, the abscess is cleaned and treated with antiseptics. But the operation is preceded by antibiotic therapy.

A solution of iodine and potassium iodide

If the pathogen only penetrated under the skin, sometimes only a subcutaneous injection of iodine and potassium iodide, the drug "Iodinol", is enough. Substances injected around actinomycosis. In more advanced cases - or when it is not possible to get close to actinomycosis - iodine solution is injected intravenously.

Injection solution is prepared from:

  • crystalline iodine - 1 g,
  • potassium iodide - 2 g,
  • warm water - 0.5 l.

The solution is prepared exactly in this order, as are the ingredients in the list. The analogue can be a mixture of 4 ml of an alcoholic solution of iodine (5%) and 900 ml of distilled water. A vein is injected in 100 ml each day.

The course of treatment is 4-5 days. Usually during this time actinomycomas dissolve. Also, iodine and potassium iodide can be administered using a dropper.


In severe cases, antibiotic therapy is prescribed. It can also be prescribed in conjunction with iodine injections. Commonly used antibiotics such as oxytetracycline, polymyxin. They are injected into actinomycomy. The course of treatment with oxytetracycline is 7 days.

Animals up to one year are administered 200 thousand U, older animals - 400 thousand Un. Polymyxin is injected every 10th day. In advanced cases, benzylpenicillin is injected into the cows. However, it is important to establish in advance that the animal is not allergic to penicillin.

Full recovery after treatment should be expected after 3-5 weeks. It is important to follow all veterinarian regulations and complete the course of treatment, even if the symptoms of the disease have gone. Recurrences are characteristic of actinomycosis. In addition to drug treatment, efforts are also directed at improving the immunity of the animal - the introduction of vitamin supplements, enhanced nutrition.

Preventive measures

To avoid infection with Actinomyces bovis, you should follow certain preventive measures:

  • steam up roughage (straw, hay) before feeding to soften them, so the animal will not be able to damage the oral mucosa,
  • comply with recommendations for nutritional management, so that the animal has good immunity,
  • not to neglect the sanitary and hygienic rules for keeping cows, including regular cleaning and disinfection of the barn,
  • periodically inspect the herd and timely isolate sick animals,
  • abandon grazing on pastures that are located in the lowlands, swampy and damp,
  • timely handle scratches, abrasions on the skin and mucous membranes, remove aching teeth.
Thus, actinomycosis is a serious infectious disease that must be treated on time and without fail. Delay in treatment threatens with serious violations in the work of vital organs - as a result, beef becomes unusable.

In order to prevent contamination of the herd with actinomycosis, it is necessary to ensure periodic disinfection of the barn, high-quality nutrition and careful care of animals.

What is this disease

Actinomycosis is a chronic disease of an infectious nature that affects not only cattle, but also a person. It is caused by a fungus, characterized by the appearance on the internal organs and tissues of inflammation in the form of granulomas, turning into abscesses and fistulas. Did you know?The most expensive beef in the world is obtained from Japanese Wagyu cows. The Japanese, living in the vicinity of the city of Kobe, where these cows were mostly divorced, treated their pets with care - they fed them with the best herbs, wiped them with sake and drank beer. As a result, they have learned how to get very tender and tasty meat, which today is sold at 100 euros for 200 grams of tenderloin. The disease is dangerous for the animal, because if it is not treated promptly, there may be serious complications affecting the kidneys, liver, respiratory system and brain. With poor health, a cow can be fatal. The most susceptible to damage the fungus are cows under the age of 1-1.5 years.

Effective treatment of actinomycosis

At the first symptoms of the disease, you should seek specialized help from a specialist in order not to further aggravate the situation.

For the treatment of actinomycosis in their practice, veterinarians use iodine solution inside and to introduce it directly into actinomycosis. With the re-spread of the disease, intravenous perforation of the animal may be prescribed with a solution of iodine, water containing potassium iodide. Potassium iodide, iodine, and distilled water are taken for the dropper.

With a complicated course of the disease, antibiotics are used for the treatment. During the week, prescribed to pierce the very actinomic drug - oxytetracycline.

To combat the formations also use polymyxin. The injection is done in actinomycom every 10th day. In combination with antibiotics, intravenous administration of potassium iodide may be prescribed.

The most practical treatment for actinomycosis of cattle is surgery.

Актиномикомы иссекают вместе с капсулой, наполненной гноем. Для того чтобы операция прошла успешно, предварительно проводят курс лечения антибиотиками. Животное обкалывают специальным антибиотиком как внутримышечно, так и внутривенно.

To disinfect the room in which there was a sick animal, you should use a solution of caustic alkali (2-3%) and svezashashenoy lime.