Hardware disease in cattle
This is also called traumatic reticuloperitonitis
It is caused by the ingestion of a sharp, metallic object such as nails and wires.
The metal objects settle in the reticulum and can penetrate the wall of the reticulum.
Cattle are normally prone to swallowing metal objects because of their feeding habit. Farms that adopt open grazing record more cases of the condition.
Contractions of the reticulum can push the object through part of the reticulum wall into the peritoneal cavity causing severe inflammation. Sometimes, the heart maybe affected.
Clinical signs of hardware disease vary depending on where the object is lodged.
The cow may show an arched back and affected animal is reluctant to move.
The cow may show signs of pain groaning when lying down and when defecating.
Usually Surgery is necessary in some cases and involves opening the rumen and removing the object.
Some treatment can be effected with the use of magnets which are introduced orally.
After removal of the object, it is important to give antibiotic treatment.
Severely affected animals should be slaughtered.
Feed should be inspected to remove all metallic objects before feeding to the animals. A magnet is important for this.
Always inspect your farm and remove objects that can be swallowed by your cattle.
Cow magnets are available for prevention of hardware disease. A magnet is usually introduced into the reticulum of a cow and the magnet stays there for the rest of the cow’s life. This will help prevent lodging of sharp objects in the wall of the reticulum.