Technical article published in number 251 of the Spanish Frisona magazine
In the mid-1980s, bovine medicine underwent a decisive change, from individual medicine to herd medicine. In the era of individual medicine, the farmer saw a cow that miscarried, had mastitis, was lame or had any other medical problem and called the veterinarian to cure it. That medicine gave way to community medicine in which the focus of the community shifted from the cow to the herd and from curing sick animals to preventing those diseases on the entire farm. This improves general health and with it productivity.
Today we know that the main problems on our farms are herd problems: infertility, mastitis, lameness, etc. The growing size of farms and the large amount of data generated by the milking parlor, electronic collars and pedometers, milk control or interprofessional laboratories make the computer the main work tool for farmers and veterinarians. But not all diseases in our cows are herd problems. Our cows continue to suffer from diseases that we doctors call sporadic, diseases that occur in a few cows and appear in isolation. These diseases must be properly diagnosed and treated and even prevented, because if we do not act properly these sporadic diseases can become endemic, which are diseases permanently present on a farm. Unfortunately, in universities we focus more and more on herd management, decreasing training in individual medicine.
One such sporadic disease is actinomycosis. It is a disease that many farmers will have seen at some time on their farm. A cow begins with a bulge on a ramus of the jaw, much more rarely on the upper jaw, which grows and grows until it completely misshapens the cow’s face. This disease is caused by a bacillus-like bacterium that forms filaments similar to fungal hyphae, Gram stain positive and grows better without oxygen, which is called facultative anaerobe, called Actinomyces bovis. The bacterium can be found in the nasopharynx, throughout the digestive tract, and in the vagina of healthy animals.
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Technical article published by Ángel Revilla Ruiz and Juan Vicente González Martín in number 251 of the Spanish Frisona magazine.
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