Heartwater is a frequently fatal tick-borne disease of ruminants caused by Cowdria ruminantium. In
domestic ruminants the incubation period varies considerably and depends on the route of infection, virulence of
the isolate and amount of infective material administered. Adult cattle of all breeds appear to be equally
susceptible to heartwater. It is generally accepted that calves up to the age of 3 weeks have a high degree of
natural resistance which is not related to the immune status of the dam.
Nervous symptoms are frequently seen in animals affected by the peracute and acute forms of heartwater
and can easily be confused with similar signs caused by infectious conditions, toxic plants, acaricide and heavy