AnteaSplenic Fever, Charbon, Milzbrand
- The bacterium Bacillus anthracis changes from an actively growing vegetative form in the body to spores or inactive forms when the organism comes in contact with air. When spores are swallowed by the animal, the organism changes back to the vegetative form and starts growing.
- Anthrax is marked by high fever, 41.5 0C (107 0F)
- severe depression
- dark red to purple lining of the mouth and eyes
- bloody diarrhea
- Breathing is rapid and shallow
- Heartbeat is rapid and weak
- No appetite
- Milk or urine is red or blood-tinged
- Tongue, throat, flanks, and area around the anus and vulva show swelling (edema)
- The spores are spread animal-to-animal and by animals eating feeds contaminated by spores, i.e., by grazing on contaminated ground, drinking contaminated water, or eating unsterilized animal by-products such as bone meal or poorly cooked meat scrapes. The disease in goats is usually peracute (kills the animal in 2 to 6 hours) or the acute form, which takes up to 48 hours for death to occur.
- After symptoms fully develop, treatment is usually not effective. If an outbreak is underway, all other animals in the area should be treated and vaccinated. Vaccination with spore vaccine is usually under the direction of agriculture department personnel. Treatment is with tetracyclines or penicillin in large doses for at least 5 days (See therapy).
- Spread is prevented by burning or deeply burying the unopened carcass. Only very strong disinfectants will kill spores. They are not killed by hot or cold weather or by drying The bacteria can live in the soil for many years. However, if the carcass of an animal killed by anthrax is buried unopened, rotting and lack of oxygen will prevent spore formation and kill the organism. Totally burning the carcass will also destroy the organism. Vaccination is recommended for animals in area where anthrax reoccurs regularly.
Human Health Concerns:
- Anthrax is a very serious disease of both animals and man. A skin form known as malignant carbuncle or malignant pustule can be very serious. You may contract the disease when handling infected animals or fluids or parts of dead animals. An intestinal form contracted by eating infected meat is nearly always fatal to humans, as is pneumonic form contracted by breathing spores from handing wool and hides of infected dead animals.
Thedford, Thomas R. Goat Health Handbook: A Field Guide for Producers with Limited Veterinary Services. Morrilton, AR: Winrock International, 1983. Print.
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