It is also known as “Goat Plague”. It is highly contagious viral disease of wild and domestic ruminants which affects the respiratory as well as digestive system. It is characterized by fever, loss of appetite, stomatitis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. Goat is more susceptible as compared to sheep. The disease is caused by Morbillivirus. It is rapidly spread and causes high mortality rate. The virus has potential to cause severe outbreaks.
It occurs primarily through direct contact with infected sheep and goat. As virus is secreted in all secretions and excretions of the animal so the chances of contamination of feed, water and premises is high. Feces are main source of contamination. So, the transmission to healthy animals can occur through contaminated food, water, beddings and other appliances. The common system of husbandry where goat and sheep roam freely in rural and urban areas contributes to the spread of infection to new areas. The main way of transmission is ingestion of infected material but it may also take place through inhalation. As the disease also occurs in wild ruminants so they may play a role in the spreading of this disease to domestic animals.
The incubation period is 4-5 days. With the progress of disease, there is sudden rise of temperature (104 to 105 ˙F). The affected animal have dull coat, dry muzzle and depressed appetite and congested mucous membranes. Initially there is profuse serous nasal discharge accompanied by sneezing and coughing and later it becomes muco-purulent. The discharge may dry and form crust around nasal opening. There is conjunctivitis, serous secretions from eye and later matting of eye lids may occur. In oral cavity, necrotic lesions and ulcers may be noticed in lips, buccal mucosa, gums, dental palate & tongue, with putrid odour to the breath. Profuse diarrhea is noticed which may contain mucus or blood. It is accompanied by dehydration, emaciation, hypothermia and death. Coughing and respiratory distress are noticed due to pneumonia. Pregnant animal may abort.
- Sick animals should be immediately separated from rest of the herd to control the spread of infection
- The affected animal should get adequate rest and should be fed soft and palatable feed because ulcers may be present in the oral cavity. Animal should not be allowed for grazing.
- Immediately consult the veterinarian for proper treatment.
- Strict sanitation and hygienic measures should be adopted. It is susceptible to most disinfectants, e.g. phenol, sodium hydroxide (2%).
- Introduction of new animal in a flock should be restricted from areas where disease is prevalent
- Quarantine measures should be strictly followed.
Mamta Kumari, Hina Ashraf Waiz, Kavita A. ShendeCollege of Veterinary and Animal Science, Navania, Udaipur
Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.