Lumpy Skin Disease: Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment

What is Lumpy Skin Disease?

Lumpy skin disease is an infectious viral disease of cattle. The disease is characterized by high fever and enlarged superficial lymph nodes on the skin and peculiar multiple nodules or lumps on the skin. It can also lead to death, especially in animals that have not previously been exposed to the virus or have low immunity. It is transmitted by blood-sucking insects, such as certain species of flies, mosquitoes and ticks. LSD is a highly host-specific disease. It primarily affects cows and a less extend in buffalo. Morbidity rate is higher in Cattle than Buffalo. It affects calves and heifers more as compared to adult animal in the case of cattle. Some LSDV strains may replicate in cattle and sheep, but till date no epidemiological evidence on role of small ruminants as a reservoir for LSDV has been reported.

Cattle with Lumpy Skin Disease symptoms - High fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and skin nodules.

Causative Agent Causative Agent

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral infection caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) of the capripox virus genus in the poxviridae family. LSD virus is identical to sheep pox virus (SPV), and goat pox viruses (GPV) which are closely related although differ phyto genetically. LSD virus is also known as Neethling virus.


Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) spreads through biting insects like stable flies and mosquitoes, as well as certain ticks. Infected animals excrete the virus in saliva, nasal, and ocular discharges. The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated fomites and semen, making biosecurity measures essential to control its spread.

Cattle with Lumpy Skin Disease symptoms - High fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and skin nodules.

What are the Symptoms of LSD in Animals?

In most of the cases, diseased animals are experienced severe pain, limbs swelling, loss of appetite and fever along with bleeding from the nodules.
• Initially lacrimation, nasal and ocular discharge and excess salivation is observed.
• Enlarged lymph nodes mainly sub scapular and pre femoral lymph node which are easily palpable.
• The disease affects mainly the legs of cattle, which get swollen, followed by high fever (>104ºF) which persists for a week.
• Sharp reduction in milk yield.
• Skin lesions or nodular skin is highly characteristic symptom of this disease. Soft blisters like nodules on the body can be seen after 48 hours of febrile condition. Size of lesion varies from 10-50 mm diameter. The number of lesions varies from few in mild cases to multiple in severe cases. Predilection sites are skin of the head, neck, perineum, genitalia, udder and limbs. Gradually some nodules open up like a deep wound in the skin. The infected animal takes a week to get rid of this after a proper treatment of disease that starts with developing of scabs in the
centre of the nodules and take a month to heal.
• Blindness occurs in worst cases due to ulcerative lesions in cornea in one or both eyes

Secondary bacterial infection in joints and legs leads to lameness in severe case, pneumonia and mastitis also observed.
• Subclinical infection is mainly observed in the field conditions.
• During post mortem examination, pock lesions can be found on the entire digestive and respiratory tract and on every internal organ.
• Pregnant cows may abort and remain in anoestrous for several months

Treatment of the affected animals

No effective treatment: a matter of concern 

•  Till now, no effective treatment against LSD has been developed so prevention by vaccination is most effective means of control. Treatment for LSD is symptomatic and focuses on preventing secondary bacterial problems with a combination of supportive care, anti-inflammatory drugs, antimicrobials, and fly-repelling anti-septics. 

•  Treatment can be initiated with: 

antibiotics like

Ceftiofur – 1.0 mg ceftiofur per kg of body weight (1.0 mL per 50 kg body weight) by intramuscular injection every 24 hours for a total of three treatments.

Enrofloxacin – 7.5-12.5 mg/kg I/M, I/V, S/C

Sulphonamides – 15-30 ml per 50 kg B.wt. initially followed by 7.5 to 15 ml for 3-5 days.

Dicrysticin – Large Animals 2 ml per 50 kg b.w, Small Animals 1 ml per 5 kg b.w.

Penecillin (DCR) 2.5gm/day i/m once daily. 

•  Use of Methylene blue as antiviral agent has proven to be  effective(0.1% MB solution PO in 3 doses per day for a  period of 4 days) 

•  Chlorpheniramine maleate (Inj. Anistamin TM) @ 0.5  mg/kg SID and  

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to decrease fever and pain. Like Inj. Melonex plus @ 0.5 mg/kg SID i/m for three consecutive days.  

•  Ivermectin 0.2 mg/kg s/c once or Levamisole – LEMASOL-75 Injection (1 ml/30 kg B.W Administered by SC route only) Immunity enhancers including zinc and vitamin C

•  Autoimmunization – 15 ml blood + 5 ml CPM once only  on 3rd or 4th day after appearance of clinical signs and  symptoms. 

•  Himax ointment can be administered topically to erupted lesions to speed up recovery. After seven days of therapy, a noticeable improvement and the onset of feeding can be seen. 

Ethno-veterinary Medication

Garlic 2 nos.
Coriander leaves 15 grams
Cumin seeds 15 grams
Holy basil (tulsi) 1 hand full
Clove leaves 15 grams
Black Pepper 15 grams
Betal leaves 5 nos.
Shallots (small onions) 2 nos.
Turmeric powder 10 grams
Neem leaves One hand full
Jaggery required volume
• Grind the above ingredients well, mix them up with jaggery
• Feed the paste to the animal in 3 times in a day (morning, evening and

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