Lumpy skin disease

Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Lumpy Skin Disease

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an acute infectious viral skin disease of cattle that is characterized by the development of lumps or nodules in the skin covering all parts of the body, fever, and lymphadenitis and edema of the legs or brisket. The nodules tend to be firm, raised and painful, and involve the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. They will often disappear and reappear on other parts of the body or alternatively, will slough off to reveal large open sores which eventually transition into dry scabs.

LSD is caused by lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), a type of Capripoxvirus. LSD tends to occur sporadically or epidemically in cattle, and outbreaks tend to correlate with periods of high insect activity. It is mainly a concern for cattle living in Africa and the Middle East. LSDV can affect cattle of any age, however young calves are most severely affected.

It is transmitted to cattle most frequently through biting insects (mosquitoes and flies) or through direct contact with the blood, nasal and lacrimal secretions, semen or saliva of infected cattle.

Incubation period
The incubation period for LSD varies between 2 to 4 weeks, with a 5-7 week course of the disease.


Persistent fever
Generalized skin lesions (nodules) following onset of fever
Enlarged lymph nodes
Nasal discharge
Loss of appetite
Severe edema in the brisket and legs


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Skin biopsy of early lesions for virus isolation
  • VNT
  • IFT
  • immunofluorescent or immunoperoxidase staining


Antibiotics: Administered for prevention of secondary infections


  • Vaccinate herds: Vaccination with attenuated Neethling virus vaccine in all cattle over 6 months of age will provide protection to cattle for up to 3 years after vaccination.
  • Control of biting insect populations
  • Quarantine new animals prior to introducing them to the herd

Article Reference

Risk Factors

  • High populations of biting insects




  • Lumpy skin disease virus

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