Necrotic Stomatitis

Causative agent: Fusobacterium necrophorum
The bacterium is very common in the environment and necrotic stomatitis caused by F. necrophorum is very common in cattle (9). An injury or abrasion to the lining of the mouth from erupting teeth or rough feed will allow the bacteria to invade the tissue of the mouth or pharynx (9). Necrotic stomatitis has been reported in bison (8).

Clinical signs:
The clinical signs of necrotic stomatitis have not been described in bison (8). In cattle, clinical signs include increased body temperature, anorexia, depression, increased salivation, swelling of the cheeks from feed packed into the mouth, protrusion of the tongue, and ulceration of the cheek or tongue (9). If the larynx becomes infected, there may be a cough, labored breathing, or foul smelling breath(9).

Visual inspection of the mouth, tongue and larynx shows ulcers. A biopsy or culture may be sent to a diagnostic pathology laboratory for bacterial culture and identification.

There have been no treatment protocols described for bison (8). In cattle, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used (9). If the larynx is involved corticosteroids help to make breathing easier (9).In cattle the response to treatment is good unless the infection has spread to the cartilage of the larynx (9).

There have been no control protocols reported for bison. This disease tends to be sporadic, making control programs unnecessary.


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