Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the major obstacles to the development of animal husbandry. It is a highly contagious viral disease of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats caused by the foot-and-mouth disease virus. Outbreaks of this disease cause severe economic losses to the livestock industry in terms of drafts, loss of meat and milk production, and infant and adult animal mortality.
Symptoms of FMD include short-term fever, epithelial lesions on the tongue, lining of the teeth, and the lining of the mouth, causing excessive salivation and drooling. It also includes foot lesions that cause lameness. Despite routine vaccination, outbreaks of the disease occur regularly every year in all countries, especially Bangladesh and other South Asian and African countries. The disease therefore poses an alarming threat to livestock worldwide.
Foot-and-mouth disease has been treated with traditional veterinary medicines, a cheap alternative to symptomatic medications. Many articles and researchers have examined several effective ingredients for treating foot and mouth disease, one of which is sodium bicarbonate.
Sodium bicarbonate feed grade is a water soluble white crystalline powder commonly known as baking soda which is widely used as a leavening agent in food. Sodium bicarbonate Feed Grade is predominantly used as the source of sodium to increase dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) and as partial salt substitute. It is also used as a dietary supplement for ruminants to treat acid indigestion and metabolic acidosis.
According to the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, washing a cow’s mouth three to five times with a 97% sodium bicarbonate solution can kill the foot-and-mouth disease virus. This reduces fecal viral load and desquamated necrotic epithelium. The cleaning of the FMD lesions could also have prevented any secondary bacterial infection hence the rapid healing of the wounds.
Another finding indicated that the oral administration and wash with sodium bicarbonate significantly decreased the morbidity and mortality of the cattle caused by FMD virus. According to the research of Patuakhali Science And Technology University, consuming 2% sodium bicarbonate feed grade orally in 1 liter of water twice daily for 7-10 days has been proven to enhance cattle’s immunity against FMD virus indicated by the increase of lymphocytes gradually.