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Diseases of Nervous System of farm animals

For the students of Semester 9, 10 Faculty of Vet. Med.

Prof. /Ali Hassan Sadiek
Faculty of Vet. Med. Assiut Univ.

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‫ ﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ ﻛﻠﯿﺎت اﻟﻄﺐ اﻟﺒﯿﻄﺮي‬- ‫أﻣﺮاض اﻟﺠﮭﺎز اﻟﻌﺼﺒﻲ ﻟﺤﯿﻮاﻧﺎت اﻟﻤﺰرﻋﺔ‬

‫ ﻋﻠﻲ ﺣﺴﻦ ﺻﺪﯾﻖ‬.‫د‬
‫أﺳﺘﺎذ اﻷﻣﺮاض اﻟﺒﺎﻃﻨﺔ واﻟﺘﺸﺨﯿﺺ اﻻﻛﻠﯿﻨﯿﻜﻲ واﻟﻤﻌﻤﻠﻲ‬
‫ ﺟﺎﻣﻌﺔ أﺳﯿﻮط‬-‫ﻛﻠﯿﺔ اﻟﻄﺐ اﻟﺒﯿﻄﺮي‬
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Nervous system

Nervous system Consist of :

1-Central nervous system:
Brain & spinal cord
2- Peripheral nervous system :
- Cranial Nerves.(12 pairs in all animal).
- Spinal nervous (42 pairs in equines, 37 pairs
in cattle, sheep &goats, 36 pairs in camels)
3- Autonomic nervous system :
Regulating visceral organs.
Anatomy and physiology
Any pathological changes in structure
leading to Modification or loss of
function of this part .
The nervous system (centrally &
peripherally) is highly interactive and
integrative , this to achieve the total
coordination of body functions
Which are necessary for survival
Function of nervous system :-
 Maintenance of mental, locomotor equilibrium.
 Control of different body functions in relation
to its surrounding environment.
These functions achieved via:
1- Sensory function :
Taste , smell , vision sensations
2- Motor function :
Voluntary & Involuntary movements
3- Visceral regulating function :
Regulating the internal organs , glands
4- Associating function :
Memory , intelligence
Clinical terminology of CNS
Encephalitis : inflammation of brain
Myelitis : inflammation of spinal cord
Encephalomyelitis : inflammation of both
brain & spinal cord
Meningitis : inflammation of meninges
Encephalomeningitis : inflammation of brain &
Its covering (meninges )
Neuritis : inflammation of nerves
Neuropathy : non inflammatory degenerative
Changes of peripheral nerve endings .
Clinical terminology of CNS

Tremors : repetitive twitching of muscles

Spasm : muscular contraction
Convulsions : severe muscular contractions
Aesthesia : feeling ( sensation )
Hyper aesthesia : increase sensation
An aesthesia : no feeling (no sensation )
Coma : loss of consciousness
Important technical term :-

Paresis : Loss of muscle tone (Incomplete

Paralysis : complete loss of muscular
motor function
Paraplegia : paralysis of both hind legs
Hemiplegia : paralysis of ( fore + hind )
limbs at one side.
Manifestations of nervous system
dysfunction :-
1- Abnormal mental state
a) Excited state
 mania
 Frenzy (severe mania )
b) Depressed mental state
 Depression
 Coma
2- abnormal behavior
Manifestations of nervous system
dysfunction :-
3- Abnormal posture & gait
4- Disturbance in sensation
 Hyperesthesia.
 Hypoesthesia.
 Anesthesia
5- Involuntary muscular movement
 Tremors
 Convulsions
Disturbance in posture and gait

Observed in:
Encephalitis, meningitis, neuritis
 Deviation of head, neck,
 Dropping of lips, eye lashes, cheeks,
 Opisthotonus & Orthotonus.
 Dog sitting position.
 Head pressing
Disturbance in posture and gait
Head pressing & loss of sensation
Dog sitting position
Bovine ketosis
 Occur due to injury of locomotor center, it is
either Spastic or flaccid paralysis.
 Examples for disease assoc. with paralysis
1- Trauma of motor pathway in the brain.
2- Final stages of encephalitis/ or meningitis.
3- Flaccid paralysis (Metabolic dis., Tick
paralysis, Snake venom, Botulism).
4- Spastic paralysis (e.g. Tetanus, tetany,
Hyopmagnesemia (Lactation tetany)
Spastic paralysis
Tick paralysis
Disturbance of ANS
1- Dist. Of cran. Ns. (spasmodic colic,
grass sickness, Vagus. Indigestion.
2- Dist. Of body sphinctres: Incont. Urine,
feces, anuria
3- Blindiness:
 Central blindness (Brain injury)
decreased ability to avoid danger, +ve
pupilary reflex
 Preph. Blind.: Avitaminosis A: inability
to avoid danger, -ve pupilary reflex
Diagnosis of nervous system diseases

1- Case history.
2- Clinical signs.
3- Examination of animal
A)- General physical examination
B)- Laboratory
- Hematology
- Biochemical analysis
- Serology
- C.S.F collection & analysis
C)- Special methods
- Radiology & other imaging techniques
- Electro encephalography
Diseases of nervous system

Acquired Congenital 

Infectious Non infectious Hypoplasia

Bacterial (listeriosis ) Trauma Hydrocephalus

Viral (rabies ) Ischemia Meningeo –

Parasitic (toxoplasmosis) Cerebral anemia encephalocele

Fungal (cryptococcosis ) Cerebral hemorrhage Spinal dysgenesis

B.E.S ( scrapie ) Space occupying

Lesion & neoplasia
Intoxication as :lead
organo ph. cbd
Cerebral anemia

Acute or chronic, depends on degree of O2

deprivation. Begins with excitation
lasting to loss of function.
Causes: All anemia, hypoxia, it associate:
 Hydrocynide & nitrite toxicity.
 Heart failure (copper def. cows).
 Anesthesia.
 Pneumonia.
 At parturition in neonates.
 Brain injuries
Cerebral anemia

Acute hypoxia: loss of all brain function
(quadriplasia, loss of consiouness,
muscle tremors, recumbency,
convulsion, deaths or recovery.
Chronic hypoxia: General weakness, loss
of equilb., blindness, tremors,
Diagnosis: DD from hypglycemia,
O2 therapy, respiratory stimulants,
removal of causes.
Increased intracranial pressure, Brain edema

Associate other disease, it may be

1- Vasogenic (Brain Hrge, meningitis,
2- Cellular toxicity (Salt poisoning in pigs).
3- Brain edema: Closure of drainage of
cranial cavity fluids, it may congenital,)
Increased intracranial pressure, Brain edema

 Central blindness observed within 12
hours of increased ICP, Fits of
Opisothonus, Nystagmus, muscle tremors
alternative with weakness and flaccidity.
 Hypotensive drugs (Thiamine, hypertonic
solutions, diuretics, cortisone “1 mg/kg

Ruminants Equines 

Cattle Sheep Equine infectious

& Goats anemia
Listeriosis, Hemophilus
Ricketsia, Clostridium
Viruses: Rabies, MHCV.
Parasitic: Toxoplasma
Signs of encephalitis

 According to the causes and severity:

 Early stage:
 Excitation, violence, kicking, blowing,
yawing, convulsions, exophthalmoses,
empty mastication, Salivation, Muscl.
 Later stage: Recumbency, fever,
depression, tachycardia, change in animal
behavour. Blindinss,incoordination ,
Scrapie sheep
Atrophy of cerebral cortex (CCN)

 It is difficult because of signs inter-related with

other brain disease.
 It could be confirmed on PM.
According to the cause, but generally you can use:
1- Fluid therapy containg electrolytes.
2- Narcotic in excitement stage and stimulant on
the depression stage.
3-Antibiotics, Anti-inflammatory, antipyretics.
4- Vitamin B cpx.
Brain Abscesses

 Commonly in fattening calves and lambs. Its

signs related to brain occupying lesions
 Causes: usually hematogenous
1-A. mallei of glanders lesion in lungs
2-St. equi of strangles.
3-Actinomyces & T.B.
4-Fusobac.necrophrum from oropharynx.
5-St. aureus in tick pyemia of lamb.
6- Cryptococcosis (fungi )
Abscess of spinal cord

 Ruminants eat grass infested with dog

feces containing the intermediate host
T. multiceps, E.granulosus, reaching
blood via intestine, invading brain & Sp.
Cord forming cysts causing pressure
onto neuronal and sensory centers..

 During the acute stage of latrval

migration: blindness, ataxia, muscle
tremors, dizziness.
 When adult cyst formed ( 2-5 cm):
Nystagmus, salvation, crazy running,
convulsions, walking on circles.
 Cysts on spinal cord: Gradual
paralysis and inability to move or
Cysticercus cerebralis
Thin walled cyst in brain
Diagnosis and treatment
 Diagnosis:
 History of excess dogs on pastures and
 Signs of circling and incoordination.
 X-ray
 Post slaughtering examin.
 Treatment:
 Rafoxinide and other Antiparasitic with
little success.
Bovine Spongioform Encephalomylities (BSE)

 Affect adult cattle & Transmit to human,

resemble scrapie of sheep.
 It may be the same of scrapie after feeding
cattle on food containing meat and bone
extract of sheep infected with scrapie.
 The lesion (spongiofrom vacuoles) was
found in brain of infected cattle, man and
 Isolated heat stable protein called prions.
 It affect highly lactating cows and all
exposed cows as well.
 The disease is fatal with 100 %
 Other cases observed in dogs, cats,
Tigers those imported from Britain
 Incoordination
 spastic
 Nystagmus
Signs of BSE

 Gradual increasing Change in animal behavior,

posture, position, movement
 Aggressive behavior, hyperesthesia, ataxia
 Refuse to enter the milk allays, with violent
 Loss of orientation, aims, contracted ears,
muscle tremors
 Kicking, head pushing, attack of attendants
&other animals.
 Violent Licking, dragging of hind limbs.
 Falling & unable to stand.
Dragging of hind legs (BSE)
Postmortem exam.

Intracytop. vaculation of the neurons

and grey matter & neutrophils of
brain stem.
Disease should be differentiated from
all nervous system disease e.g.:
Milk tetany, ketosis, rabies, lead
Secretions of prions
Secretions of prions in human

 No treatment, Condemenation of affected

farms is the solution.
 Avoid importing animals from endemic
 Avoid adding feed additives of animal origin
from infected countries.
 Notification of Authorities
 Avoid eating of animal products from affected
 Histopathological exam. Of the brain of any
suscpected animals.
Heartwater disease.
 Affects ruminants, caused by Ricktessia
(Cowardia ruminatum), transmitted by
Ampyloma ticks.
 Signs:
 Peracute form: Fever, diarrhea, convulsion
and death.
 Acute form:
o Fever, nervous signs,
o Pricking of eye leads.
o Protruded tongue.
o Biting of Jaw.
o Walking in circles, convulsions
o Extension of limbs in recumbent animals
Postmortem Exam,

 Hydrothorax, hydropercardium,
 Ascitis
 Enteritis, hepatomegaly,
splenomegaly, enlargement of L.
 Edema and brain Hrge.
( Heartwater)
Estrus ovis