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Therapeutic management of bovine teat papillomatosis.

The effect of antimony preparation (Antimony thiomalate) was clinically evaluated in 10 spontaneous cases of teat

papillomatosis in crossbred milch cows bearing multiple mammary papillomas involving either teats only or affecting

teats and udder both respectively. Histopathological studies were made to confirm the diagnosis of teat papillomas.

Clinical recovery was achieved in 7 out of 10 clinical cases of teat papillomatosis.

Keywords: Antimony thiomaleate; bovine; papillomatosis; teat; udder


Cutaneous warts or papillomas are the most common dermatological affection of cattle, horses, goats, sheep, dogs, cats and many other domesticated and wild animals including marine mammals throughout the globe and the causative agent of which has been ascribed to be the papilloma virus from the family papilloma viridae. Bovine papilloma virus (BPV) is reported to be of 10 types (Hatama et al., 2008). Only BPV type 1 and 2 were reported from India (Singh et al., 2009 and Pangty et al., 2010).

Infectious cattle cutaneous papillomatosis or warts are commonly regarded as either hyperplasia or benign neoplastic conditions caused by bovine papilloma virus (Boiron et al., 1964). Warts although have been classified as viral, fungal, mosaic, filiform, seborrhoeic and keratocanthoma (Shastry, 2004 and Vegad, 1995), virus induced papilloma or the warts are the most common clinical entity in cattle. The common warts of cattle and horses are transmissible by intradermal injection and are caused by a virus with location and host specificity. Cutaneous papillomas may interfere with handling, feeding, breathing and even eyesight of calves depending on the part of the body involved whereas teat papillomatosis pose severe milking problems and make teat skin prone to secondary bacterial invaders resulting in mastitis.

A number of drugs with variable efficacy have been tried to treat papillomatosis. Sony and Parekh (1977) successfully used some of the homeopathic drugs in heifers. Spontaneous cases of cutaneous warts were successfully treated with Thuja 30, a homeopathic medicine and two cases of extensive papillomatosis were successfully treated accordingly with the same (Somvanshi and Sharma, 1986). Antimony preparations with varying efficacy had also been used (Rajguru et al., 1988 and Wadhwa et al., 1992). The present communication deals with therapeutic management of teats and udder warts by Lithium antimony thiomalate.

Materials and Methods

Therapeutic studies were made on 10 spontaneous cases of teat papillomatosis (in six crossbred Jersey and four crossbred Holstein Friesian milch cows) in dairy herds under Kolkata Pinjrapole Society at Anandanagar, Gayeshpur Municipality, Nadia district, West Bengal, India. No cutaneous lesions other than warts either on teat or on teats and udder both, were found on any other part of the affected cows. Detailed clinical examination and gross morphological studies of the clinically affected 10 cross bred animals revealed that warts were pedunculated, filiform with rough external surface in six cross jersey cows (Fig. 1), while in the remaining four (4) animals they were of large frond and sessile type. There was progressive development of multiple irregular hard projections like warts over the normal udder and teats both (in 6 cows) and over teats only in four (4) cows since last few months. Clinically the cases were diagnosed to be the teat papillomas. Biopsy materials were taken in 10% neutral buffered formalin (NBF) for histopathological studies.

Treatment and results

For thetherapeutic purposes, the animals were treated with Lithium antimony thiomalate (Anthiomalinea) @10-15 ml deep I/M, depending on the body weight of the animals. Five injections on alternative days (1, 3, 5, 7and 9th days) and injection Chlorpheniramine maleate (Anistaminb) @10 ml on 1, 3, 5,7 and 9th days including messaging of warts with honey and vinegar (in equal proportion) in each milking were carried out. Clinical efficiency was monitored for six months. It was observed that in six cows most of the warts on udder and teats shrinked or regressed, dried up and dropped away after a follow up period of four weeks. A follow up treatment was resorted again after four weeks in all 4 cows those still were bearing the intact wart crops (typical flat, elevated warts) and large frond type warts. Three cows did not respond to anthiomaline therapy during six months follow up period. Rest seven cows made uneventful recovery leaving no scar mark in situ, either on teats or on udder skin within 4 to 8 weeks and no recurrence was reported till next six monhs. The non-responding cases were the cows bearing typical wide base, flat, elevated warts and large frond type warts on teats and udder (in one case). Histopathological studies on excisional biopsy materials revealed changes typical of fibropapilloma (Fig. 2) representing epidermal hyperplasia, acanthosis and hyperkeratosis along with down proliferation of retepegs, in 4 cases of teats and udder papillomas and only epidermal hyperplasia without any fibromatous proliferation was observed in rest six (6) cases of teat papillomatosis bearing clinically ambiguous warts along with typical flat papilloma and atypical filliform papillomas.


To our knowledge the usage of antimony preparations for the treatment of bovine teat warts or bovine teat papillomatosis has been poorly studied. However it was reported that antimony preparation does work well in bovine cutaneous warts where the lesions are small, nodular and cauliflower like and it has least or poor efficacy on treating large fibropapillomas bearing wide base and big sized flat warts.

The efficacy of antimony preparation (Antimony thiomalate) in the present study revealed 100% recovery status in seven clinical cases of teat papillomatosis bearing typical filiform warts with rough surface texture (in 4 animals),small pedunculated warts (in 2 animals) and sessile type warts (in 1 animal) and no effect on typical flat wide base teat papilloma and large frond type warts as recorded in three animals. Teat warts appear in several forms, such as frond type, a flat round type and elongated rice grain structure. They are usually multiple, always sessile and are upto 2 cm in diameter. The frond form have filiform projections on them (Blood and Radostits, 1989). In the present study, the warts were grossly classified as filiform, large frond type and typical flat elevated, round type warts and histologically frond epithelial type as well as characteristic to frond fibropapilloma type. Olson et al. (1993) observed the frequency of teat papilloma types a typical flat papilloma (62.1%), atypical filiform papilloma (30,5%) and typical fibropapilloma (7.4%).

Among the virus types of papillomas, frond fibropapillomas of teat skin and frond epithelial papillomas of the bovine udder are caused by BPV 1 and BPV 6 viruses, of viral subgroup A and B, respectively (Blood and Radostits, 1989). Recently other than BPV type 1 and 2, BPV type 10 have been identified in teat warts of cattle in India (Rai et al., 2010). The virus infects the basal cells of the epithelium causing the excessive growth, which is characteristic of wart formation.

Venugopalan (2000) and O'Conor (2001) have suggested remedial measures for removal of warts such as use of autogenous vaccine, wart enucleation, burning with hot iron or eraser, ligation and surgical removal of wart (excision) with surgical knife, application of salicylic acid ointment, dimethtylsulfoxide ointment and potential caustics etc. Surgical removal of one or two warts was proposed but surgical intervention and vaccination may increase the size of the residual warts and prolong the course of the disease (Radostits et al., 1971). In the present cases of teat papillomatosis, surgical intervention or vaccination would not have been the right choice of treatment, since it may have aggravated the condition further. Hence it can be concluded that Antimony preparation (Antimony thiomalate) can be used as an therapeutic agent for treating teat papillomatosis.


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Soni, J.L. and Parekh, H.K.B. (1977). Ibid. 54: 755.

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Wadhwa, D.R., Rao, V.N., Mandial, R.K. and Prasad, B. (1992). Efficacy of Anthiomaline and Autogenous Wart Vaccine in Bovine Cutaneous Papillomatosis. Indian J. Vet. Med.12:21.

(a)--Brand of Novartis Animal Health, Mumbai

(b)--Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad

Debasis Jana (1) and Samir K. Mukherjee

Department of Microbiology

University of Kalyani


Nadia--741235 (West Bengal)

(1.) Corresponding author E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Jana, Debasis; Mukherjee, Samir K.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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