Lumpy skin disease: Cause, symptoms, treatment & control

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an acute viral disease of cattle characterized by the eruption of variably sized skin nodules, edema of the limbs, and swelling of the superficial lymph nodes.


Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), a virus from the family Poxviridae, genus Capripoxvirus. Sheeppox virus and Goatpox virus are the two other virus species in this genus.

Lumpy skin disease virus
source: Pirbright Institute

Clinical signs:

  • Fever
  • Watery eyes,
  • Increased nasal secretions,
  • Enlarged superficial lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Reduced milk production,
  • Depression and reluctance to move.
  • Eruption of skin nodules that may cover the whole body butare most numerous on the head and neck, perineum, genitalia and udder, and the limbs.


  • The principal means of transmission is an arthropod vector.
  • Transmission by direct contact with infected animals can occur at a low level.
  • Transmission is mechanical rather than biological.

Post mortem findings:

Nodules in the subcutaneous tissues, muscle fascia, and muscles. They are grey-pink with necrotic cores. Nodules may also be found through the nasopharynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, rumen, abomasum, renal cortex, testicles, and uterus.


  • On basis of signs and symptoms
  • Laboratory tests Identification of agents through PCR and electron microscopy


  • No specific antiviral drugs
  • Antibiotics to prevent secondary infections
  • dressing of wounds lesions

Prevention and control:

  • Import restrictions and surveillance
  • Restrictions of movement in infected animals
  • Culling infected animals
  • Vaccination Reference: from OIE diseases cards

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