Epidemiological, etiological and clinico-therapeutic investigations on pica in cattle

Title: Epidemiological, etiological and clinico-therapeutic investigations on pica in cattle

Authors: AS Lengare, AU Bhikane, SS Ghoke and AM Syed

Source: Ruminant Science (2016)-5(1):73-80.

Cite this reference as: Lengare AS, Bhikane AU, Ghoke SS and Syed AM (2016). Epidemiological, etiological and clinico-therapeutic investigations on pica in cattle. Ruminant Science 5(1):73-80.


Pica or depraved appetite is usually associated with dietary deficiency of either of bulk or in some cases more specifically fibers or of individual nutrients, particularly salt, cobalt, phosphorous or total protein. In one year study conducted in two villages of Latur district of Maharashtra (India) forty clinical cases of pica were recorded in cattle with overall incidence of 4.94 per cent. Adult lactating or pregnant cattle maintained exclusively on dry roughages were found to be more affected during dry season. The cardinal feature of pica noticed was the tendency of affected animals to lick/bite/chew/eat inanimate objects such as cloths, leather, polythene, stones, soils, bones and human feces. Hematological parameters revealed highly significant (P<0.01) decrease in Hb, non significant decrease in PCV, TEC, MCV and MCHC in affected cattle as compared to healthy one. Serum biochemical analysis indicated highly significant (P<0.01) decrease in the mean values of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, total proteins, iron, sodium and chloride. Analysis of etiological factors associated with pica in cattle showed maximum number of cases due to nutritional deficiency alone (57.50%) followed by nutritional deficiency plus worm load (25%). Based on the results of therapeutic trial, it is concluded that chelated mineral mixture is more effective than picacare in treatment of pica in cattle.


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