SHIPPING FEVER 1280 720 Kingsley Emmanuel Bentum

Photo Credit: @2020 All rights observed by Orissa

Shipping Fever also known as Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex is a bacterial disease of cattle usually associated with stress involved in movement. The disease affects the upper respiratory system and is presented with signs such as laboured or rapid breathing, nasal discharges, coughing, anorexia and depression. 

Stress factors associated with movement of animals such as long journeys with little or no rest, starvation, overheating due to poor ventilation in trucks, dust and harsh weather conditions weaken the immune systems of the cattle, and predispose the animals to this disease. Shipping fever is caused by the bacterium Mannheimia haemolytica. It is often complicated by other bacteria; Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni.  Already sick or weak animals  and recently weaned calves have a higher chance of contracting the disease due to their compromised and fragile immune systems. While Shipping Fever is usually not fatal, it affects productivity greatly as several animals come down with the infection within a short time.

Elimination of all possible stressors  is the first step for recovery in cattle. Provision of adequate water, open space with fresh air and food are few examples to take note of. Some antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian depending on the implicating bacterium. Vitamin and mineral supplements may be added to the therapy as animals may be weak and would not have enough energy to move about.

Preventive measures for Shipping Fever should include providing resting periods for animals being transported especially during long journeys. The rest period should include provision of food and water for animals. Trucks transporting animals should not be overloaded and must be roomy enough to allow them to breathe and move. It is not advisable to keep sick and healthy animals in the same truck. Calves should be weaned at least 2-3 weeks before transportation. At various animal markets, shelters should be created to protect them from the harsh environmental conditions.

Vaccines for Shipping Fever are available and should be given at least 2–3 weeks prior to transportation.  Vaccination can be repeated when animals are introduced into feedlot.



Brucellosis is a highly infectious disease that has the potential of being transferred from animals to humans (zoonotic). It makes it a disease of great public health significance with economic impact.


It is caused by the bacterium Brucella spp. Brucella has different species including Brucella abortus, Brucella canis, Brucella suis  and Brucella melitensis. These species affect several animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, dogs, horses and camels. Recent scientific discoveries have identified strains of brucella in red foxes and certain marine animals. Brucella melitensis is the main strain that affects sheep and goats and also has the potential of infecting humans.


Brucella spp is spread through contact with contaminated birth or uterine fluids, milk and semen from infected animals. Other means of contracting the disease include cuts or scratches through the mucous membranes. 


These may include abortions during the late stages of pregnancy, retained placentas, still births, weak offspring, swollen or inflamed testicles (orchitis) and arthritis. In human, symptoms may include fever, headaches, muscle, and joint pains.


Brucellosis is difficult to be treated and hence no practical treatment protocol exist in animals. Testing of animals and the elimination of positive reactors is the recommended protocol for control and prevention of the disease. It is important to purchase animals from credible sources and test breeding stock for brucellosis before mating them. After birth discharges should be properly disposed off to reduce spread of infection

pigs huddling

PIG VIRAL DISEASES, A list of the commonly diagnosed

PIG VIRAL DISEASES, A list of the commonly diagnosed 725 544 Sefa

As upcoming pig producers, the health of your animals plays a key role in the success of your farm. There are numerous viral diseases. However, today’s article focuses on some of the most common viral infections that you may encounter on your farm. Immediately alert your veterinarian when you suspect any of the underlisted diseases on your farm.

  1. African swine fever: a viral disease of the Asfaviridae family. Disease can cause 100% mortality in a herd.  
  2. Classical swine fever: This viral disease affects pigs of all ages and has similar signs to African Swine fever.  
  1. Vesicular stomatitis: The disease is transmitted usually via insects such as mosquitoes, sand flies and black flies. It is a zoonotic disease.
  2. Aujeszky’s disease: It is a nervous disease of pigs. High mortalities can be recorded in piglets.
  3. Foot-and-mouth disease: Signs include lameness as well as blisters on the snout, feet, and tongue.  
  4. The Nipah virus: It affects the respiratory and central nervous system of pigs. The condition is known as “Barking Pig Syndrome” or Porcine Respiratory Encephalitic Syndrome (PRES).  It is a zoonotic disease
  5. The Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS):  It is caused by an RNA virus of the Arteriviridae family. Signs include respiratory distress, stillbirths, and late term abortions.
  6. Swine pox: It belongs to the Poxviridae family. It is characterised by vesicular lesions on the flanks, ears, and abdomen.  
  7. Porcine parvovirus infection: One of the major reproductive diseases in pigs. Signs include mummified foetuses, decreased litter size and stillbirth.   
  8. The Swine vesicular disease: it is caused by an enterovirus belonging to the Picornaviridae family. The disease can easily be confused with foot and mouth disease and vesicular stomatitis.