Animal Diseases

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Animal Diseases


processes of the vital activity of the organism which arise under the effect of extreme stimuli of the external or internal environment and which are manifested in injuries to specific physiological apparatus with simultaneous mobilization of protective and adaptational mechanisms.

Animal diseases cause great economic losses because they lead to a reduction of the productivity and efficiency of animals, their premature culling, a deterioration of the food qualities of animal husbandry products, and a decrease in the trade value of raw materials of animal origin.

The development of the disease is associated with a cause which gives rise to the disease and the condition of the organism and depends upon the species of the animal, the breed, the constitution, the age, sex, feeding conditions, care, and so on.

Classification of animal diseases. A distinction may be made between noninfectious and infectious diseases. The first arise mainly as the result of improper feeding, improper care, and improper use of animals; the second are caused by biological stimuli (bacteria, viruses, worms, and so on).

Noninfectious animal diseases are subdivided into internal and external diseases and diseases of the sexual organs. Internal diseases include metabolic disturbances; avitaminosis; diseases of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and respiratory organs; digestive disturbances; diseases of urinary excretion; and diseases of the blood and the hematogenous organs. External diseases include diseases of the head, the neck, the trunk, the withers, the extremities, the hooves, and the skin. Diseases of the genital organs include sterility, postpartum paresis, mastitis, endometritis, and vaginitis.

Communicable animal diseases are divided into infectious diseases, which are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and rickettsias, and parasitic diseases, which are caused by protozoa, insects, ticks, and worms.

Some causative agents of infectious diseases are common to man and animals and others are pathogenic only for animals. The latter, in their turn, may sometimes infect animals of different species or, in some cases, only specific species. Infectious diseases arise in the form of solitary (sporadic) cases or assume a widespread, massive distribution. In dealing with animal diseases it is necessary to consult veterinary specialists. When an infectious disease is suspected, the affected animals must be isolated from the healthy animals and given separate care.

The animals are treated by veterinary specialists, using various medicines, dietotherapy, physical therapy, and other measures.

Measures for preventing animal diseases are carried out according to veterinary principles and are divided into general measures and specific measures. General measures are directed toward the sanitation of the environment and increasing the resistance of the organism. These measures include fully nutritious fodder; good maintenance conditions; proper use of animals in accordance with their species, age, and individual characteristics; regular examination of the animals for signs of disease; isolating sick animals and those suspected of being diseased; quarantining all animals newly introduced into agriculture; destroying diseased animals and salvaging their corpses; collecting manure and rendering it harmless; and so on.

Specific prophylactic measures include preventive vaccination, diagnostic examinations, and imposition of quarantine upon the appearance of infectious diseases.


Bolezni ptits [compiled by F. M. Orlov], Moscow, 1962.
Liubashenko, S. Ia., and A. M. Petrov. Bolezni pushnykh zverei. Moscow, 1962.
Vnutrennie nezaraznye bolezni sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1967.
Epizootologiia. Edited by R. F. Sosov. Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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