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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1503
Experience:  Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon
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hi , one of my square-meater cows has small hard black scabs

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hi , one of my square-meater cows has small hard black scabs in its neck in a broad group over about a square foot, cant seem to find out what it is- if its a bacteria or a fungus- can you help?

I am sorry your cow has this problem.

There are many different types of skin disease that affect cows from infectious disease to hypersensitivity reactions as well as some organ disease causing skin disease/changes.

Given it is so localised it is likely to be an infectious cause. You are right to discuss bacterial versus fungal skin disease. The treatments of each are very different. Unfortunately, the only way to determine this is to have the skin sampled which will need a vet exam as bacterial and fungal disease can look very similar.

Ideally, a swab of the skin and some hair plucks should be taken and sent off for analysis. This can take a few days but at least you will know, not only from the point of getting the correct most effective treatment on board but also from the aspect of ensuring it is not contagious to you or the others in the herd (particularly ringworm).

It is good that it isn't bothering the cow but it will still need examining, especially if it is getting worse or there is a chance of it spreading to other livestock.

So certainly mention it the next time your vet is out or if there is no scheduled visit then it may be a good idea to them out to see the cow.

If you are far from the vet then you could see if they will accept an emailed photograph or they may consider sending the materials to sample the lesions yourself and send to the lab.

I hope this is of some help and gives you some direction.

Good luck and let me know if you have any concerns.


Dr Dan Makin
Dr. Dan M. and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Guy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Maryanne. How is everything going?