General information

Osteoarthritis in cows: treatment, symptoms, cow arthritis


Diseases of the joints

Joint wounds (Vulnera articulorum). Etiology.
Mechanical damage of soft tissues with or without penetration into the joint cavity and injuries with impaired bone integrity of the joints and cartilage with or without penetration into the joint cavity. Wounds can be blind and through.

Symptoms. For wounds of joints, the clinical signs are the same as for wounds of other tissues. The most characteristic symptom of a penetrating wound of a joint is the flow of a transparent, viscous synovial fluid, often mixed with blood. Limping with small injuries of the joints on the first day is weak and is expressed as the inflammatory process develops.

Severe lameness after trauma, pain during passive movements of the joint and bone crepitus indicate damage to the articular ends of the bones.

The general condition of cattle and small cattle with wounds of the joints remains satisfactory. Body temperature rises slightly. Exudate takes fibrinous nature. In horses, by the end of the second day, there was a sharp deterioration in the general condition, an increase in body temperature to 39.2–40 ° C. A turbid synovium profusely follows from the wound.

When infected wounds in animals develop purulent arthritis.

Diagnosis. In the diagnosis of penetrating wounds of the joints, one can resort to arthropunctomy in intact inversion of the joint, followed by washing the joint cavity. The flow of fluid from the wound channel confirms the presence of a penetrating wound. Radiography is required to confirm the diagnosis of a joint wound with damage to the articular ends of the bones.

Treatment. In the treatment of wounds, the nature of tissue damage, the general condition of the animal and its appearance are taken into account. In fresh cases, with a slight outflow of synovia and a weak inflammatory edema, hair is removed around the wound, smeared with 5% alcoholic iodine solution. If there is a fibrin clot on the surface of the wound and in the wound channel, it is not removed. Apply a bandage with tricilpna powder, penicillin powder, Zhitnyuk powder (sugar 60 g, xeroform 20 g, streptocid 15 g, boric acid 5 g) or with Vishnevsky ointment. The dressing is changed after 6-8 days. Prescribe anti-septic therapy (antibiotics intramuscularly, novocaine therapy, glucose, etc.).

In the presence of extensive injuries, especially when there is obvious contamination of the wound, with a pronounced inflammatory reaction, surgical treatment is performed under local or conductive anesthesia. Excised nonviable tissue, provide an approach to the wound hole of the capsule. The hole in the joint capsule expand only in the presence of foreign objects. When contaminated, the articular cavity is washed with a 0.5% solution of novocaine with antibiotics, furatsilinom 1: 5000, etherealnoye 1: 500 by arthropuncture from the opposite diverticulum.

In the absence of signs of purulent inflammation, the capsule is sutured with catgut, if available. Stitches on periarticular tissues and skin are not applied.

A light bandage with antiseptic agents is applied to the wound. Be sure to apply for 2-3 days general anti-septic and procaine therapy, antibiotics.

For the purpose of better drainage of the wound, a gauze tampon with antibiotics, sulfa drugs, with boric acid, a mixture of boric acid with iodoform is used. The tampon is retained with a dressing or provisional suture until the appearance of granulation tissue. For the treatment of wounds of the joints, gypsum dressings are successfully used.

Great attention should be paid to the wiring of the animal and to appoint them immediately after the subsidence of acute inflammatory events and the termination of the expiration of synovia.

Aseptic exudative inflammation of the joints (Sinovitis aseptica). The course of aseptic synovitis can be acute and chronic, and according to the nature of the exudate - serous, withcrosis-fibrinous and fibrinous. Most often, aseptic synovitis is diagnosed in the tarsal, carpalium, puddle and knee joints in various animal species.

Etiology. The cause of aseptic synovps can be bruises, sprains, dislocations and other mechanical damage. Aseptic synovitis can occur in toxic-allergic conditions and infections. In cows, they are observed in postpartum infections and mastitis, in horses - with infectious anemia, brucellosis, in pigs - with erysipelas. Aseptic synovitis occurs with rheumatism.

Symptoms In the acute period of the disease, when moving the animal, lameness of mixed type is noticeable. It is most clearly manifested in serous-fibrinous and fibrinous synovitis. With
fibrinous ennovpte may increase body temperature by 0.5-1 ° C. The animal holds the limb half bent. In the area of ​​the affected joint, swelling appears, fluctuation is felt in the diverticula. Local temperature is elevated. The joint is enlarged in volume. His passive movements are painful.

In the chronic course of serous synovint, a protrusion of diverticula is observed without an increase in the local temperature and manifestation of pain.

In the chronic course of fibrinous synovitis, a marked increase in the joint volume, a thickening of the capsule. Passive movements of the joint are painful. When wiring noticeable limp.

Treatment. On the first day, cold is used in combination with a yes-Winer bandage, if it is possible to apply it. In case of synovitis of toxic-allergic origin and synovitis of unexplained etiology, cold is not recommended.

In the following days, they apply warming compresses, warm-moisture wraps, Solux lamps, paraffin therapy, massage and metered movements. Also shown rubbing yodvazogena, 5% ichthyol ointment, camphor ointment, irritating ointments.

A good effect is given by the circular Novocain blockade, hydrocortisone with antibiotics. Large animals are injected into the joint cavity with 125 mg of hydrocortisone with 500 thousand units of penicillin or streptomycin. If necessary, the injection of hydrocortisone is repeated after 5-6 days.

Purulent inflammation of the joints (Arthritis purulenta). Etiology. Suppurative inflammation of the joints can occur with injuries of the joints, mechanical injuries of the periarticular tissues, with the transition of a purulent inflammatory process to the joint from the para-articular tissues, mucous bags and tendon sheaths, with the penetration of microorganisms into the joint by metastasis during washing, purulent pleurisy, paratyphoid.

Symptoms. Taking into account the degree and nature of morphological changes in the tissues of the joint and clinical signs, it is customary to divide 4 stages of purulent arthritis: purulent synovitis, capsular phlegmon, paraarticular phlegmon and purulent osteoarthritis.

Purulent synovitis. When moving an animal, there is a noticeable mixed-type limp. In a calm state, the animal keeps the affected limb in a half-bent state. The general condition of the animal is relatively satisfactory. Body temperature rises by 1-2 ° C, more often in horses. Purulent inflammation of the joint when injured develops usually on the 2-3rd day. Muddy exudate with fibrin clumps is released from the wound. On palpation in the area of ​​the affected joint there is pain, the local temperature is elevated. The joint is somewhat enlarged, its contours smoothed. There is fluctuation in the diverticula of the joints. Passive movements of the joint are painful.

Capsular phlegmon. With the development of purulent inflammation, all layers of the joint capsule are involved in the process with the formation of abscesses. Most often abscesses are formed in cattle. The general condition of the animal with the development of capsular phlegmon is deteriorating. The body temperature rises. The animal prefers to lie down, refuses to feed.

In the blood, leukocytosis is observed with a shift to the left in the leukocyte formula. The animal holds the affected limb in a half-bent state on weight. The joint is dramatically increased in volume.

Skin, subcutaneous tissue pasty. On palpation of the joint there is a strong pain. Diverticula and bone protrusions in the affected joint cannot be palpated. Due to a violation of lymphatic drainage, swelling of the limb appears.

On the 5-6th or 8th-10th day (in the joints that are covered with soft tissues) abscesses are formed. In this case, the disease enters the stage of paraarticular phlegmon.

Paraarticular phlegmon. As the abscesses are opened, a large amount of bloody exudate with an admixture of fibrin is secreted. Fistula can become blocked, leading to deterioration of the general condition. The animal loses weight. The contours of the joint are smoothed, tenderness is noted during palpation, the local temperature rises. When driving, there is a strong lameness. Edema of the tissues in the joint and in adjacent areas is pronounced.

Purulent osteoarthritis. This stage of arthritis is characterized by damage to all elements of the joint and surrounding tissues. It develops in 3-4 weeks from the onset of the disease. The joint is dramatically increased in volume. The limb is held down by weight. When driving there is a strong lameness. The animal noticeably loses weight. There is atrophy of the muscles of the affected limb. Joint mobility is limited. The swelling is dense, well visible fistula and scars at the site of closed fistula. Radiographically detect periosteal growths and destruction of cartilage.

Treatment. For purulent arthritis, treatment is carried out according to the process stage. At the beginning of the disease, the joint cavity is washed with antiseptic agents. To remove the solution and exudate from the joint cavity in the absence of a penetrating wound, a second needle is inserted into its cavity. The joint cavity is washed with novocaine-antibiotic solution, ethacridine solution 1: 500, etc. After washing, 300-500 thousand U of benzyl penicillin are injected into the joint cavity in 3-5 ml of a 0.5% novocaine solution. Puncture of the joint with washing its cavity is carried out within 2 to 3 days.

Along with topical treatment, general anti-septic therapy is used. For this purpose, novocaine blockade, intradermal injections of novocaine solution are used. The use of proteolytic enzymes gives a good effect (see. Purulent inflammation of the hoof joint).

In capsular and para-articular phlegmon, general anti-septic therapy and local therapy using arthropuncture and even arthrotomy are widely used. In the presence of a wound of the joint, it is subjected to surgical treatment.

Compound powders are used for wound powder: boric acid 5 g, streptocid 2 g, sodium salicylate 2 g, iodoform 1 g. Alcohol drying dressings are also used on the joint area.

In case of purulent osteoarthritis, along with general treatment, Chlumsky fluid and Sapezhko fluid are used in the joint cavity to accelerate sequestration and granulation.

In ruminants with lesions of the coronoid and claw joints, amputation or exarticulation of the corresponding fingers is successfully used.

Causes and symptoms

If the overall growth of cattle ends at a certain stage, then the hoof in animals grows constantly. They can be compared with nails in humans.

In summer, when the animal moves, the horny layer is erased naturally. Often problems begin during the winter period in the stall.

The issue is particularly acute on large livestock farms, where summer pastures are not provided at all.

The cow, like most of the hoofed, has a two-toed hoof. Each of these "fingers" is covered with horny tissue. In the plantar part, in the center of the hoof there is a groove about the size of a quail egg.

The main cause of most hoof diseases is the continuous growth of horny tissue. If this fabric is not washed or cut, the foot will crack, rotting may begin, and there it is not far before the appearance of the fungus.

Problems can begin due to improper animal keeping, poor or insufficiently fortified food, and can also be a side effect of a more serious illness.

A simple displacement of the bones is diagnosed during dislocations if the bones, tendons and nearby tissues are not damaged. The head of the bone is forced into the cavity, then therapy is prescribed to reduce hematoma and prevent the inflammatory process.

It happens that at displacements there is a rupture of tendons, nerve fibers, muscles. This dislocation is diagnosed as complicated.

With such pathologies perform surgery. It may be necessary to replace the joint with an artificial prosthesis.

The prosthesis is set to individuals that are valuable. Otherwise, the animal is rejected.

Sometimes the calf is born already with the pathology of the pelvic bones. He cannot fully stand up. Such a dislocation is considered congenital. It most often occurs with improper development of the fetus or with injuries of a pregnant cow. After the examination, determine the feasibility of repositioning the joint.

Partial or complete displacement of the bones, which was received instantly due to injuries, is called traumatic dislocation. They occur in the following situations:

  1. the cow fell from a height, jumped over an obstacle, or, as a result of fright, turned sharply to the side,
  2. the animal slid from a high embankment, in which case the dislocation of both hip joints can be diagnosed,
  3. with a strong tension of the extremities when walking, most often this happens if the herd grazes in the marshland or walking on a mountain pasture covered with snow,
  4. bounce, road accidents, when the herd is distilled through the highway,
  5. when covering a cow with a bull that is heavy.

Especially often there are sprains in cows with a large weight or in calves during the hunt. Weakened ligaments of the pelvic bones undergo a large load. The tendons that support the articular bag may fail and break.

Displacement of the pelvic bones can occur gradually. So the pathological dislocation develops. Tendons and muscles gradually weaken, fluid flows out of the articular sac, various diseases develop. The animal begins to limp when walking. At some point there is a complete or partial displacement of the bones.

When setting the bones, a complete recovery of the articular sac is required, but as a rule, the tendons can no longer function correctly. Dislocations occur due to the slightest strain on the joint. They are diagnosed as familiar or frequent.

Differences from arthritis

Arthritis is a disease similar to the main criteria for arthrosis. They are often confused, so you need to know the differences.

If the former is considered a chronic disease, then arthritis is inflammatory. It affects various joints.

It is worth dwelling in more detail on the types:

  • infectious,
  • traumatic,
  • rare forms.

The first group is divided into rheumatic, rheumatoid, tuberculosis, brucellosis, septic. They occur as a result of past infectious diseases. Traumatic arthritis develops when an animal has a torn ligament or a bruise. A rare form is an anaphylactic intermittent dropsy of the joint, their tumor and chondromatosis.

Next, go to the signs by which it is possible to determine arthrosis in cows. Treatment should follow immediately after diagnosis.


Bursitis is an inflammatory disease of the periarticular bags, often accompanying sports and domestic injuries.

The synovial bags are located in places of the greatest load on the joint and serve to prevent damage to the joint itself and the ligaments around it, absorbing impacts. Therefore, the periarticular bags are often damaged by injuries and heavy loads.

An inflammatory process develops in the synovial fluid inside the bag, which, if left untreated, becomes severe and can spread to surrounding tissues, including the joint itself.

Have basic hoof disease knowledge

The claw horn, as a type of cutaneous epidermis, is constantly growing at a rate of 6-9 mm per month. It is also quickly erased when the animal is sufficiently active in normal soil, somewhat faster on concrete or asphalt. So, almost a horn shoe on your finger throughout the year should be updated.

But when the stall content is not erased, it only grows, as a result of which the so-called “stall” claws are obtained, they are also called acute-angled or long, since the hooking part of the horn wall in them is extended, and the plantar part often bends in the direction of the second finger.

The dimensions of the corneous case should correspond to the size of the bones of the finger. In cows, especially in the front limbs, whose horn is in relatively dry conditions and is less elastic, one can observe the “hoof room”, or the breaking off of the excess front part of the boot, as a result of which bleeding is observed. Such animals require emergency assistance.

The hind limbs are constantly in more humid conditions. Therefore, their horn cover absorbs more moisture and becomes more elastic.

And if on the front limbs the horn, which grows, breaks, then on the back ones it bends and curves, gradually covering the horn sole. Therefore, the animal is not supported by the entire sole, but only by its external part, which the wrapped horn wall has not closed.

The plantar part of the horn, even covered with a wall, continues to grow, without erasing.It is this horny mass, compressed and unevenly pressing on the sole, assists in the further curvature of the hooves.

In such cases, the tendons are stretched, the animal is supported by the chick part, as a result of which, while moving, the limbs are carried far forward. Over time, this leads to ankylosis of the claw joint.

Therefore, long, "stall" claws can cause chronic diseases of the limbs that are not cured. Such animals lie more, reluctantly and hard to rise: the flesh due to constant overload strongly produces a horn that covers the sole.

It turns out the so-called "double sole". The emptiness between the horn of the sole and the flesh is filled with pus, which leads to the development of purulent levitus.

Symptoms of sprains

If the disease manifests itself, the external symptoms will not keep you waiting long. Most often arthrosis captures the hind limbs of animals. But this is not a prerequisite.

The diagnosis is not difficult to establish if the following signs are observed in cattle

  1. during the first stage, the animal prefers to lie more, rises more slowly,
  2. during the second stage, a crunch and crack in the joints is noticed. Cows and calves are beginning to fall on a sore leg, to limp. Gait becomes shaky,
  3. the final stage is expressed in apparent lameness and tension in movements. Passive movements of the joints are given with great difficulty,
  4. at any stage may increase body temperature.

At first, the pain is felt, but not so sharply. Therefore, the owners believe that the animal simply pulled the muscles or ligaments. To confuse arthrosis with another disease is not difficult. In order to promptly begin treatment, you need to consult a specialist.

An experienced expert will be able to distinguish arthrosis when attempting unnatural flexion of a joint. After all, the pain in the tendons is manifested only when walking, moving. Although with arthrosis, even in the second stage, the pain disappears after a short rest.

IMPORTANT! If the animal limps after grazing, long walking, and tomorrow behaves as usual, it may be the beginning of arthrosis. But it is necessary to begin treatment at the moment, there is a chance of restoring the joint.

One of the main signs of bias is a change in the behavior of the cow when walking. With complete dislocation, the individual tries to stand on the injured leg, but cannot. She takes a few steps, moving the limb of the fiber. At the same time, the limb turns in the direction in which the displacement was made. Visually changes the shape of the limb.

  • When shifting forward: the thigh of a sprained leg is lowered, the hoof is turned outward, the metatarsus is inward. The femur is in steep position. The limb seems shortened.
  • With the upper displacement of the animal turns the leg forward. The individual tries to move, but the pain does not allow it to go. The animal moves irregularly on 3 legs.
  • When the pelvic bone is moved backwards, the limb is retracted to the side, it seems elongated. The skin of the croup is strongly stretched, and a depression is found in the area of ​​the hip joint. When ottyagivaniya limb heard the crunch. The animal moves irregularly, drags a sore leg.
  • Inward displacement - a deepening above the hip joint is detected. The limb seems shortened. On the knee skin folds are formed. The animal moves, bringing the leg forward: the limb makes an arc with a displacement inward.
  • Shift out - the head of the femur is located above the joint. The limb turned outward, it seems shortened. When moving, the animal makes it arc and throws forward.

With a partial displacement, during subluxation, the cow becomes on the injured limb, but with difficulty. She does not throw it away and does not drag drags. The animal is very lame, trying to put his foot in the usual position. With bilateral dislocation of the hip joints in a cow, it cannot move. The animal lies, placing the hind limbs to the right and left.

When examining dislocations of cattle inspect, analyze the symptoms. Conducting diagnosis rectal way. In a calf, the offset is studied by X-ray.

If the cows or calves have become noticeable limp, and bone growths have appeared on the joints, then this serves as a reason to contact the veterinarian for a diagnosis. It may be that animals received mechanical limb damage. Sometimes soft tissues are affected, or the integrity of bones is compromised.

Wounds can be 2 types. The first includes through wounds, and the second are blind. In case of a through lesion, a clear joint fluid flows out of the affected area. In composition, it is viscous, it may contain blood.

If the damage is mild, then lameness is not observed at first. Later, inflammation develops throughout the day, and it is difficult for the animal to move. In time, an uncured wound often causes purulent arthritis. The final diagnosis helps radiographic examination.

Bone growths on the joints of cows - a reason for going to the vet

Stretching the joints is characterized by the following features:

  • the animal begins to limp badly
  • the articular bones are not displaced,
  • the flexion functions of the limbs are not impaired,
  • the presence of a painful tumor at the site of injury,
  • the animal does not step on the injured limb.

Radiography helps to diagnose stretching in cows and calves. If the malaise is small, then everything goes away on its own. In severe cases, treatment is necessary.

A diseased joint is fixed with a bandage and provides rest. Initially appointed cold. In the future, it is recommended to carry out thermal procedures.

Cows and calves can stretch their joints while running

Suppose that cows or calves have a dislocation, it is possible, drawing attention to their limbs. They assume an unnatural position, and if there is a complete dislocation, then they are shortened or lengthened.

The animal becomes passive. The site of dislocation is swelling. If the skin is damaged, an inflammatory process may develop.

Timely repair of damage leads to full recovery. It is recommended immobilizing bandage on the joint for two weeks. With open dislocations, there is no cure.

With dislocation, the calf begins to limp, the sore joint swells

Non-contagious diseases

Most often, such diseases of newborn calves and older animals develop on the background of the absence of adequate conditions of detention and feeding. They are not transferred to other representatives of the herd, but they may well be the cause of the death of the young. The diagnosis and treatment of such ailments is complicated by the fact that they are similar in symptoms to many infectious diseases.

White muscle disease

White muscle disease or myopathy is most susceptible to newborn calves. It develops against the background of metabolic disturbances in the body. As a result, dystrophy, rapid exhaustion, damage to the heart and skeletal muscles can be traced. Mortality rate of the disease is more than 60%.

The clinical picture of the disease involves:

  • weakness,
  • loss of appetite
  • rapid exhaustion,
  • shallow breathing
  • pallor of mucous membranes.

According to the degree of development of bursitis, veterinarians make predictions and assumptions about the health of the animal. So, with serous, serofibrinous and fibrinous acute aseptic bursitis, the outcome is most likely positive. Ossifiruyuschim view leaves less chance of recovery.

By type and prescribe treatment:

  1. elimination of the cause leading to bursitis,
  2. cows are given rest, rest on a warm cozy bedding,
  3. if the disease has just come, then apply a cold and the place of the lesion is wrapped,
  4. piercing the bag and freeing it from pus,
  5. antibiotics with novocaine and hydrocortisone are injected into the empty cavity,
  6. obligatory imposition of a bandage after rubbing irritating gels. It is desirable that the specialist should perform bandaging, since it should not be too weak or too tight.

In the process of dealing with the disease, it is important to observe the changes. Absolutely swollen bag can not completely evaporate.

But if the treatment is prescribed competent, then the bursa stops growing and even decreases somewhat.

It lasts about two or three weeks. In this scenario, we can talk about the success of treatment.

Do not forget that the flow may be different. Bursa is spreading out and an operational method is needed. Then an alcoholic solution of iodine is introduced into the cavity of the bag, which destroys the layer of the bag from the inside. The fluid no longer accumulates. Then the solution is distributed by massaging movements and a bandage is tied on top.

A few days later the bursa can be opened, cleaned and rinsed with antiseptics. The resulting open wound is treated as purulent. It is necessary to carefully completely release the bursa from the presence of pus. Otherwise, it will re-infection and treatment will be long and painful.

When getting rid of purulent bursa in the area of ​​the carpal and knee joints, we definitely have to open the cavities, wash them with hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate and furatsilina solution. Next, gauze is impregnated with Vishnevsky's ointment and injected with the help of a tube inside. They should be changed periodically. In this case, hydrocortisone is not used.

Treatment of arthrosis in cows varies by stage.

If we are talking about a running process, the animal is often rejected. This is due to lesions of the hip joints that are not treatable.

But if the disease was recognized at the initial stages, chances for recovery exist. First you need to find out the reason. If it's nutrition, it is adjusted by adding the necessary vitamins and minerals.

It is easy to say when there is a machine)) I can no longer take legs from my own, not a horse)

Treatment of diseased joints depends on the severity of the injury. If it is insignificant and is accompanied by a slight swelling, then it is limited to treating the wound with iodine.

In more complex conditions, a fibrin clot may form at the site of joint damage. Then apply a pressure bandage with tricillin or other antibiotics.

The frequency of treatment of the affected area is from 6 to 10 days.

A good therapeutic effect is observed when using Vishnevsky ointment.

First aid for a newborn

If the calf does not rise to the light after birth and does not breathe well, then the following steps should be done with it:

  • take the hind legs and lift to help free the airway from mucus,
  • clasp the face of the animal and push the paranasal ways, helping the mucus to move out,
  • to improve blood circulation and facilitate breathing, cold water is sprayed on the back of the calf's head,
  • a couple of drops of the Respirate preparation, which stimulates the lungs, are instilled into the nose or cheek.

All manipulations are preferably carried out in the presence of a veterinarian. The specialist will help make the necessary drug injection, provide drugs that stimulate blood circulation and lung function, and if necessary, perform artificial respiration for the newborn.


Prevention of such diseases as bursitis is quite feasible. Since diseases of the limbs of cattle cause a lot of problems for the owners and the cows themselves, it’s not worth waving a hand at them and being careless.

A rational approach to your own farm will avoid meeting with diseases of the limbs of cows. To do this, select a certified feed, fresh hay. The animal must live in a dry warm pen. The floor should not be slippery, uneven, cold and empty. A regular inspection of the cows, especially after a walk, will not allow any infection or injury to start.

In order to prevent the disease of the joints in animals, it is necessary to carry out preventive work in a timely manner. Cows and calves should receive adequate amounts of vitamins and mineral supplements.

Special attention requires the organization of care for livestock in the winter.

In case of insufficiency of sunny days, ultraviolet lamps are irradiated. Cows and calves in the summer should be as long as possible in the fresh air and sun.

Diseases of the joints can be avoided if you fulfill all the requirements for the sanitary and hygienic maintenance of livestock, both in personal households and on large farms.

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Unbalanced nutrition and poor care

An important role in the full development of young animals is played by the correct content and rich in vitamins and supplements.

The main mistakes of farmers, leading to impotence and severe calves are the following:

  • water sour or cold colostrum
  • feeding with colostrum from a cow suffering from mastitis,
  • calf teat with too big hole
  • abrupt diet change,
  • feeding substandard feed,
  • walking in a cold and windy season
  • overfeeding
  • non-observance of cleanliness in stall premises.

The lack of certain nutrients in the diet of a young calf leads to the development of various diseases that prevent him from moving.


If the cows or calves have become noticeable limp, and bone growths have appeared on the joints, then this serves as a reason to contact the veterinarian for a diagnosis. It may be that animals received mechanical limb damage. Sometimes soft tissues are affected, or the integrity of bones is compromised.

Wounds can be 2 types. The first includes through wounds, and the second are blind. In case of a through lesion, a clear joint fluid flows out of the affected area. In composition, it is viscous, it may contain blood.

If the damage is mild, then lameness is not observed at first. Later, inflammation develops throughout the day, and it is difficult for the animal to move. In time, an uncured wound often causes purulent arthritis. The final diagnosis helps radiographic examination.

Bone growths on the joints of cows - a reason for going to the vet

Treatment of diseased joints depends on the severity of the injury. If it is insignificant and is accompanied by a slight swelling, then it is limited to treating the wound with iodine. In more complex conditions, a fibrin clot may form at the site of joint damage. Then apply a pressure bandage with tricillin or other antibiotics. The frequency of treatment of the affected area is from 6 to 10 days.

A good therapeutic effect is observed when using Vishnevsky ointment.

If there are fairly significant damage to the limbs of cows and calves, then surgical treatment of the joint is required. Apply local anesthesia or conductive. Remove foreign bodies from the joint capsule and wash it with novocaine (0.5%). Furacilin or ethacridine may be used.

Wound drainage is carried out with a gauze pad soaked in boric acid. Effectively use sulfa drugs.

Boric acid is used to treat wounds in the joints of cows.

Symptoms and treatment of stretching

Stretching the joints is characterized by the following features:

  • the animal begins to limp badly
  • the articular bones are not displaced,
  • the flexion functions of the limbs are not impaired,
  • the presence of a painful tumor at the site of injury,
  • the animal does not step on the injured limb.

Radiography helps to diagnose stretching in cows and calves. If the malaise is small, then everything goes away on its own. In severe cases, treatment is necessary.

A diseased joint is fixed with a bandage and provides rest. Initially appointed cold. In the future, it is recommended to carry out thermal procedures.

Cows and calves can stretch their joints while running

Dislocation in cows and calves is diagnosed in the event that there is a displacement of the bones of the joint. They are complete and incomplete (subluxations). Full happens when there is a prolapse of the head from the joint socket. Incomplete or subluxation is characterized by partial displacement and can be reduced independently.

The disease can be:

  • congenital type, when the fetus is abnormally still in the uterus of the animal, this often happens when performing obstetric procedures,
  • pathological type, when there are paralysis or atrophy of the muscles of the limbs,
  • traumatic form that occurs after the fall of the animal.

Incomplete dislocation involves rupture of the joint capsule or blood vessels. Ligament or muscle injury may occur. Open (full) dislocation is also accompanied by rupture of the skin.

Purulent arthritis

Wound joints and open dislocations contribute to the formation of purulent arthritis. Animals begin to limp, and swelling can be observed at the site of injury. With productive inflammation, bone outgrowths are formed: exostoses and osteophytes.

Purulent arthritis is characterized by an increase in temperature in the animal and an increase in pulse rate. The joint is getting hot. When touched, it is painful. The animal is depressed and does not get on the affected limb. If purulent arthritis is diagnosed, then there are 5 stages of this disease:

  • period of inflammatory synovitis,
  • joint infection
  • arthritis,
  • osteoarthritis,
  • paraarticular phlegmon.

It is known that infection of the joints causes swelling of the synovial membrane and hyperplasia of the villi. Субсиновиальный слой характеризуется инфильтрацией лейкоцитов. Происходит скопление гнойного экссудата в области сустава. Это приводит к эмпиеме.Sometimes pus, which has a whitish-yellow color, flows through the wound.

Treatment of purulent otitis should begin as soon as possible.

Treatment must begin at this stage, otherwise fibrous suppuration may occur. Necrotic foci are formed, which open up and enter the joint cavity. Purulent processes lead to the formation of thrombosis of blood vessels.

The formation of synovia changes, so the articular cartilage does not receive adequate nutrition. The so-called Uzuras (the cartilaginous articular bones) appear. They are gradually involved in the inflammatory process, which contributes to the emergence of a more serious disease, like purulent osteoarthritis. Simultaneously with this process is the proliferative transformation of the joints. The ends of the bones grow together, and the bone outgrowths lead to the deformation of the limbs of cows and calves.

Deforming arthritis is often diagnosed as an independent disease that is not infectious in nature. The disease can occur from severe overload on the limbs and joints.

When treating arthritis, cold is initially used, and later thermal procedures are prescribed. If fibrous arthritis is diagnosed, then a lidase solution is used. All forms of this disease are poorly treatable, so often rejection of the animal is carried out.

Often sick with purulent arthritis, calves are rejected.

Arthrosis is a chronic and often massive malaise of animals. The disease usually affects the hind limbs of cows and calves. The causes of arthrosis can be:

  • stall content, lack of movement,
  • improper metabolism
  • the presence of enhanced cows,
  • the use of substandard feed.

The disease begins with the fact that there is a slow destruction of cartilage. Subsequently, they become soft, grow strongly, thicken, and then ossify.

For the initial stage of the disease, it is characteristic that the joints do not change, and only with time does their consolidation occur. Soreness is not felt, but the animals stand up on their own feet can not. Gait shaky, they are very lame.

Treat diseased joints, irradiating them with "Sollux". Apply irritating ointment. If arthrosis has a neglected form, then the cows are rejected.

Rheumatic joint damage

Cattle is affected by rheumatic inflammation of the joints, which is infectious-allergic in origin. According to most scientists, this disease is caused by hemolytic streptococcus, which can sensitize the body.

Rheumatic lesions of bovine joints caused by infection in combination with allergies

When a pathogen is introduced into the cow’s body, antibodies begin to be produced in it. They destroy the protein of streptococci, and at the same time the connective tissue of all the organs of the animal. Fibrinous protein degeneration of the affected tissues occurs.

According to other researchers, rheumatism is viral in nature, but its appearance is not defined and not identified. The greatest preference is given to autoimmune theory, according to which the body is changing antigenic specificity of tissues under the influence of the external environment. Healthy tissues are destroyed, especially the joints and muscles that account for the greatest load. Severe hypothermia and overwork in the animal can lead to the disease.

Diseases of the joints of cattle

Diseases of the joints in cattle are not uncommon, most of them can be successfully treated, but there are also lethal cases. Today we consider the main diseases, methods of their treatment and prevention.

Diseases of the joints of cows

Diseases reduce the productivity of the animal, reduce its life. It is important to notice the signs of illness and take measures of treatment.

Arthritis is considered characteristic of cattle, there are two forms of illness: purulent and aseptic.

Purulent arthritis occurs on the background of open dislocations, wounds in the joints.

Signs of

Suspected arthritis can be on the following factors:

  • joint swelling,
  • lameness,
  • temperature rise,
  • lethargy,
  • the place of infection is hotter
  • heart rate rises,
  • the animal avoids standing on a sore limb,
  • palpation observed pain,
  • appearance of bone outgrowths
  • pus that forms in the joint cavity may leak through the wound on the skin.

At the first stage of treatment cold compresses are used, after them - thermal therapy. If a fibrous lesion is diagnosed, an electrophoresis procedure with lidaza solution is applied.


The aseptic type of arthritis is complicated by exudative (acute or chronic) form and productive (deforming and periarthritis).

There can be several causes:

  • injuries (ligament rupture, sprain, injury)
  • heavy load on the joints of the limbs,
  • impaired metabolism
  • lack of minerals and vitamins.

Symptoms in many respects similar to purulent arthritis, laboratory and x-ray examinations are performed to make an accurate diagnosis.

Video: Calf Arthritis TreatmentTreatment

After cooling the wound impose a pressure bandage, the animal must be at rest. Also shown are warming procedures - alcohol compresses. If the chronic form is diagnosed, the veterinarian performs a puncture to remove fluid from the joint capsule, followed by the introduction of Lugol's solution.

Most often arthrosis affects the hind limbs of young and adult individuals, the ailment is chronic. The reasons:

  • stall content
  • lack of or insufficient amount of walking,
  • metabolic disorders
  • low quality feed
  • reinforced stride.


Outwardly, there is no change in behavior or well-being, but lameness appears, the cows cannot stand up on their own. The initial stage does not change the joints, but the cartilage softens and breaks down over time. The particles of the destroyed cartilage thicken and ossify, which leads to the compaction of the joints, the loss of their flexibility.


In case of arthrosis, treatment with “Kaforsen” is used, which is administered intramuscularly at the dosage prescribed by the veterinarian. Irradiation procedures are carried out with a Sollux lamp every day or every other day; anti-inflammatory and accelerating tissue regeneration ointments are used (Vishnevsky, Divoprayd).

Bursitis is the formation of a small closed cavity of the stretched connective tissue.

The reasons:

  • injuries (sprain, bruises),
  • parasite infection
  • penetration into the open wound of fungal infection,
  • hard bedding
  • short leash
  • edema,
  • soreness at the site of the swelling,
  • the formation of purulent bags
  • lameness,
  • hardening of the skin at the site of injury.

Video: treatment of bursitis in cows

Injuries of this kind can be acquired and congenital (during obstetric activity).

The reasons

Acquired dislocation occurs due to a fall, a disease that leads to muscle atrophy or paralysis. This can break ligaments or muscle tissue, rupture the joint capsule, blood vessels, skin.


  • the unnatural position of the limbs
  • unwillingness to move,
  • lethargy,
  • joint swelling,
  • inflammatory process (in case of rupture of the skin).
Bilateral dislocation of a cow Treatment

A bandage fixing in one position is applied on the diseased area for at least two weeks.

Dislocation of cattle

If the calves are dislocated, then it needs urgent treatment. Most often, a sprain gets a hock or hip joint. Adults are less susceptible to this disease than calves. Dislocation may be complete or incomplete. Such a disease occurs due to displacement of the bones in the joint. Complete dislocation is characterized by the fact that the head completely drops out of the joint. Incomplete is a kind of partial displacement of the joint, and some farmers dislocate such dislocations on their own flocks.

Diseases of the joints of calves can be divided into subspecies:

  • Congenital when, due to abnormal actions, the calf at birth has injured the joint.
  • Pathological dislocations may occur due to muscle atrophy.
  • Traumatic dislocation is accompanied by trauma that cattle received as a result of a fall. Animals can also harm each other.

Along with the dislocation, injury to the muscles, ligaments and periarticular tissues can occur. The symptoms of such an illness can be seen visually: it is enough to examine the animal and pay attention to its gait. When injuring the joints of the legs, the cattle cannot walk normally. If the knee joint is damaged and the injury is complex, then the cow can only lie down. This disease is quite common among the young, and the farmer needs to know what to do in this case.

How to treat dislocations of the joint in a cow and calf? If the dislocation is simple, then an experienced veterinarian will be able to straighten a limb without difficulty. After the restoration of the normal gait, a special fixation bandage is applied to the joint, which facilitates the healing process.

Arthritis can be purulent or inflammatory. Purulent, chronic or inflammatory arthritis is a serious disease that needs to be treated right away. Arthritis is exudative (proceeds in a chronic stage) or active, it is also called “deforming arthritis”. Inflammatory arthritis in cats is mainly due to the fact that the tissue or cavity has burst. This may be due to a torn ligament or stretching. Also, inflammation of the joints in cows and calves can occur due to disturbances in metabolism, deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body.

A disease such as purulent arthritis can result from injuries and open dislocations of the legs or other parts of the body in a cow or calf. The first sign of active inflammation is bone growth. The disease is characterized by an increase in body temperature in cattle. Also the joint gets hot. If the animal has inflammation, the legs ache and swell, then perhaps it is purulent arthritis. The symptoms of such a disease manifest immediately: a cow cannot step on a sore limb, because its legs are swollen, the animal is apathetic, the milk yield decreases.

With this disease, pus can flow out of the wound. Treatment in this case should be carried out immediately at the first symptoms of the disease. If you do not carry out the treatment in time, the processes in the joint become inflamed, growths may form or bone tissue may grow incorrectly. Deforming arthritis can occur due to the constant standing on the legs and the late processing of the hoof. Treatment of a cow or calf in this case, you must first direct the removal of pain and remove inflammation. To do this, make compresses, apply cold, and then heat to the sore joint. In the fibrous form of arthritis, a solution of lidaza is used. Any arthritis is poorly treated, so you need to monitor the state and health of the population in time, and also take time to walk and rest.

Osteoarthritis in cattle

Osteoarthritis is a massive disease that most often occurs on farms where keeping conditions and walking of animals are not observed. The disease mainly affects the hind limbs of cows and calves. The disease can occur if the animals walk a little and lead an inactive lifestyle, as well as when feeding with old feed.

Please note that as a preventive measure for this disease, animals should be fed only with a balanced and high-quality food; in case of metabolic disorders, joint damage can be observed.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by the fact that it slowly destroys cartilage. With arthrosis, they become soft, grow, and then ossify. At the initial stage, the disease does not manifest itself. You can see only by the way the cattle walks and steps on the limbs. When the cartilage changes, the cow cannot fully step on the foot, and this can manifest itself in the form of lameness. Treatment of joints affected by arthrosis should be carried out with sallux. Also, the vet prescribes a variety of annoying ointment. In the early stages of this disease, arthrosis can be successfully cured.

Bursitis in cows and calves

Bursitis is an affliction in which inflammation of the mucous membranes and the synovial sac occurs. Mostly bursitis can occur in the region of the hock, knee, shuttle bone and maklak. The causative agents of this disease most often occur due to inadequate care and raising of cattle or due to infections in animals. Bursitis can occur if a cow has hit hard objects in the barn or if animals have no soft and warm bedding on which they can rest.

Bursitis can occur in various forms and depend on the stage of the disease. To diagnose what form of bursitis in an animal, only a veterinarian can. As a treatment, it is prescribed mainly compresses, permanent rest and all the conditions for restoring the previous activity. For more details on how bursitis looks like in cattle, see photo or video.

Treatment of arthritis of the hock in calf Jersey.

Assessment of hock joints in cows

Diseases of cows. Purulent arthritis. Purulent arthritis


Diseases of the joints of cows and calves - a very unpleasant phenomenon. The legs of cattle are, on the whole, a rather vulnerable and difficult to cure part; therefore, the best option is to prevent these diseases. It consists of proper maintenance and grazing, as well as regular inspections of limbs for damage. In the early stages, almost any disease is much easier and more realistic to eliminate.

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