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Lumpy Skin Disease(LSD)
What is Lumpy Skin Disease

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an infectious disease of cattle caused by a virus. The disease commonly known as “Nkokomane in Setswana” is characterized by the eruption of nodules on the skin and other parts of the body.

How is Lumpy skin disease transmitted

Biting insects or flies (e.g. mosquitoes, stomoxysis) are considered to be the main vectors in the transmission of LSD. The disease is therefore more commonly seen during wet summer and autumn months; the period during which the biting fly density is highest.

What are the clinical signs of Lumpy skin disease
  • Incubation period (time from infection to appearance of clinical signs of disease) is 4 – 14 days. Early signs are loss of appetite, salivation,  discharges from eyes and nose
  •  Nodule: Skin nodules appear on the skin and are randomly distributed. The nodules range in diameter from 5 – 50 mm; they are well-circumscribed, firm and round. In a cut section, the nodule appears creamy-gray or yellow mass of tissue. Nodules may also occur on the muzzle and within the membranes lining the nasal and mouth cavities. The skin nodules either resolve rapidly, become indurated (in which case they may persist as hard lumps or ‘sitfasts’ for 12 months or longer) or become sequestrated to leave deep ulcers.
  • Swollen legs (due to subcutaneous edema) resulting in lameness
What is the treatment for lumpy skin disease

There is no treatment for LSD. Secondary infection by bacteria can be controlled by administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline) and sulfa drugs (sulphonamides). When you see your animals showing the clinical signs described above, immediately contact your veterinary agent so that you can be assisted. Good nursing care should always be exercised for the sick animals.

How is Lumpy skin disease controlled

Vaccination is the method of choice for the control of LSD in your cattle post. Both live (attenuated) and dead (inactivated) LSD vaccines are commercially available. The live vaccine confers a life-long immunity after a single injection and is therefore the most preferred. Booster vaccination will be required should you opt to use the inactivated LSD vaccine. Contact your veterinary doctor or veterinary office closest to your cattle post for more advice on control of LSD 

What are the effects of Lumpy skin disease

Affected animals recover and mortality is usually low. The greatest loss is due to decreased milk yield, loss of condition (emaciation), and rejection or reduced value of hide.

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