Find out: How to prevent Wooden tongue in Cow

Wooden Tongue in Cow

In cattle, actinobacillosis mainly affects the tongue ('wooden tongue') and the lymph nodes of the head and neck.

The characteristic lesion is a granuloma of the tongue, with discharge of pus to the exterior. Infection usually begins as an acute inflammation with sudden onset of: inability to eat or drink for several days.


In general, wooden tongue is not considered highly contagious, but the bacteria can be spread from one animal to the next through infected saliva that contaminates feed consumed by other animals. Reports indicate that Actinobacillus lignieresii can survive 4 to 5 days in feed.

Actinobacillosis is readily treated. Treatment can involve surgical debridement and flushing with iodine.

Administration of potassium iodide orally (6 to 10 g a day for 10 days) or intravenous injection of sodium iodide at 10 % (8 g for 100kg) are effective to stop the acute signs of the disease within two days.

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