About the Diseases

   Nature of disease  
  • This is a chronic infectious bacterial disease occurs in dairy animals.
  • This causes swelling of lower jaw or around the mandibular region.
  • This condition affects the feed intake of the animals.
  • The disease is characterized by rarefying osteomyelitis of the bone of skull in cattle.

  • Actinomycosis is caused by Actinomyces bovis.
  •  In addition to this organism, association of bacteria like Corynebacterium pyogenes and Staphylococcus are also seen.

   Mode of Transmission  
  • Actinomycosis generally affects cattle between 2 to 5 years and it is a sporadic disease and animal to animal transmission occurs rarely.
  • The organisms remain as resident population and may establish the infection through abrasion, injury or wounds.
  • The abrasion of buccal mucosa induced by coarse feed or surface material while chewing may set up infection.
  • Transmission of infection through dental alveoli at the time of eruption is noted.
  • The alimentary canal of normal cattle may harbor A.bovis and from where the organisms may invade the subepithelial tissues through injury by surface object.


  • The lesions appear initially as a hard, painless, circumscribed protuberance usually at the level of central molar teeth of the mandible or maxilla.
  • The invasion damages the bony tissues and in some cattle, large granulomatous mass appear on the surface of the jaw followed by development of sinus tracts.
  • Due to extensive involvement of the mandible and maxilla, the process of mastication is affected and thus there is impairment of digestion resulting to loss of general health.
  • Abscess may extend and may produce sinus to the skin surface where from, the purulent discharges are drained.
  • Examination of oral cavity may exhibit loose teeth or missing teeth.
  • There is foul breath from the mouth known as halitosis.
  • Loose teeth induce hypersalivation and dysphagia (difficulty in feeding).
  • The adjacent bones may be affected in long standing cases.
  • The adjacent lymph nodes are not affected and the disease does not spread through lymphatic channel.


   Management Methods

     Control measures  
  • There is no vaccine against this disease.
  • Isolation of infected animals and their treatment are to be rendered.
  • Removal of contaminated materials and disposal of animals with discharging foci may be made.
  • This condition should be consulted with qualified veterinarian for antibiotic treatment.