Deg Nala Disease in Buffaloes

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					Degnala Disease in
buffaloes In Nepal
        Dr.Kedar Karki
Central Veterinary Laboratory

Degnala disease has been reported mainly
in buffaloes in Pakistan, India and Nepal.
Although cause of Degnala disease has
been already identified in Pakistan and
India, nothing has been done in this regard
in Nepal. The Author would like to share his
field experience and research of Degnala
disease which is caused by Mycotoxins
produced by Fusarium spp.

Deg Nala disease, which causes necrosis
and gangrene of the dependent parts in
cattle and buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis L.) is
known to exist in Indo - Pakistan, as a
number of cases were recorded stemming
from a monsoon rainwater stream in the
area of Murdike (Sheikhpura District), near
Nala Deg in Pakistan (SHIRLAW, 1939 ) .
A widespread occurrence of the disease has
been reported from rice growing areas of
Indo-                 1971;            al.
Indo-Pakistan (IRFAN, 1971; KALRA et al.,
1972;                         1986)
1972; IRFAN and MAQBOOL, 1986) which
                                   losses .
caused considerable economic losses.

Degnala disease is a common infection
affecting buffaloes and cattle in Pakistan,
India and Nepal. This disease seems to
have a seasonal occurrence under particular
geographical region, i.e. lowland. The
disease generally encountered during month
o f N o v e m b e r         J a n u a r y .
It is believed that animal contract this
disease when they are exclusively fed on
paddy straw which get wet during the
maturing stage of plant in field or during
threshing period and stored without proper
d       r     y      i     n      g      .
Incidence and distribution of
      Degnala disease
Degnala disease has been known to exit in
western Pakistan for nearly half a century.
This disease got its name because cases in
buffaloes were first seen in the Deg nala
river area. Shirlow (1939) reported the
occurrence of the disease, which affected a
large numbers of buffaloes in villages of
Shekhpura, Mudrika parts of Deg Nala area
during the year 1929-30.
Since then, cases of this disease have been
observed in order parts of Pakistan.
Fusarium related Degnala disease was
described to have a seasonal incidence and
sporadic cases were seen in winter months
which paddy straw was used as a fodder
(Irfan, 1971). Today this disease is no
longer confined to area around Deg Nala
but isalso found where rice is cultivated.
Kwatra and Singh (1971) characterized the
disease as one that caused necrosis of tips
of tail, ear tongue, swelling of extremities
with subsequent peeling of skin leaving
exposed wound. The same type of disease
has been reported in some parts of state of
Hyrayana and Punjab from 1969-1971.
Singh and Prasad (1983) described this
disease in district of Nalanda in buffaloes
fed on paddy straw. Field veterinarians in
many parts of Nepal with obscure diagnosis
and treatment reported Degnala cases in
s a m e              p e r i o d .
In year 1986, Karki reported this disease in
Banke district of Nepal where buffaloes
were mostly affected. Since last decade, the
disease has been continuously reported
from different districts of Nepal in particular
month of year. This indicates that disease
have some relation with geographic agri-
e c o z o n e        a n d    s e a s o n .
Many studies in this regard suggest such
paddy straw get infected with Fusarium spp.
of saprophytic fungi. An attempt was made
to isolate the fungus and its toxin from
paddy straw by Commonwealth Mycology
Laboratory (U.K.) which led to the
identification of Fusarium spp. (Dhillon
1        9       7        3       )       .
Irfan and Maqbool (1986) isolated Fusarium
species was isolated from samples of rice
seeds that were collected in 1997 on farms
in the foothills of Nepal (Desjardins et al.,
2000). There is now compelling evidence
implicating the Fusarium mycotoxins in
livestock disorders in different parts of the
w         o        r        l      d        .
The first indication of Degnala disease
appears when buffaloes are fed on wet
paddy straw for few days. The first clinical
symptom of the disease is the oedematous
swelling of lower extermities. As disease
progresses, eye swells, ulcerated wound
appears on the leg, tip of ear and tail end.
These lesions are reportedly more marked
on the fetlock around coronet, clefts of
hoofs that lead to necrosis of skin on lesion
leaving open wound. The hairs on affected
parts get denuded and necrotic tissue gets
sloughed off (Ifran 1971)
        Signs and lesions.
Severe cases lingered for 1 to 2 months, but
in others the wounds healed within a few
weeks. The diseased animals were
invariably weak . Ulcerative wounds and
gangrene developed on the limbs and other
dependent parts of the body.
Almost all cases showed gangrene of the
tail, which was shrivelled and cold to the
touch. Invariably, one or both ears showed
signs of dry gangrene. In some cases the
muzzle and even the tip of the tongue
became gangrenous and was shed.
         Signs and lesions.
One or more hooves showed lesions in
                   development .
varying stages of development. In some
cases the affected feet and legs were
swollen up to the knee; hair was denuded
                                 in .
and inflammatory changes set in. Later,
wounds appeared on the coronet, fetlock,
pastern, knee and in the hock region.region .
In very advanced cases the lower regions of
the feet become gangrenous. In some cases
the hooves were shed and bones were
exposed. The gangrenous portions of the
tail, tips of the ears, tongue and other
affected parts of the body, dropped off,
Cracked skin of foots
Tail lesion.
Lower foot lesion
Cracked skin of foots
Swollen leg
Treatment of Degnala disease

So far, symptomatic and supportive therapy
is commonly practiced in endemic areas
with different degree of success rate. After
confirming it s cause, Dhillon (1973)
attempted with 23.6% acetylarsan
parenterally and 5% Arsenic sulphate by
o r a l              r o u t e .
In Pakistan, Pentasulfate was found
effective (Irfan and Maqbool, 1986). The
field report of Karki (1999) described the
2% oral and 5% parenteral use of arsenic
sulphate also termed as Anti- degnala liquor
f o u n d t o b e e f f e c t iv e ( K ar k i , 2 0 0 3 )
after treatment

  Dhillon,K.S. 1973 Preliminory observation on the treatment of degnala
disease in buffaloes.Indian Vet.J.50:5,482-484.
  Ifran,M.1971 The clinical picture and pathology of Degnala disease in
  buffaloes and cattle in West Pakistan.Vet.Rec.88:422-424.
  Ifran, M. and A.Maqbool.1986.Studies on Degnala Diseases in cattle
  a n d b u f f a l o e s . P a k i s t a n . V e t . J . 6 : 8 7 - 9 3 .
  Karki,K 1999. Degnala disease in Nepal District Livestock Services
  Banke Nepal Annual Report. ( Unpublished).
1998 The potential role cytokine therapy for fungal infections in

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