Pseudocowpox Virus In Cow And Goats

Asked April 16, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

Hello, I have a milk cow who has what I assume( and a dairyman friend said is) the pseudocowpox virus. She is nursing two calves. I'm attaching a photo,( from earlier this winter) but have not had the vet out. I also have a lactating dairy goat who broke out in the same thing this week. She is nursing two kids and I'm bottle feeding her unpasteurized milk to a third kid. The two nurslings have sores on their muzzles. I did not think the cow's virus would spread to the goat, so I'm pretty sad about this whole thing. I understand there is no vaccine nor cure, nor does immunity develop. The cow is owned by a relative and can go back to their place but the goats are mine. I understand that the cowpox virus is related to but not quite the same as Orf. Does pseudocowpox affect goats in the same way it does cattle? Meaning no immunity ever develops and you deal with continued breakouts for the life of the animal? Is the only way to eradicate this is to put down infected animals? Is this something that will continue to live in the soil? Should I assume that the bottle kid is infected because she is housed in the same pen with the nurslings? Is there a test that would detect the virus before I carry the bottle kid all the way to lactation only to have her break out and infect any other goats I have? I'm unsure of how to proceed and would appreciate any help or advice you can give me. I have multiple photos If you would like to see more, please let me know. I have not taken one of the goat's bag, she is less cooperative, but it is very much the same thing. I can get someone to help me hold her for a photo if need be. Thank you very much.

Coos County Oregon

1 Response

Pseudocowpox is the most common cause of infectious teat lesions. Herpes mammilitis and bovine papular stomatitis can both be associated with similar lesions but are less likely causes. These other viruses also typically involve other areas of skin in addition to the teats. Although psueodcowpox is closely related to contagious ecthyma virus (orf) of sheep and goats the cattle virus does not appear to spread from cattle to goats. Therefore, I think you are dealing with two separate issues. Please be aware that both pseudocowpox and orf can be transmitted to humans. The orf virus can persist in the scabs that fall off into the environment for many months or possibly years. There is a commercially available vaccine for orf but it is not recommended unless the diagnosis is confirmed.The best management strategy can be recommended when a definitive diagnosis is established. Your veterinarian can assist is obtaining samples and submitting them to the diagnostic lab for testing.