Diarrhea in calves is common and is a real problem when breeding cattle. An effective remedy for diarrhea that occurs for various reasons does not yet exist, but it is proved that the later the pathology is discovered, the higher the mortality rate in young animals.
Signs of calf diarrhea
Despite the fact that diarrhea can cause exhaustion and death of adult cows, farmers suffer the most losses when raising dairy calves. Of course, diarrhea is not a separate disease, but an unpleasant symptom of the underlying disease present in the body of the animal. Pretty quickly, this situation leads to a violation of the water-electrolyte and acid-base balance. Electrolyte loss, dehydration and acidity are the three main reasons why a young animal dies.
Even before the onset of diarrhea, there are other, no less disturbing, previous signs of the pathological condition of the calf:
- with an always high level of appetite, the animal suddenly becomes lethargic and eats poorly;
- body temperature rises rapidly;
- the surface of the upper lip becomes dry;
- dry crusts form in the nasal cavities;
- when the calf is empty, you can see that its feces are too dry.
It is easy to guess that excessive dryness is a sign of dehydration, so dangerous for young animals. With a mild form, the animal continues to stand on its feet and move reluctantly, but eats when it has a moderate state and dehydration on its face, it no longer moves and it is becoming harder and harder to stand.
At the last stage, the calves lie, refuse food, the color of their feces can be different - from green to dark brown and black with streaks of blood. In the latter case, this means a dangerous infectious disease.
Even with dyspepsia, the calves are experiencing pain due to intestinal cramps, rumbling can be heard in their abdomen, later the limbs become cold, the eyes are sunken, the sensitivity of the skin is lost. The stool is yellow-gray in color and contains mucus, vesicles, and lumps. Animals no longer rise, but only tremble and groan. If untreated, their skin turns blue. Fatal outcome may follow after 2-5 days.
Diarrhea affects 40 to 70% of young animals in the first week of life. With delayed therapy, up to 30% of calves die.
Diagnostics and inspection of the veterinarian
To make a correct diagnosis, the veterinarian needs to analyze the conditions of the animals, the food they eat. Symptoms accompanying worsening of the condition are also taken into account. Additionally, bacteriological examination of the material is carried out.
Without fail, the doctor finds out:
- what is the body temperature of the animal;
- what he ate the day before;
- when diarrhea started;
- whether she was accompanied by vomiting and how many times.
Feces, its color, features are also examined, a specialist is interested in the frequency of bowel movements. In addition, during examination, he palpates the calf’s stomach, assesses the condition of the nasolabial mirror, and determines the heart rate.
Using special test kits, the veterinarian can quickly identify and identify the present disease. Thus, it is possible to identify cryptosporidia, coronovirus and rotavirus infection, ailments caused by Escherichia coli Escherichia coli.
If a digestive disorder is diagnosed ...
The reasons why a young animal is sick can be non-infectious and infectious.
Non-infectious conditions include dyspepsia.
It can be caused by the following factors:
- drinking calf with cold colostrum;
- colostrum drinking from a sick cow (mastitis);
- eating sour colostrum;
- late feeding, insufficient enrichment of colostrum with nutrients due to malnutrition of the cow during pregnancy, which leads to a decrease in its immunity.
Dyspepsia can begin due to dirt in the room, improper maintenance of babies. Any climatic deviations, whether it is overheating or hypothermia, poor ventilation in the room, stuffiness, poor sanitary standards, dirt, violation of the feeding regime, they will very quickly affect the condition of the calves. Deficiency of vitamins such as tocopherol and retinol, as well as important trace elements, leads to dyspepsia and subsequent diarrhea.
The main symptoms that are observed with dyspepsia:
- lethargy and lethargy of the animal;
- poor appetite;
- lack of interest when the host appears;
- flanks and tail stained with feces;
- the smell of feces has an acidic or rotten odor;
- the baby has rapid, shallow breathing.
In violation of digestion, the temperature usually does not increase, remaining at the level of 37.5-39.5 degrees, while in the toxic form of dyspepsia and the presence of poisoning - 40-41 degrees. In general, liquid bowel movement can occur up to 14 times a day, which, of course, exhausts the animal. His nose becomes rough and dry, his hair is dull, his eyes gradually subside, and this indicates a near death.
It is clear that with such a clinical picture, the calf will not be helped simply by ensuring normal nutrition and microclimate - in such a situation, it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible:
- The first thing to do is plant the animal on a hungry diet for 24 hours. They give only boiled water with the addition of salt and glucose (per 1 liter - 50 g), the water should be warm (38-40 degrees). Onion peel (200 g per 1 liter) can be added to boiling water.
- Starting from the second day, the animal is transferred from the water to the enveloping oat broth, but first they give the gastric juice diluted in water in a ratio of 1: 4. For cooking, take selected oats one part per 10 parts of water, cook for at least 5 hours on low heat and give a drink in large quantities. Flax or rice is used in the same way. They also make a mixture of warm tea leaves of black tea, three egg whites and salt (1 tablespoon). Use 10 g per kg of animal weight.
- On the third day, if the calf does not vilify, he can add a little milk to the broth. After another day, they give 500 ml of milk, diluting it in a decoction. Gradually bring the amount of milk to normal, but only with the normal health of the animal.
It should be borne in mind - if diarrhea continues after two days of such treatment, antibacterial drugs will be needed, No-shpu is used for intestinal cramps. Boiled water can be replaced by decoctions of the following plants - oak bark, elecampane, horse sorrel, alder catkins, St. John's wort.
Viral diarrhea: symptoms, treatment
Diarrhea due to the entry into the body of calves of a viral infection occurs due to several pathogens.
The source of infection can be sick or already infected animals, in addition, rotavirus is able to invade the calf during fetal development through the placenta from the mother.
The incubation period can last from 16 hours to a day. Symptoms appear abruptly, these are:
- depressed state of young animals;
- the temperature can rise to 41 degrees;
- feces - watery, yellow with a sour smell;
- despite signs of dehydration, calves refuse to drink water, however, continue to eat, despite a decrease in appetite;
- in the future, feces become dirty, blood appears in them;
- the animal has tachycardia;
- viscous saliva flows out of the mouth.
Most susceptible are 1-2-day-old animals that can be infected immediately after birth.
The most effective treatment regimen for rotovirus in young animals involves a combination of drugs such as Fosprenil and Gamavit (intramuscularly and intravenously) for four days. Half an hour before eating calves give 10 ml of infusion of chamomile and horse sorrel.
Such therapy is far superior in effectiveness to the use of Trivit and Kanamycin, and raises animals even in extremely serious condition.
No less serious ailment that can be transmitted to young animals from sick animals through drinking bowls, feeders, bedding, and other infected objects. In some cases, this occurs by airborne droplets. Symptoms of the disease are similar to those that occur when animals are affected by rotavirus, with the exception of foamy salivation due to the presence of ulcers in the oral cavity.
Treatment of this infection is carried out using intramuscular injections of the serum of animal donors in combination with a solution of Zoolan. Additionally, calves are fed colostrum and milk to vaccinated cows.
To restore the water balance, apply isotonic sodium bicarbonate solution intravenously (13 grams of the product per 1 liter of water). Also, a mixture of sodium and potassium chlorides with sodium bicarbonate, potassium phosphate is used from dehydration. 5.7 g of the mixture are dissolved in 1 liter of hay. As a prevention of secondary infection, Spectrum B, Hygromycin or Biomycin is used.
Such an infection in calves can occur in an acute form. Most often, young animals aged from 14 days to a month are susceptible to disease. Pathogens affect the respiratory and digestive organs, lymphoid tissue and visual apparatus.
The cause of the disease can be non-sterile litter, contaminated water, feed. Calves can become infected by airborne droplets from sick animals.
In general, infection occurs in winter and spring, when the immunity of young individuals is reduced.
The latent period lasts about a week and is accompanied by the appearance of the following symptoms:
- first of all, babies have abundant nasal discharge and lacrimation;
- after 3-4 days, the mucus becomes purulent;
- calves lose their appetite;
- their breathing is difficult, the pulse becomes quickened;
- the animals develop a dry cough;
- after a couple of days, they begin to suffer from increased gas formation in the scar, colic and diarrhea;
- liquid feces have a brownish-gray color, they contain mucus, and sometimes blood fragments;
- the temperature reaches 41.5 degrees by the fourth day, and can remain at this level for up to 9 days.
In general, during this period the animal is in deep depression and urgent treatment is required. It consists in the use of hyperimmune serum, and serum from parainfluenza, rhinotracheitis and chlamydia is also used.
Good results are obtained using the blood of already ill animals, Immunoferon, Isoquaterine and the herbal preparation Ligaverin. Also, a mixture of turpentine, tar, sulfonamides or Iodotriethylene glycol in the form of aerosols is effective in the treatment.
A common viral disease in cattle, which can lead to the death of young animals, causing significant economic damage to the economy. The causative agent is the herpes virus. For dairy calves, the disease is a serious danger.
Infection occurs from carriers and sick animals with a pronounced clinical picture, both through direct contact, and through food, milk, airborne, intrauterine route through the placenta.
Symptoms of the disease appear after 2-10 days:
- calves have a fever;
- breathing becomes quicker;
- signs of depression appear;
- foamy saliva is released;
- cough begins;
- outflows from the nose are observed - initially transparent, and then purulent;
- the development of the disease is accompanied by the appearance of ulcers, bronchopneumonia and diarrhea.
For the treatment of rhinotracheitis, aerosols containing serums made on the basis of the blood of sick individuals are used. At the same time, such drugs as Endoviraza and Albuvir are used for therapy and prevention.
In order to prevent bacterial damage, young animals are given Tetracycline, Ditrim and Nitox 200. These drugs are combined with mucolytic (expectorant) and general strengthening agents to restore immunity.
In addition to therapeutic measures, the disinfection of the premises and the observance of veterinary and sanitary standards are important. When transferring calves to the quarantine zone, they are given general strengthening agents and drugs that relieve stress.
Bacterial infections in calves
Various types of bacteria can cause intestinal upset in young animals.
It is usually observed in newborn calves, the weakest with a low acidity of the body, a low content of gamma globulins in the blood. The causes may be a chronic mother’s disease, vitamin deficiency, poor liver function, as well as banal conditions such as improper maintenance and unsanitary conditions.
Symptoms of the disease are:
- temperature rise;
- intense gas formation;
- painful colic;
- lethargy, lethargy, refusal of milk;
- loose stools of a characteristic yellow hue, subsequently having a gray-white color, containing flakes of foam, an admixture of mucus and blood with a repulsive odor.
When you click on the abdominal wall, the animal is in pain, his stomach is pulled up or swollen, his eyes sink. For a short time, the temperature can rise to 41 degrees, the hair looks disheveled and dull.
Treatment can lift the calf to its feet if started at the first sign of infection. As a medicine, Colifag, Gamma globulin, and immune serum are used. Previously, the baby is given a soda solution in an amount of 30 ml. To restore the water balance, young animals are fed with an isotonic solution with a chicken egg mixed in it. In the treatment of children, they are separated from the mother and hand-watered from a bottle.
Of the antibiotics for intestinal disorders, it is recommended that animals be given Ampicillin, Tetracycline, Hectamycin and Spectam in combination with milk.
To maintain a normal intestinal environment, probiotics Bifidumbacterin and Enterobifidin are indicated. In addition, young animals are fed several times a day with enveloping decoctions of flax, oats and rice, and salt solutions. Strengthen immunity will help decoctions of sage, oak bark, chamomile, horse sorrel.
The disease is triggered by the Salmonella bacterium, and the main reason is the unsanitary conditions for keeping the calves or a large number of them in one area. Worst of all, animals that have been infected with this infection remain its carrier and pose a danger to a healthy livestock. Infection occurs through the digestive system.
Signs of pathology:
- temperature rises (from 39 to 42 degrees);
- lack of appetite;
- mucus is secreted from the nose;
- already on the second day, diarrhea begins, later feces can flow out arbitrarily.
In the acute form, cough, runny nose, and signs of arthritis are added to these symptoms. In this position, calves need complex therapy, which consists in the administration of multivalent antitoxic serum and the use of antibacterial agents such as Neomycin, Levomycetin, Chlortetracycline (Tetracycline). Synthomycin is given along with milk.
The causative agent is a bacterium of the Clostridia family, which produces severe intoxication in calves, and therefore their death occurs if no attempt is immediately made to cure.
First of all, the animal’s nervous system and its digestive system are affected. Infection occurs through food, water, as well as by contact from a sick individual.
Severe symptoms of the disease:
- high temperature (41-42 degrees);
- impaired coordination of movements;
- muscle cramps;
- rapid pulse and breathing;
- poor appetite;
- brown diarrhea with blisters and an admixture of blood.
At the initial stage, the use of antibiotics-sulfanilamides, antitoxic serum (polyvalent, aluminum hydroxide vaccine) is effective for treatment. To restore the work of the digestive tract, acidophilus, acidified with hydrochloric acid water and milk, and gastric juice are used.
In addition to enterotoxemia, this anaerobic microorganism can cause tetanus in the livestock, malignant edema, in which the body temperature does not rise, but also depletion of the body and digestive problems are observed. With botulism, calves also suffer from diarrhea.
Other causes of diarrhea
Diarrhea in calves can also be a consequence of infection with cryptosporidiosis - a protozoal infection provoked by Cryptosporidium microorganisms. It penetrates when swallowing infected water, feed, milk.
Symptoms are expressed in the following changes:
- in a sick animal, appetite disappears;
- it loses in body weight;
- calves are very thirsty;
- their eyes are dull;
- the skin is distinguished by a bluish tint;
- the disease is accompanied by diarrhea, muscle tremors, heart palpitations.
The treatment is based on dietary nutrition, feeding calves with flax broth and isotonic mixtures to improve the water-mineral balance. Kids are given Norsulfazole, Khimkoksid in combination with Farmazin, Polymyxin and Vitamin C. The use of the probiotic Immunobacterin D.
In calves 20 days of age and older, cases of coccidosis have also been reported. Coccidia are unicellular parasites that can destroy the intestinal tissue of an animal. Symptoms appear immediately, this intestinal disorder - loose stool with an admixture of blood. Body temperature also rises, feces are released involuntarily. Appetite may disappear completely.
The kids are treated with Ichthyol, Timol, they are given milk with the addition of ammonium sulfate. It is important to sanitize the room, feeders and bedding of animals.
In addition, often diarrhea in young individuals can be associated with the presence of nitrates, fungal organisms and mold in food and water. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully monitor the quality of the feed and keeping the animals clean.
Complication and consequences
Any disease in calves, if untreated, can be fatal, because the development of pathology is passing rapidly.
Various ailments are fraught with all kinds of complications that logically lead to the death of the animal:
- In viral diseases, frequent complications are eye damage (keratoconjunctivitis) and meningoencephalitis. When the animal’s lungs are involved in the process, this can lead to bronchial obstruction, suffocation, and natural death.
- No less terrible is encephalitis, which can occur as a result of infection with rhinotracheitis. Ill calves become agitated, aggressive, however, very soon they may experience cramps, impaired motor coordination and paralysis.
- With colibacteriosis in young animals, the lungs and joints can be affected, lameness appears, their body quickly depletes and dehydrates. Before death occurs, calves can suffer from several days to several weeks, it all depends on the degree of damage.
- The danger of enterotoxemia is multiple hemorrhages, inflammation of the ileum and small intestine with concomitant tissue necrosis.
It turns out that the only way to save the animal, there remains a timely appeal to the veterinarian.
Prevention of diarrhea
The basic principles of protecting a young livestock from diseases that cause diarrhea are hygienic cleanliness, high quality feed, correct and long-term feeding of healthy cows to young calves with colostrum, helping them strengthen their immunity.
Preventive measures include:
- strict compliance with sanitary requirements for the maintenance of young animals;
- regular treatment and prophylactic procedures, including vaccination;
- when feeding, special substances that prevent the appearance of different types of fungal microorganisms and mold in the water and feed should be added to the calf’s diet;
- Relieved calves need to be given complexes of essential vitamins, herbal preparations and decoctions to improve the digestive and immune systems;
- to avoid intestinal infections, it is important to immunize the cows-uterus about a month before calving;
- it is mandatory to check new, incoming animals for various diseases;
- vaccination of calves is also necessary, but apply it only to absolutely healthy animals, its duration is 6 months.
Diarrhea in a calf is easier to prevent than to treat, and all acceptable methods are good for this. You can take care of this even before the birth of babies by organizing vaccination of the uterus. Equally important are the conditions of detention, which should be thought out thoroughly.