Bacillary Hemoglobinuria

Mauricio Navarro, Fernando Dutra Quintela, Francisco A Uzal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Bacillary hemoglobinuria (BH), also known as red water disease, is a highly acute and usually fatal disease that occurs mostly in pasture-grazing cattle. This chapter discusses the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and control of BH. BH is caused by Clostridium haemolyticum, a Gram-positive, motile, and sporulated rod. Carcasses of animals dying of BH present with dehydration, varying degrees of jaundice, and the perineal region and tail soiled with dark, liquid feces. A presumptive clinical diagnosis of BH can be made based on the history and clinical signs, including the sudden onset of disease in animals usually grazing in liver-fluke-infested areas, and the production of red urine, anemia, and high body temperature that rapidly drops. Procaine penicillin G is the antibiotic treatment of choice but is unlikely to be effective in affected animals because of the acuteness of the disease process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClostridial Diseases in Animals
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118728291
ISBN (Print)9781118728406
StatePublished - Apr 8 2016


  • Bacillary hemoglobinuria
  • C. haemolyticum
  • Pasture-grazing cattle
  • Procaine penicillin G

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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