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What is the most common disease in cattle?

Posted on: November 8, 2019, by Victoria

Usually, calves are within six months of age, which is also the fastest-growing stage of them. Because the organs of calves in this period are still in the stage of development, so the autoimmune ability is not perfect, and there is no strong resistance to pathogens in the external environment so that calves are susceptible to various diseases. So, how to strengthen the feeding management and how to effectively prevent and cure the susceptible diseases of calves are the fundamental ways to improve the survival rate of calves.

Three Common Diseases of Calves
Three Common Diseases of Calves

Ⅰ. Digestive diarrhea

1. Cause of disease
Diarrhea caused by indigestion of calves is usually due to improper feeding management or the following reasons: (1) unsanitary nipples of cows; (2) unsanitary artificial milk apparatus; (3) low temperature of artificial feeding; (4) overfeeding; (5) insufficient feeding; (6) changes in milk composition; (7) lack of vitamins, minerals or other nutrients in milk. ; (8) dirty and the disorderly environment in feeding sheds; (9) small feeding space and high density; (10) climate change.

2. Symptom
Body temperature: above 39 degrees.
State: restlessness, depression, shortness of breath, loss of elasticity of skin surface, sunken eye socket and relatively dry rhinarium.
Feces: Water-like and gray-white congealed feces, and coagulation of undigested milk. Usually, the odor of feces is mainly sour, and there is fecal contamination in the tail of calves.
Diagnosis: Auscultation was used to judge the abdominal murmur of calves and to infer whether there were abdominal pain symptoms in calves.

3. Prevention and Treatment

Preventive measures: Keep the environment of the feeding shed sanitary, thoroughly disinfect feeding utensils, strictly screen the formula of feeding dairy products and feed on time.
Goals of treatment: (1) Stop diarrhea as quickly as possible; (2) Protect intestinal tract and gastric mucosa; (3) Anti-inflammation and pain; (4) Clear heat, detoxify and protect liver; (5) Strengthen heart; (6) Supplement electrolyte.
Therapeutic methods: (1) Fasting for 10 hours and drinking plenty of water; (2) Internal medication: 30 tablets/time/day of Dried Yeast Tablets, 20 tablets/time/day of sodium bicarbonate, 20 tablets/time/day of Sulfamethoxazole Tablets, three days as a course of treatment; (3) If calf diarrhea is serious, it can be treated by injection: intravenous injection - 250 ml of 10% glucose solution, 450 ml of compound sodium cyanide solution, 300 ml of 5% sodium bicarbonate solution and  3 ml of 10% caffeine sodium benzoate. Intramuscular injection - 10ml of VC.
To help calves to promote gastrointestinal peristalsis, the Weifukang solution can be used for subcutaneous injection, the dosage of 5 ml/time/day, 3 days for a course of treatment.

Three Common Diseases of Calves
Three Common Diseases of Calves

Ⅱ. Pneumonia

1. Cause of disease
First, feeding issues. If the female cattle do not get enough nutrition during pregnancy, it will lead to low resistance and weak physique of calves after birth, which is one of the causes of calf pneumonia.
Second, management issues. The feeding environment in the feeding shed is poor. Poor hygiene, daily inadequacy, poor ventilation, and humid environment are all the reasons for calves infected with pneumonia by the wind.
Third, production issues. The phenomenon of calves inhaling amniotic fluid during the production of female cattle may cause the problem of alveolar or tracheal intake of amniotic fluid, which may lead to calf pneumonia.

2. Symptom

Body temperature: above 40 degrees.
State: From a dry cough to a wet cough; decreased mental status, and look depressed; heart rate is irregular and heartbeat frequency is too fast, heart sound is very weak; appetite drops or even some sick calves lose appetite; lungs appear rale and show abdominal breathing.
With the aggravation of the disease, runny nose, dyspnea, head and neck stretching and other phenomena may occur. The diseased calves will likely die within a few days after the onset of the disease.

3. Prevention and Treatment

Preventive measures: Ensure the sanitation of the feeding shed and good ventilation, timely replacement of mat grass, and ensure the dryness of the environment.
Goals of treatment: Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, promote the absorption and excretion of exudates.
Therapeutic methods: Intramuscular injection of Sodium Ceftiofur/time/day, 7 days as a course of treatment; intravenous injection of Sulfadiazine Sodium Injection and 100ml of physiological saline/2 times/day.

Three Common Diseases of Calves
Three Common Diseases of Calves

Ⅲ. Diarrhea

1. Cause of disease
First, the infection of coronavirus and rotavirus can cause the digestive function of calves to decline, and bacterial infection internal can lead to severe diarrhea in calves.
Second, the feeding time of colostrum is too late in the feeding process, which will cause the defecation time of calf's meconium to be delayed, and the abnormal fermentation of colostrum in calf's intestinal tract will occur for too long, thus stimulating intestinal and gastric mucosa to cause diarrhea.
Third, the hygienic environment of the feeding shed is not up to the standard, the quality of the milk is not good, the temperature of the milk is not suitable, and the sterilization of the feeding equipment is not thorough. These are all possible causes of diarrhea in calves.

2. Symptom

State: Diarrhea gastroenteritis is the most common symptom of diarrhea in calves, accompanied by dehydration and toxicity symptoms. At the early stage of the disease, the calf's body did not show any obvious signs change, only slightly expanded abdominal circumference. With the aggravation of infection, calves may suffer from severe dehydration or aggravation of toxicity symptoms. Without timely treatment, calves may die of congestive heart failure due to severe dehydration and toxicity.
Defecation: The calf's stool is water-like, porridge-like, and accompanied by undigested milk clots. Under the same conditions, the number of feces of calves before infection increased, and their stools were yellowish-green and light-green.

3. Prevention and Treatment 

Preventive measures: Ensure the sanitation of the feeding shed, provide colostrum in time, disinfect feeding utensils thoroughly and avoid bacterial infection.
Goals of treatment: (1) timely fluid infusion to prevent serious dehydration; (2) alleviate poisoning symptoms.
Therapeutic methods: (1) Strengthen the nursing of diseased Calves and isolate them; (2) Routine western medicine treatment -  10 tablets/3 times/day of norfloxacin, 0.01-0.03g/kg/3 times/day of chloramphenicol; (3) Fluid replacement treatment - mild dehydration sick calves were given ORS solution: 3.5g of potassium chloride, 2.5g of sodium chloride, 30g of glucose diluted to 1000 ml. The dosage ratio was 100ml/kg/3 times/day;(4) Intravenous injection therapy - for mild poisoning symptoms of diseased calves: mixed 6% low molecular dextran, physiological saline, 5% glucose, and 10 ml of VC; for severe poisoning symptoms of diseased calves, 450 ml of mixed maternal blood, 50 ml of 2.5% sodium citrate for posterior intravenous injection. The speed of transfusion treatment of fluid infusion is 15-35 ml/h.

Three Common Diseases of Calves
Three Common Diseases of Calves

In conclusion, it can be seen that the causes of common diseases of calves are related to the sanitation of feeding sheds and feeding equipment. Therefore, the prevention of common diseases of calves should focus on the cleanliness of the environment in the feeding shed, and then strengthen the hygienic management of feeding equipment, to ensure the healthy growth of calves in a hygienically qualified environment. At the same time, we should also pay attention to the colostrum feeding of calves. Because calves are young, we should pay attention to time, temperature, concentration and times of feeding. In the course of treating common diseases, we should correctly diagnose the diseases of calves, treat them in time when conditions permit and use drugs reasonably according to calves' weight. Only by doing a good job in the prevention of common diseases can the incidence of common diseases in calves be reduced to the greatest extent.

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