common diseases in buffaloes
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Buffaloes are tough animals. They can survive quite a few different things, and they don’t seem to get sick a lot. However, there are some diseases that affect them more frequently than others. That’s why it’s important to understand when you need to get your buffaloes checked out by a vet. 

Here is a list of common diseases in buffaloes that you should keep in mind: 

Also Read: Know the Most Common Diseases in Cows With Symptoms and Treatment

Foot-and-mouth disease in Buffalo

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is an infection caused by the Aphto-virus, a Picornaviridae family RNA virus that affects cloven-hoofed animals. The disease is severe and highly contagious, and it has the potential to spread across large areas due to the movement of infected or contaminated animals, products, objects, and people. 

Cattle and buffaloes are primarily infected through aerosol transmission, often from pigs, which excrete large amounts of virus via respiratory aerosols and are thought to play a significant role in disease spread. It also spreads through consumption or direct contact Infected buffaloes and cattle excrete a large amount of virus.

Winds can spread the virus over long distances before clinical symptoms appear. The disease has been transmitted from cattle to buffalo during the acute stage of infection.

Symptoms of Foot-and-mouth disease in Buffalo

The presence of painful vesicles in the skin of the lips, tongue, gums, nostrils, coronary bands, interdigital spaces, and teats causes salivation, depression, anorexia, and lameness. Fever and decreased milk production are common symptoms preceding the formation of vesicles

Treatment of Foot-and-mouth disease in Buffalo

Depending on the objectives and the current sanitary situation, strategies for controlling foot-and-mouth disease can be based on a variety of measures. Eradication denotes a policy in which the presence or potential presence of the virus is not tolerated, whereas the presence of the virus may be tolerated, but the disease’s effects are not.

It can be reduced through vaccination and other zoosanitary measures.

Rotavirus in Buffaloes

Rotaviruses are members of the Reoviridae family and have a genome made up of 11 segments of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) encased in a triple-layered capsid.

Its structure accounts for a high resistance in the ambient, lasting seven to nine months at temperatures ranging from 18 to 20°C

Rotaviruses spread through the ingestion of viral particles caused by oral-faecal contamination. It affects buffalo calves between the ages of one and three weeks. Rotavirus infection in the environment

Although healthy, power is generally high due to viral excretion from infected calves looking for viruses, viral elimination from mothers just before calving, and high viral resistance in the environment.

Rotavirus Symptoms in Buffalo

The onset of anorexia, depression, fever, and, most importantly, watery or pasty diarrhea with blood traces, as well as dehydration, is rapid. The diarrhea is at its worst after seven to eight days.

Treatment of Rotavirus in Buffaloes

Buffalo calves should be housed in single disinfected cages that have been empty for 15 to 20 days. Colostrum of high quality is critical for the prevention of neonatal disease. Several preparations with higher antigen valences are available for passive immunization of calves via vaccination of pregnant female buffaloes.

Bovine brucellosis

This disease is also known as Bang’s disease, malta fever, and undulant fever (in man), contagious abortion and infectious abortion.

In the primary animal host, brucellosis is primarily a reproductive disease characterized by abortion, retained placenta, and impaired fertility. The clinical findings of buffaloes are mostly determined by their immune status and physiological status: susceptible pregnant females have abortions after six months, retained placentas, and catarrhal metritis. 

buffalo health problem and diseases

Symptoms of Bovine brucellosis

Mild cases are distinguished by synovitis and painful swelling of the involved joints. Acute brucellosis in humans, caused by Brucella abortus, has ‘flu-like’ symptoms that are highly non-specific, whereas chronic brucellosis is sneaky because the vague symptoms can be confused with other diseases

Bovine brucellosis Treatment

Treatment should be prolonged and aggressive, with risks to the human food chain and the possibility of relapses.

Rinderpest, One of the Common Diseases in Buffaloes

Cattle, zebus, water buffaloes, sheep and goats, as well as many species of wild animals, such as African buffaloes, eland, kudu, wildebeest, various antelopes, bushpigs, warthogs, giraffes, and so on, serve as hosts. 

Direct or close indirect contact with tears, nasal secretions, saliva, urine and faeces, vaginal exudes, and milk results in transmission. Blood and all tissues are infectious before clinical signs appear, and excretion is typically limited to two to three weeks after infection. 

Symptoms of Rinderpest

A febrile state (40-42°C) characterized by depression, anorexia, decreased rumination, rough hair coat, and an increase in respiratory and cardiac rates. Mucous membrane congestion (oral, nasal, ocular, and genital tract mucosa), intense mucopurulent lacrimation and abundant salivation, anorexia, necrosis, and erosion of the oral mucosa can be seen after two to three days. Following this, gastrointestinal symptoms such as profuse haemorrhagic diarrhea containing mucus and necrotic debris appear as the fever drops.

Rinderprest Treatment in Buffalo

There is no special treatment. When diarrhea is present, saline or lactated Ringer’s solution should be used to replace lost fluids

Tuberculosis

Mycobacterium bovis causes tuberculosis in cattle and buffalo. The main source of transmission is an infected animal. Exhaled air, as well as all secretions and excretions (sputum, feces, milk, urine, vaginal and uterine discharges, and open peripheral lymph nodes), contain organisms. 

It is a chronic disease that can last from a few months to years. General malaise is the first discernible sign in buffaloes.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis in Buffaloes

A low grade fever, loss of appetite, emaciation, chronic intermittent hacking cough and associated pneumonia, difficulty breathing, weakness, dryness of skin, and swelling superficial body lymph nodes, particularly the supramammary one, are observed in the pulmonary form when mammary glands are affected and painlessly enlarged.

Tuberculosis Treatment in Buffaloes

No treatment is given because it would take too long and be too expensive. Some therapeutic protocols for animals with high genetic value can be suggested.

Blue tongue

Blue tongue is a ruminant vector-borne disease caused by a Reoviridae virus. When males are viraemic, the virus is rarely excreted in the sperm.

Contaminated sperm could infect recipient cows but would be unlikely to settle in an area unless there were an abundance of vectors. Blood is an infectious material as well. All domestic and wild ruminants serve as hosts. 

Symptoms

The disease is distinguished by mucous membrane inflammation, congestion, swelling, and hemorrhages. Sheep are generally the most vulnerable. Fever (42 °C), loss of condition and emaciation, inflammation, ulcers, and necrosis in and around the mouth (gums, cheeks, and tongue), and, in a small percentage of cases, cyanotic tongue that appears purplish-blue, reddening, and haemorrhages of the coronary band (above the hoof) causing lameness. 

Treatment 

No efficient treatment is available.

Buffalo pox

It is one of the most common diseases in buffaloes where only buffaloes are affected. Rabbits and infant mice can be infected in an experiment. The infection has been reported in humans, specifically among those who have come into contact with infected animals.

Symptoms

The pox skin lesions are mostly found on the teats, udder, and thighs, and they usually heal in three to four weeks. Approximately half of the animals affected have mild to severe mastitis. Fever, anorexia, dullness, depression, and conjunctival congestion are symptoms of the disease.

Treatment 

No specific treatment is applicable. Antibiotics can control secondary bacterial

contamination

Rabies

Infected animals are always the source of infection, and it spreads primarily through saliva contamination of wounds, bites, or ingestion. Milk excretion is minimal and does not contribute to the disease. There have been few reports of this disease in buffaloes because they defend themselves well against rabid animals.  

Symptoms of Rabies in Buffaloes

The symptoms are similar to those seen in cattle. The disease can be paralytic (saliva drooling, eructation, tooth grinding, tail movement, anorexia, stiffness of hind limbs, paralysis and recumbency, death in two to three days) or furious (alert state, hypersensitivity, sexual excitement, inability to swallow). 

Buffalo Health Treatment 

Irrigate wounds with a soap solution and water. Post-exposure vaccination is an option. Suspect animals should be kept under close observation in order to avoid euthanasia. 

Reference: FAO 

To check out the most common diseases and health problems in animals, explore our section Pet Care and Animal Health.