Neonatal Calf Diarrhea Management

Calf Mortality in Cow
Herds
Floron C. Faries, Jr., DVM, MS
Professor and Extension Program Leader
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M System
College Station, TX 77843
http://extensionvetmed.tamu.edu
Calf Scours
Causative Disease Agents
Bacteria
E. coli
C. perfringens B, C
C. perfringens D
Salmonella
Viruses
Rotavirus
Coronavirus
BVD
Calf Ages
<5 da
5-30 da
>30 da
>15 da
5-15 da
5-15 da
>30 da
Protozoa
Cryptosporidia
Coccidia
5-30 da
>15 da
Calf Ages
Disease Agents
<5 da
E. coli
5-15 da
Rotavirus
Coronavirus
C. perfringens B, C
Cryptosporidia
15-30 da
C. perfringens B, C
Cryptosporidia
Coccidia
Salmonella
>30 da
Coccidia
Salmonella
C. perfringens D
BVD
Disease Agent Sources
 Carrier Cows, Heifers

Manure – Vulva, ground (teats, haircoat,
grass, hay)
 Diseased Calves

Scours – Ground (haircoat, grass, hay)
Calf Pathology/Signs
 Intestinal Mucosa Damage

Irritation, necrosis, toxins
 Diarrhea, Dehydration



Malabsorption
Hypersecretion
Colon fermentation, fluid retention
 Electrolyte Imbalance

Acidosis – bicarbonate loss
 Body Weakness
 Reduced Nursing
 Possible Septicemia
Calf Septicemia
Causative Disease Agents
 E. coli
 Lepto
Calf Pneumonia
Causative Disease Agents
Bacteria
Pasteurella
H. somnus
Viruses
IBR
PI3
BRSV
BVD
Stress
 Weather
 Weaning
Disease Incidence Factors
 Carrier Cows, Heifers, Calves - Disease agents
 Contaminated Environment - Disease agents
 Stressed Cows, Heifers - Suppressed immunity
 Disease agent shedding
 Reduced colostrum quantity
 Reduced colostrum globulins (quality)
 Thin Cows, Heifers – Low Energy Diet


Reduced colostrum quantity
Reduced colostrum globulins (quality)
 Heifers Colostrum – Lower quantity, quality
 Calves Late Colostrum Intake

No local, systemic immunity

>6 hrs, >24 hrs after birth
 Calves, Low Colostrum Intake
 Weak local, systemic immunity


< 10% body weight – First 24 hrs
Weak local immunity


<10% body weight – Second day
<10% body weight – Third day
 Stressed Calves
 Dystocia, cold stress


Colostrum intake – Low, late
Heat stress

Globulin absorption - Reduced
Disease Management Practices
 Sanitary Measures

Maternity pasture



7 da pre-calving to 1 da post-calving
15 acres per 75 females
Rotate pastures anually
 Nursery pasture



3 wks
20 acres per 75 pairs
Rotate pastures annually
 Nursing pasture


3 wks post-calving to weaning
Prevent overcrowdedness
 Treatment pasture/pen


Isolate diseased calves
1 wk minimum
 Haying, Supplement Feeding Facilities


Rotate locations
Manure removal
 Shelter Facilities

Manure removal
 Prevent Stress in Pregnant Cows, Heifers


Provide shelter, wind breaks
Energy diet (grain) – last trimester
 Assure calf nursing

Within 6 hours of birth
 Identify Reasons for Late/Low Colostrum
Intake/Absorption








Abandoned calf
Calf can’t find teat
Big teats
Weak calf
Calf kicked off
Calf not mothered
Udder not distended
Caesarean cow/heifer
 Bottle Feed Non-nursing Calf

Within 6 hrs of Birth


Next 18 – 24 hrs


Colostrum quantity – 5% body weight
Colostrum quantity – 5% body weight
Days 2 and 3

Colostrum quantity – 10% body weight
Disease Diagnostic Procedures
 Laboratory Tests of Fresh Scour Specimen



Bacteria culture/antibiotic sensitivity
Virus isolation
Protozoa demonstration
Disease Vaccination Practices
 Pre-calving Vaccination of Pregnant Cows,
Heifers

Procedures



Intramuscularly, subcutaneously
2 doses, 2-3 and 6-8 wks before calving
1 dose annually

Products







E. coli K-99 Bacterin
Rotavirus/Coronavirus Vaccine (Killed, Modified
live)
C. perfringens C,D (B) Bacterin (7-way Blackleg)
Lepto (5–way)
IBR/PI3/BRSV/BVD
Pasteurella
H. somnus
 Vaccination of Calves at Calving

Procedures



Orally
1 dose at birth
Products


E. coli K-99 Monoclonal Antibody
Rotavirus/Coronavirus Vaccine (Modified live)
Disease Treatment Practices
 Dehydrated Calves

Procedures


Orally, intravenously, intramuscularly
Products



Oral electrolytes – 1 to 2 qts. Every 6 to 8 hrs.
Intravenous electrolytes
Antibiotics – E. coli septicemia
Genetic Defects
 Homozygous Recessive Genes
 Double Recessive Genes
 Passed by both Parents











Anal Atresia
Scrotal Hernia
Cryptorchidism
Cleft Palate
Over-shot Jaw
Mulefoot
Dwarfism
Five-legged
Supernumerary Teats
No Teats
No Tail
Twinning









Genetic Inheritable (1% Rate)
Free Martins
Lighter Birth Weights
Heavier Dual Weaning Weights
Retained Placentas
Dystocias
Perinatal Calf Mortality
Reduced Fertility
Increased Nutritional Requirements
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