Diseases of the joints in cows and their treatment

Any cattle owner understands that animals can get sick. They, just like people, often have problems with their limbs. Diseases of the joints in cows are most often treated, although deaths cannot always be avoided. The causes of diseases, methods of prevention and treatment will be discussed further.

Varieties of joint diseases in cattle

Any disease causes a decrease in the productivity of cattle. There are different diseases:

  • arthritis;
  • arthrosis;
  • bursitis;
  • dislocations;
  • sprains and other types of joint problems.

So that the cow does not reduce productivity, it is necessary to discern the problem in a timely manner, seek help from a specialist.


Different types of arthritis can develop in adult animals and calves. In veterinary medicine, 2 forms of the disease are noted: purulent and aseptic. You need to figure out what is the difference between these arthritis.

Aseptic form

Distinguish exudative arthritis, which can occur in acute or chronic form. The varieties of the form include periarthritis, deforming arthritis. They are most often chronic.

Aseptic arthritis occurs most often due to bruises, rupture of ligaments or sprains. The cause of the disease can be a violation of metabolic processes in the body. Poor quality food, lack of vitamins, minerals are other causes of aseptic arthritis.

Purulent form

This disease does not occur on its own. Most often, problems with joints in the form of purulent arthritis in cows begin if open dislocations and other wounds on the limbs of the animal are not treated in a timely manner.

Causes and symptoms

To protect cows from various types of joint diseases, you need to know why they arise. In addition to injuries, metabolic disorders, poor-quality feeding, the reason may lie in the increased stress on the joints. For example, if the pasture is at a great distance.

In addition to the causes of arthritis, you also need to know what signs to react to in order to provide timely assistance to the cow:

  1. A swelling appears on the joint, and after a while the cow begins to limp.
  2. Due to the increase in temperature in the inflamed joint, the animal becomes lethargic, apathetic, does not respond to the owner.
  3. The joint that has been infected becomes hot.
  4. When walking, the cow tries not to step on the sore leg. During palpation, she twitches, tries to distance herself from the one who examines her.
  5. The joint swells over time, and if you do not start treatment, then bone growths appear.
  6. With purulent arthritis, the joint cavity is filled with purulent masses, which often flow out through the wound on the skin.

Treatment methods

Noticing that the cow's joints are swollen, the owner should seek help from a specialist to identify the cause. It is the veterinarian who is able to determine the disease and give recommendations for caring for the animals.

First of all, the cow is not driven out to pasture, but is left in a dry, clean room in order to reduce the load on the diseased limbs. Then the joints need to be cooled, then a pressure bandage should be applied if arthritis is chronic. Veterinarians also recommend alcohol compresses.

Important! In the chronic form of arthritis, specialists do a puncture to remove the fluid accumulated in the joint capsule, and also inject Lugol's solution.


According to statistics, joint diseases in cows are recorded more and more often. One of them is arthrosis. Late treatment can lead to serious problems, due to which you can lose the cow. That is why livestock owners need to be aware of the causes of arthrosis and the symptoms of the disease in order to respond to the problem in a timely manner and begin treatment.


There are many causes of arthrosis, but they all boil down to improper care of animals.

Most often, cows get sick in such cases:

  1. Animals are deprived of walks or short-term walks, they spend most of their time in stalls.
  2. Due to problems with the gastrointestinal tract, the metabolism in the cow's body is disrupted.
  3. Osteoarthritis occurs due to poor quality feed, which lacks nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
  4. In cows after calving, arthrosis can appear if they are intensively distributed.

It is difficult for a non-specialist in the appearance of a cow to get ahead of the disease at the initial stage, since there are no obvious changes in the behavior and well-being of the animal. But you can understand that problems begin with joints, because the cow gets up with great difficulty and begins to limp.

At the onset of the disease, the joint does not undergo changes. But due to softening, it begins to collapse. Due to the trapped particles, thickening and ossification occurs, a seal appears in the calyx, flexibility decreases.

Stages of development of arthrosis

Arthrosis is a chronic disease. It is not an infection, but its damaging effect leads to joint deformation. As a result, the mobility of animals decreases, as the internal structure of the joint changes.

The joints are connected by the bones of the cow, they are surrounded by elastic cartilage. Since arthrosis does not appear immediately, you need to know how it develops. There are 2 stages of arthrosis development.

Stage 1:

  1. At first, the amount of joint fluid required for lubrication is not retained in the cartilage. This results in a loss of elasticity.
  2. Then the collagen fibers in the cartilage begin to increase, which causes dryness in it. This leads to cracking.

During the 2nd stage:

  1. Deformation of the joint is observed.
  2. The head of the joint is flattened.
  3. Painful sensations arise in it, animals begin to limp noticeably.

Stage 3:

  1. The joint is completely deformed, it is very difficult to cure sore legs.
  2. The outcome is most often unfavorable, animals are allowed to be slaughtered.

Important! Osteoarthritis is a non-communicable disease, but the cow still needs to be placed in a separate stall.


Another of the diseases is bursitis. Closed formation develops in stretched connective tissue. To notice a problem in a timely manner, you need to know why it occurs, as well as what symptoms to notice bursitis.

There may be several reasons:

  • various kinds of injuries;
  • parasite bites;
  • getting into open wounds of various infections;
  • poor quality litter;
  • stall-raised animals are kept on a short leash.


  • on the cow's leg, the joint swells and swelling appears;
  • the cow is in pain, begins to limp;
  • purulent bags form at the site of the swelling, and the skin becomes hard.

Bursitis treatment

Treatment is prescribed by a veterinarian, but before his arrival, the owners of a sick cow can do contrast compresses, as well as apply bandages soaked in alcohol to the joint for bursitis.

Specialists prescribe the treatment of the sore spot with Ichthyolova or Chlorcinol ointment, carry out physiotherapy.

Purulent bags must be opened, fluid must be removed from the cavity. Then they begin to treat the disease.

After the pain is relieved, you can massage using anti-inflammatory gels.

Sprains, strains and bruises

These types of joint damage can be congenital or acquired during the life of the cow. Pet owners need to know how to distinguish between dislocations, sprains or bruises to provide timely assistance.

Dislocations, causes, symptoms

Unsuccessful falls of cows and calves can lead to dislocation. As a result, the muscles are injured, in more serious cases, paralysis begins. Sometimes after a fall, ligaments or muscle tissue are torn, joint capsules, vessels, and skin are damaged.

Dislocation can be determined by the following symptoms:

  • the position of the limbs becomes unnatural;
  • the cow stops moving due to lethargy;
  • the joints swell, if the skin has been torn, then inflammation may begin.

The injured limb is fixed with a bandage and left for 14 days.

Attention! If the dislocation is open, the cow will have to be culled and sent for slaughter.

Stretching, causes, symptoms

Stretching disturbs the position of the cow's bones. Most often, the problem occurs in the lower leg. If not started, it can lead to joint inflammation.

Stretching can occur:

  • with sudden movements and various injuries;
  • with insufficient movement and stall keeping;
  • with improper organization of feeding.

You can determine the stretch:

  • joint displacement and lameness;
  • the cow bends its leg with difficulty, does not want to move;
  • swelling is observed at the site of damage.

Before starting treatment, it is necessary to carry out an X-ray examination. If stretching is not difficult, a bandage and a cold compress are enough.


After bruises, the cow may experience bruising, swelling, pain when walking. A cold compress and a pressure bandage can help relieve pain.

If the bruise is severe, then veterinarians inject the inflamed area with a 0.25% solution of novocaine (for 1 kg of live weight - 1 ml).

Prevention measures

One of the preventive measures to help avoid joint disease in cows is proper and balanced nutrition. The feed must contain the necessary substances, trace elements, vitamins. The second measure is to ensure movement, especially for those cows that are kept in stalls in winter.

Important! In winter, it is advisable to irradiate animals with ultraviolet lamps.


Diseases of the joints in cows are not uncommon. Cattle can get various injuries on the pasture, so animals need to be examined in order to provide them with assistance in time.

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