Quiz: Test your knowledge on Lumpy Skin Disease


Lumpy skin disease in cattle

Above: Lumpy skin disease in cattle overseas.

Q1 Is lumpy skin disease:

  • A. a disease currently found in Australian goats
  • B. a disease of cattle and water buffalo, not currently found in Australia but recently found in Indonesia
  • C. Another term for acne

The answer is B.

Lumpy skin disease is exotic to Australia but has recently been found in Indonesia. It affects cattle and water buffalo, not goats or people.

Q2 Lumpy skin disease is spread by:

  • A. Biting insects, contaminated equipment and directly from animal to animal
  • B. Feeding of meat scraps to pigs
  • C. Prolonged wetting of the skin causing overgrowth of the bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis.

The answer is A.

Lumpy skin disease can be spread by biting insects such as flies, mosquitoes and possibly ticks. It can also be spread on contaminated equipment and sometimes directly from animal to animal. Feeding meat scraps to pigs can spread some diseases such as foot and mouth disease and African swine fever but not lumpy skin disease. Dermatophilus congolensis bacteria causes lumpy wool in sheep, this is a different disease. Lumpy skin disease is caused by a viral infection and only affects cattle and water buffalo.

Q3 Signs of lumpy skin disease include:

  • A. Terrible scours/diarrhoea
  • B. Sudden death
  • C. Fever, depression and characteristic skin nodules. Possibly reduced milk production and abortion in pregnant animals.

The answer is C, Lumpy skin disease causes lumps to appear in the skin (one of those great descriptive names).

Q4 What should you do if you find a cow with weird lumps? More than 1 correct answer.

  • A. Call the emergency animal disease hotline 1800 675 888
  • B. Call your local vet
  • C. Panic

Both A and B might be appropriate.

If you suspect an exotic disease you should call the emergency animal disease (EAD) hotline, this service is available 24/7. Lumps could also be caused by normal endemic diseases like papilloma virus or abscess. If you thought it was one of these or weren’t sure what it was you might call your local vet (either private or district vet). They could examine the animal and if they were worried about it potentially being lumpy skin disease, they could call the EAD hotline and send samples for confirmation. There is no need for option C!

More information on Lumpy Skin Disease can be found here: Lumpy skin disease - DAWE

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