Synonym : Wooden Tongue Causative organism
: Actinobacillus lignieresii Species affected
: Ruminants, cattle and sheep
Symptoms : Soft tissue including glands, lungs and subcutaneous tissue are affected.
Hard tissues like bones are not affected. The disease appears under the skin in the form of a hard nodule. The nodule grows rapidly and assumes the nature of a cold abscess, with the softening of its central part. A number of abscesses may develop in circumscribed area at one and the same time. Each abscess eventually bursts and emits thick creamy pus, which contains causal organisms of the disease. The lesions often extend to other soft organs, such as tongue, pharyngeal lymph nodes and oesophageal groove. Sometimes lungs may also be affected. In sheep, the different nature of prehension of feed leads to lesions predominantly in the lips and the cheeks and occasional extension to the mucous membranes and the soft tissues of the head and the neck.Diagnosis: from actinobacillosis lesions contains granules or rosette containing colonies of the causal organism. These colonies are less than 1 mm in diameter. By comparison the sulphur granules of actinomycosis are several mm in diameters. The disease can be clinically differentiated from actinomycosis in that the bone is not involved. Stained smears of the pus usually reveal gram-negative bacilli in contrast to the gram-positive filaments demonstrable in actinomycosis.
Treatment: Skin infections are not serious if attended properly. Cases of wooden tongue often terminate fatally. The disease is amenable to treatment with iodide given orally or intravenously promptly reduces the inflammatory swelling which is the main clinical problem. Broad spectrum antibiotics and sulfonamides are effective. Systemic treatment is indicated for tongue and pharyngeal lesions, but may also be used to supplement local treatment.