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a chronic infectious disease of Perissodactyla characterized by inflammation of subcutaneous lymphatic vessels and formation of purulent ulcers in the skin.
Cases have been recorded in countries of the European continent. The causative agent is a nonmotile rod bacterium that dies rapidly from the effects of ordinary disinfectants. Horses, asses, and mules are susceptible to the disease. The source of the causative agent is sick animals, which infect the soil, manure, and bedding with discharges from the ulcers. The infection enters through wounds in the skin, most often in the area of the binding of the hind legs. The disease begins with swelling of the hind legs and lameness. One or two nodules develop in the area of the binding and open, resulting in the formation of purulent ulcers. New purulent focuses develop around the ulcers, the lymphatic vessels between the ulcers become inflamed, and elephantiasis of the legs develops. The process may spread to the trunk, neck, and head; sometimes it spreads to the lungs and kidneys. The disease, which may be fatal, may have a course of a few months to a few years.
Treatment involves opening the purulent focuses, treating the ulcers with disinfectant solutions, and administering penicillin intramuscularly. Prophylactic measures include observance of zoohygienic rules of maintenance and use of the animals. Diseased animals are isolated and treated, and the premises and gear are disinfected.