Chandi Heffner leads the US-based CDH International Foundation (CDHIF) in providing funds and support to the CHD International Foundation India, which serves the Indian community through a variety of programs. Services delivered by CDHIF India include medical programs to treat a variety of diseases affecting animals and people. Ailments treated by CDHIF India, with help from Chandi Heffner’s organization, include theileriosis.
Caused by the blood-borne parasite theileria, theileriosis exclusively affects cattle and often results in the widespread death of livestock in areas where it is active. The parasite is most frequently transmitted through cattle ticks, which pass the disease from one animal to the next.
Cattle that become infected by strains of the theileria parasite in Asia develop symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, gum discoloration, and lack of appetite. Infected cattle also may display signs of fever and anemia in addition to enlarged lymph nodes. Furthermore, the parasite is particularly fatal to calves, and pregnant cattle may abort or give birth to stillborn infants. Treatment requires preventative tick control and early diagnosis due to the reduced effectiveness of vaccines in advanced stages of the disease. Veterinarians also recommend extended periods of rest in a minimally stressful environment, as movement and stress tend to exacerbate the disease’s progression and lead to death in advanced stages.