Clinical signs of heartwater in cattle is a fever of 40°C or higher which persits for 3-4 days before it falls to below normal shortly before death. Animals cease eating and a diarrhoea may or may not be present. Some cattle, particularly those of the Jersey breed, develop a profuse, often haemorrhagic, diarrhoea. During the later stages of the disease syndrome nervous signs occur which vary from mild incordination to convulsions. Animals are hypersensitive when handled or exposed to sudden noise. Tapping on the forehead often causes exaggerated blinking. Some animals walk with a high stepping gait or wander around aimlessly and walk into fences. If they fall down they may make "pedalling" movements with the legs.
(Source: Allsopp, BA, Bezuidenhout, JD & Prozesky, L 2004, 'Heartwater', in Coetzer, JAW & Tustin, RC, Infectious diseases of livestock, Cape Town, Oxford University Press, 2004)
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Metadata assigned by Prof. R.C. Tustin, Professor Emeritus: DVTD. His academic and professional experience includes: veterinarian for 54 years,
senior lecturer at UP for 7 years, head of Department at UP for 17 years and Veterinary Council for 3 years.