How to treat lichen in cattle

How to treat lichen in cattle

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Trichophytosis in cattle is a fairly common fungal disease that affects the skin of an animal. Trichophytosis of cattle, or ringworm, is registered in more than 100 countries around the world and causes huge damage to livestock. In order to recognize this disease in time, each owner of cattle should become familiar with the causes, symptoms and methods of treatment of trichophytosis.

What is trichophytosis

Trichophytosis (trichophytosis) is a contagious fungal disease of animals and humans, caused by pathogenic microscopic fungi of the genus Trichophyton. The causative agent of trichophytosis in cattle is the pathogenic fungus Trichophyton verrucosum (faviforme).

Trichophytosis, or ringworm, is characterized by the appearance on the skin of outlined, scaly areas with hairs broken off at the base. Some forms of the disease are characterized by the development of severe inflammation of the skin and follicles with the formation of exudate and a dense crust.

The occurrence of trichophytosis in cattle is influenced in a certain way by unsanitary conditions and inadequate feeding (deficiency of vitamins, micro- and macroelements). Cows kept in warm, damp and unventilated areas are more likely to suffer from infectious and non-infectious skin diseases. Trichophytosis in cattle is mainly recorded in the autumn and winter periods, especially when the animals are crowded.

Important! Any age group of cattle can become infected with shingles, however, young animals at the age of 3-6 months are most susceptible to infection.

In the affected coat, the causative agent of trichophytosis remains viable for up to 6-7 years, and in pathogenic material - up to 1.5 years.

Forms of the disease

Depending on the severity and course of the pathological process, several forms of trichophytosis in cattle are distinguished:

  • superficial;
  • erased (atypical);
  • follicular (deep).

The follicular form of ringworm is more common in calves, especially during the stall period. The number of foci of inflammation can be different, the diameter of the lesions is up to 20 cm. This form of trichophytosis is characterized by the presence of several areas of skin lesions. Inflamed areas of the epidermis are covered with dense serous-purulent crusts, reminiscent of dry dough. When pressed, purulent exudate is released from under the scabs, and when the crust is separated, erosive and ulcerative lesions of the skin can be seen. The hair on the inflamed areas of the epithelium easily falls off, and many follicular pustules can be seen on the surface of the skin. In sick calves with this form of the disease, there is a deterioration in appetite and, as a consequence, the absence of weight gain, stunting.

In adult cattle, the superficial form of trichophytosis is more common. First, small protruding oval-shaped spots with a diameter of 1-5 cm appear on the skin.

The coat in this area becomes dull, its structure changes, and the hairs break off easily at the base. Over time, the spots increase in size, sometimes merge and turn into a single extensive lesion with a scaly surface. The epithelium is covered with a light crust, which disappears after 4-8 weeks. In the initial and final stages of the disease in animals with trichophytosis, itching, soreness of inflamed skin areas is noted.

Atypical, or erased trichophytosis, as well as the superficial form, is more common in adult cattle in the summer. Infected animals develop small, rounded patches of baldness on the head with flaky skin. Usually, after a while, hair growth in the area resumes, the coat is restored.

Cattle lichen symptoms

Spores of a pathogenic fungus enter the environment with peeling crusts, skin scales and hair. The incubation period lasts from 5 days to a month or more. After penetration into the skin of the animal, the spores of the fungus germinate. The causative agent of the disease multiplies in the stratum corneum of the epidermis and hair follicles. Waste products of microorganisms cause irritation of epidermal cells, accumulation of infiltrate and pus.

In the case when the fungi enter the thickness of the epidermis and destroy the hair follicle, hairs fall off on the affected skin areas, and alopecia are formed. The inflammatory process is accompanied by the release of exudate and the formation of scabs, which adhere tightly to the epidermis. With superficial and erased trichophytosis, the affected areas of the skin are covered with asbestos-like or gray-white crusts.

With trichophytosis in cattle, the skin of the head, neck, less often the back, limbs, abdomen, thighs and lateral surfaces are usually affected. In calves, this disease manifests itself in the form of small inflammation in the forehead, around the eye sockets, mouth and ears.

Trichophytosis is accompanied by severe itching and restlessness of the animal. Adults lose their appetite, young cattle are lagging behind in growth and development. In advanced cases and in severe forms, trichophytosis can be fatal.

Diagnosis of the disease

The diagnosis of cattle trichophytosis is made taking into account:

  • clinical signs characteristic of this disease;
  • results of microscopy of particles of the epidermis, hair and crusts;
  • epizootological data.

Also, for diagnosis, a culture of the fungus is isolated on nutrient media. For laboratory studies, the pathological material of sick animals is selected - scraping of the affected areas of the epidermis and hair that has not been treated with therapeutic agents.

Cattle trichophytosis must be differentiated from other diseases with similar symptoms:

  • microsporia;
  • favus (scab);
  • scabies;
  • eczema.

The clinical signs of microsporia are somewhat similar to the symptoms of trichophytosis. However, with this disease, there is no itching of the skin in the lesion. The spots have an irregular shape, the hairs break off not at the base, but at some distance from the skin.

With scab, the affected hairs are arranged in bundles interspersed with healthy ones. The hairs do not break off at the base, but completely fall out.

Scabies, like cattle trichophytosis, is accompanied by itching without a specific localization, and mites are present in the scrapings.

With eczema and other non-infectious dermatological diseases, there are no delineated lesions, the hair does not fall out or break off.

Treatment of trichophytosis in cattle

When clinical signs of trichophytosis are detected, first of all, it is necessary to isolate the infected animal from healthy individuals. Treatment is prescribed based on the degree of damage and the course of the disease. There are several effective treatment options for trichophytosis in cattle.

Mild forms of cattle trichophytosis can be cured by treating the affected areas of the epidermis with antifungal drugs:

Lesions on the skin of a sick animal should be treated:

  • 10% tincture of iodine;
  • 10% copper sulfate solution;
  • salicylic acid or alcohol solution (10%);
  • salicylic, sulfuric or tar ointment (20%).

It is advisable to use medicinal ointments for single lesions.

Some owners treat the skin with petroleum jelly, sunflower oil or fish oil when treating herpes in cattle at home. Available folk remedies contribute to the rapid rejection and softening of trichophytosis crusts.

Warning! Treatment of sick animals should be carried out in rubber gloves and overalls.

The most effective and correct way to combat this disease is cattle vaccination. For prophylactic purposes, healthy animals, as well as sick cattle with various forms of the disease, are injected with the following live vaccines LTF-130. The prepared preparation is used twice with an interval of 10-14 days, it is necessary to prick in the same place. After a few days, small crusts form on the skin of the animal (in the area of ​​vaccine administration), which are rejected on their own within a month.

Injection of the LTF-130 vaccine to infected individuals in the incubation period can lead to the rapid manifestation of clinical signs of ringworm with the emergence of multiple superficial trichophytosis foci. Such animals are injected with a single therapeutic dose of the drug.

In vaccinated calves, immunity to the disease develops within a month after revaccination and lasts for a long time.

Important! In animals who have had trichophytosis, a long-term tense immunity is formed.

Preventive actions

To prevent the disease at large livestock enterprises and personal subsidiary farms, it is necessary to carry out a set of preventive measures in a timely manner. Any disease is easier to prevent than to cure, because youngsters of one month old are subject to mandatory vaccination.

Newly arrived animals are determined for thirty-day quarantine in separate rooms. Every 10 days, the animals should be examined by a veterinarian, and if trichophytosis is suspected, the necessary laboratory tests of the pathological material should be carried out.

A sick animal with a confirmed diagnosis is immediately transferred to an isolation ward and immunized with therapeutic doses of an antifungal vaccine. Boxes, inventory, feeders and drinkers are subjected to mechanical processing and disinfection. Litter, feed residues are burned. Manure removed from the boxes where the sick animal was located is subjected to disinfection. In the future, the treated manure can only be used as fertilizer.

On farms and large livestock enterprises, routine deratization and disinfection of premises should be carried out regularly.


Trichophytosis in cattle is ubiquitous. This disease is especially dangerous for calves and animals with weakened immunity. Timely vaccination and preventive measures will help prevent and protect the cattle population from the unpleasant consequences of trichophytosis.

Watch the video: Cow Mastitis. Tackling the Most Deadliest Dairy Disease. DeLaval (February 2023).

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