Arthritis in cattle

Arthritis in cattle
Photo is illustrative in nature. From open sources.

Arthritis in animals in veterinary medicine includes a group of diseases that affect the joints . Most often, arthritis is inflammatory; the aseptic form of this disease is less common. In cattle , during inflammation, mainly the synovial membrane of the joint capsule suffers, which is why the cows begin to noticeably limp. In the absence of timely treatment, lameness can become chronic, and inflammation can affect other tissues and result in severe complications.

How does bovine arthritis appear?

The inflammatory process in the joints is provoked by infection. The bacteria cause severe suppuration, which causes the limb to lose function. The cause of purulent arthritis is often injury (bruise, sprain, dislocation) or infection in the joint from neighboring tissues due to osteomyelitis, abscess. In cows, arthritis occurs due to mastitis, a postpartum infection. In calves - with rickets.

Dystrophic processes in the joints, which can also cause disease, most often develop in cows kept in stalls, when the animals move little. Aseptic arthritis mainly occurs against the background of rheumatism. A lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet and metabolic disorders have a negative impact.

Diagnosis and symptoms

The disease is diagnosed based on:

  1. inspection and palpation;

  2. X-ray examinations;

  3. arthropuncture with laboratory bacteriological examination of the fluid contained in the joint.

The disease almost always occurs acutely: individuals quickly lose productivity and weight, become depressed, move little and refuse food. The following signs indicate a problem:

  1. the animal is lame, and the degree of lameness progresses;

  2. tissues in the joint area increase in volume;

  3. become painful on palpation;

  4. a large amount of exudate forms in the joint;

  5. a disease caused by rheumatism, accompanied by a change in the shape of one or more joints;

  6. with purulent arthritis, the temperature of cows rises;

  7. the formation of abscesses and fistulas with pus escaping is possible.

Difference from arthrosis

This pathology is often confused with arthrosis, which is non-infectious. The difference is that arthritis occurs in an acute form, while arthrosis occurs in a chronic form. Arthrosis deformation of the joints is accompanied by loss of elasticity, dryness, and cracking. While arthritis is characterized by the release of a large amount of exudate.


To avoid problems, make sure your animals are getting enough vitamins and minerals. In summer, individuals should spend more time in the fresh air; during winter stays, ultraviolet lighting should be provided. IT is important to comply with sanitary and hygienic standards. This is especially true for the postpartum period in cows.

Treatment of arthritis in cattle

We recommend using one of the NITA-FARM preparations. All of them have proven highly effective in veterinary practice.


  1. "Nitox 200". The newest drug based on oxytetracycline for quickly combating infection in purulent arthritis. The treatment consists of just one intramuscular injection.

  2. "Nitox forte" Oxytetracycline is enhanced with flunixin, thereby achieving a persistent antibacterial effect that lasts up to 5 days.

  3. "Doxilox." One injection of this latest generation antibiotic is enough to rid an individual of the infection that caused the disease.

  4. "Azitronite". Another effective antibiotic (based on azithromycin) to fight infections in soft tissues and joints. Typically, the course of treatment consists of two injections.

  5. Lexoflon. We recommend this antibiotic based on levofloxacin for the treatment of infectious arthritis that is diagnosed in cows after birth. The drug is administered once a day for 3–5 days.

  6. "Flunex". The drug belongs to NSAIDs; it effectively complements antibiotic therapy, as it quickly relieves inflammation and pain. Individuals recover in a shorter time.

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