An expert from Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) has cautioned the livestock farmers against hyperthermia, which is a common disease found in dairy animals in Punjab during summer season. It manifests high body temperature.
Though it is more prevalent in exotic and crossbred cows, it has also affected indigenous cows and buffaloes.
GADVASU research director SNS Randhawa has said that this disease results due to high environmental temperature and humidity. Under such conditions, heat load increases and thermal steady state of the body cannot be maintained which leads to rise in body temperature and onset of hyperthermia. Panting (increase in respiration rate) marks decrease in appetite and major loss of milk production are the common manifestations.
Temperature is generally more during noon and in the evening and near normal during night and in the morning hours. Hyperthermia is mostly observed from July to September when temperature-humidity index is very high due to maximal humidity. However, sporadic cases have also been recorded during May and June, said Randhawa.
This condition also occurs as an after effect of foot and mouth disease in dairy animals. According to the university, hyperthermia of hot and humid season should be differentiated from panting and fever of haemorrhagic septicaemia in dairy animals and from fever as a result of blood protozoan diseases, viz thelieriosis, babesiosis and anaplasmosis transmitted by ticks in crossbred cows. This condition in non-responsive to conventional antipyretic, antiprotozoan and antibiotics.
Randhawa indicated that the scientists of department of veterinary medicine led by Sushma Chabbra, senior scientist, conducted studies on the hyperthermic dairy animals which revealed that subcutaneous administration of 5 ml iodized oil (containing 750 mg of elemental iodine) for three consecutive days was highly effective.
More than 90 per cent of the hyperthermic dairy animals recovered with this therapeutic regimen and no relapse was recorded during the post treatment period of two months.