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Haemorrhagic Septicemia

Hemorrhagic septicemia is one of the most important diseases of cattle and buffalo in Pakistan and causes heavy losses in Livestock. It is considered number one killer of buffalo. HS is caused by two serotypes of G –ve, non motile, coccobacillus bacteria named as Pasteurella multocida.

Disease is associated with humid weather; increase incidence of disease is reported in wet season. It is evident that out breaks do occur in all times of the year but those occurring during wet season spread rapidly because of the longer survival of organism in the moist conditions. The disease is spread by direct or indirect contact. The source of infection is infected animals or carriers. The causative agent does not survive for more than 2-3 weeks in soil or pastures.

Signs & Symptoms:
Majority of cases are acute or peracute in nature with death occurring from 6-24 hours in cattle and buffalo after the appearance of signs. Signs include:

  • Dullness

  • Reluctant to move

  • High body temperature

  • Serous nasal discharge


 
  • Salivation

  • Edematous swelling (starts in throat region and then spread to parotid region and to the neck)

  • Mucous membranes are congested

  • Difficult respiration and animal dies within few hours

Diagnosis:
Field or clinical diagnosis is usually based on history, clinical signs, pathological lesions observed on postmortem, previous occurrence of HS in the herd, endemicity of the area, species affected, and vaccination history.

For lab diagnosis best tissues for smear and cultures are blood (from heart), liver, lungs and spleen. Staining can be done with Giemsa stain and methylene blue stain. Pasteurella grows on common laboratory media like blood agar. Haemagglutination test, detecting somatic Ag, or mouse protection tests, detecting capsular antigen, are more reliable.

Treatment:
It is caused by G -ve bacteria. So antibiotics affected for G –ve should be administered. Bactericidal antibiotics should not be administered. In acute HS endotoxins is the main cause of pathological changes so non steroidal anti-inflammatory (dichlophanic Na) and steroids are given which have beneficial effects for stoppage of endotoxins.

Vaccination program:
Vaccination is available in Pakistan prepared by NIAB and VRI.

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