Meaning of Diseases
A disease is any abnormality in health. It is a deviation from the normal functioning of any part of the animal body. The disease may manifest in the form of infection, irritation, or unfavourable condition. Hence, a diseased animal cannot perform normal body processes. Disease results in ill health which may result in death.
There are several diseases that can affect farm animals. Here are some common diseases that can impact various types of farm animals:
1. Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD): FMD is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats. It causes fever, blisters in the mouth and on the feet, and can lead to significant economic losses due to trade restrictions.
2. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu): Avian influenza is a viral infection that primarily affects birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys. It can cause mild to severe respiratory illness and, in some cases, result in high mortality rates. Some strains of avian influenza can also infect humans.
3. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD): BRD is a complex respiratory infection that affects cattle, particularly young calves. It is often caused by a combination of viral and bacterial agents and can lead to pneumonia, decreased weight gain, and even death if left untreated.
4. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS): PRRS is a viral disease that affects pigs. It primarily targets the respiratory and reproductive systems, leading to respiratory distress, reproductive failure, and increased susceptibility to secondary infections.
5. Johne’s Disease: Johne’s disease, also known as paratuberculosis, is a chronic bacterial infection that primarily affects ruminants such as cattle, sheep, and goats. It causes diarrhea, weight loss, and reduced milk production, leading to significant economic losses in affected herds.
6. Newcastle Disease: Newcastle disease is a highly contagious viral infection that affects poultry, including chickens and turkeys. It causes respiratory, nervous, and digestive system problems and can result in high mortality rates.
7. Mastitis: Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the udder in dairy cattle, caused by bacterial infection. It leads to swelling, pain, and changes in milk quality, often resulting in reduced milk production and economic losses.
8. Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD): BVD is a viral infection that affects cattle. It can cause respiratory, reproductive, and digestive problems, including diarrhea, abortion, and immune suppression, leading to increased susceptibility to other diseases.
9. Eimeria Infections: Eimeria are parasites that can infect poultry, cattle, and other livestock. Infections, such as coccidiosis, can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and reduced growth rates, impacting the overall health and productivity of the animals.
10. Brucellosis: Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that affects various livestock species, including cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. It can cause reproductive issues, including infertility, abortions, and reduced milk production. Brucellosis is also a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans.
Types of Diseases
A sick or diseased animal will show some or all the following signs.
- Loss of appetite;
- High temperature;
- Persistent coughing;
- Watery, smelling or blood stained feaces;
- Discharge from the eyes, mouth, nostril or anus;
- Rough skin
- Dropping of tail or wings in birds;
Disease could be categorized into two. These are:-
- Infectious Disease:- Infectious disease are the disease which can affect an animal without the animal coming in contact with the infected animal or infected materials. They are transmitted through the air, water, dust or other agents. Examples of contagious diseases are anthrax, fowl typhoid, conccidiosis and new castle disease
- Contagious Disease:- These disease can only affect an animal by physical contact with an infected animal. Examples of contagious diseases are foot and mouth disease, mastitis and contagious bovine abortion.
Animals can contact disease through the following:
- Contaminated feed and water.
- Dropping or feaces or infected animals
- Infected feeding materials e.g. water troughs, feed troughs and others.
- Insect vectors.
It’s important for farmers and animal health professionals to implement proper biosecurity measures, vaccination protocols, and effective management practices to prevent and control these diseases on farms. If you suspect any disease in your farm animals, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.