Lumpy jaw is a disease that produces permanent hard swellings on the jaw bones of cattle. These lumps are found mostly in the molar teeth and can affect both the upper and lower jaw. The causative organism of Lumpy jaw can also enter the open wounds in the mouth. The situation can become worse with large swellings in the mouth of the cattle. Because of the nature and location of the disease cattle may have difficulty eating and drinking.
Lumpy jaw is also known as Actinomycosis. The name of the disease comes from the appearance of the mouth with swellings inside.
Lumpy jaw is caused by a fungus called Actinomyces bovis. This microbe can live without oxygen. The fungus enters the lining of the mouth while cattle feed. While chewing rough forage, small wounds or cuts may develop inside the mouth – this makes the animal more susceptible to the fungal microbes. The chance of spreading this disease from one animal to another is rare, but is possible.
- Lumps are formed on the joints inside the mouth
- The tissues inside the mouth become sift and swollen
- There might be a presence of yellow pus in the swollen areas
- Nearby areas of the mouth might be affected which may cause chewing to become very difficult and painful for the animal
- Cattle may lose teeth irregularly
- A gradual weakness can be seen in the affected cattle as they avoid eating
- Difficulty in breathing