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VIDEO: Vet called to cow with timber tongue

Actinobacillosis is a chronic bacterial condition seen in the soft tissues of the head in adult cattle, mainly affecting the tongue.

Most commonly known to farmers as timber/wooden tongue, it is caused by a Gram-negative bacteria called Actinobacillosis lignieresi.

Outbreaks of wooden tongue may follow the feeding of hay which contains fibrous stalks or thistles.

Cavan-based veterinary practitioner, Gerard McGovern, recently stumbled across a case in a Shorthorn cow.

Taking to his popular Instagram account, he said: “The lesions on the tongue are chronic granulomatous, typically yellow in colour, as seen in video.”

“The retropharangeal & submandibular glands are sometimes affected (snoring is often a presenting sign).”

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“Profuse salivation & retention of food material in the mouth (photos 1 & 2) are common presenting signs.” the vet, with over 32,000 Instagram followers added.

Actinobacillosis, he pointed out, can also sometimes occur in the oesophagus, cardiac, lumen & reticulum and there is also a cutaneous form.

“Treatment with streptomycin is very successful but in countries where streptomycin is unavailable, iodide preparations are used.”


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