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Infectious calf diarrhea


Title: Infectious calf diarrhea Author: Abswlfattah Last modified by: abdelfattah Created Date: 11/13/2011 7:00:07 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Infectious calf diarrhea

Infectious calf diarrhea
  • Calf scours is not a specific disease with a
    specific cause, but is actually a clinical sign
    of a disease complex with many possible causes.
    It mainly develops during the first 30-50 days of
  • Scours occur when normal movement of water into
    and out of the digestive tract is disrupted,
    resulting in water loss and dehydration. Loss of
    body fluids through diarrhea is accompanied by
    loss of body salts. This fluid and electrolyte
    loss produces a change in body chemistry that can
    lead to severe depression in the calf and
    eventual death. 

  • Noninfectious Scours
  • Calves do best under consistent circumstances.
    Sudden changes, especially to the feeding
    program, Overfeeding, switching milk replacer
    brands or changing from a high to a low quality
    milk replacer formulation can adversely affect
    digestion. Ingredient differences, taste,
    nutrient and product density can affect a calf's
    willingness to drink as well as its performance.
    Changes like these should be evaluated and made

Infectious Scours
  • Bacterial Agents 1. Escherichia coli three group
    can be identified
  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli, these strains adeher the
    mucosal surface of intestine and secret four
    toxins (enterotoxins, sidophores, verotoxins and
    hemolysin), these strains contain k99 antigen
    which play the main role in toxin production.
  • Enteropathogenic E. coli, these strain colonize
    in small intetsine, cause diarrhea and not
    produce enterotoxins.
  • Enterohemorrhagic E. coli, these strains colonize
    large intesine, cuases mild dysentry.

  • Clinical signs
  • Septicemia
  • E.coli septicemia occurs in calves in the first
    few days of life.
  • It is characterized by an acute generalized
    infection, sometimes with diarrhea at the late
    stage (mucoid feces), with signs of shock
    (listlessness, poor response to external stimuli,
    tachycardia, coma), often followed by death (in
    3-8 h with fatality of up to 100).
  • In some animal infection become localized causing
    polyarthritis, pneumonia and meningitis.
  • Diarrhea
  • watery diarrhea followed by dehydration,
    metabolic acidosis and death. Calve produce large
    amounts of foul smelling pasty or watery feces
    varying from pale yellow to white in colour
    (white scour)and occasionally containing flecks
    of blood. Loss of body weight, dehydration
  • In very severe case, calves will collapse,
    demonstrating weakness, recumbency and
    hypothermia, progressing to death possibly with
    convulsions if not treated

  • E. coli are everywhere in manure-contaminated mud!

Bad conditions gt Calf gets mouthful of E. coli!
Low density, no mud gt Excellent conditions!
Calving on Winter Feedground
High density, lots of manure gt Very poor
  • 2. Salmonella species
  • The serotypes (serovars) that most commonly cause
    salmonellosis in farm animal species are as
  • Cattle S. typhimurium, S. dublin, Salmonella
  • Sheep and goats S. abortusovis, S. typhimurium,
    S. dublin, Salmonella anatum

Salmonella Excretion Routes
Oronasal Secretions
Bad Practice!
  • Clinical signs
  • Septicemic form
  • It is common in newborn calves and showed high
    fever (40-42 C), depression, dullness and death.
    Newborn animals that survive from septicemia
    develop enteritis, polyarthritis and pneumonia.
  • Acute enteritis
  • In calves, disease usually occurs between two and
    six weeks after birth,
  • Fever follows by diarrhea, which was bloodstained
    and may contain ?brin and mucus. Eventually, the
    faeces become dark brown and watery with an
    offensive odour
  • The calves become very weak and dehydrated and
    death usually occurs after ?ve to seven days of
    illness in untreated individuals.

  • Chronis enteritis
  • This form occurs in adult calves, intermittent
    fever and intermittent or persistent diarrhea
    with spots of blood and mucous
  • The sequel of some case of enteric salmonellosis
    is the development of ischemia and dry gangrene
    of extremities including ear lips, tail tips and
    limbs from the fetlock down
  • Sheep and goats
  • Clinical signs of salmonellosis in sheep are
    varied and include general systemic and enteric
    manifestation and abortion (in the last 6 weeks
    of gestation).
  • Ewes infected with S. abortus show abortion as
    the main sign with unnoticeable pyrexia.
  • S. typhimurium and S. Dublin cause enteric and
    systemic signs as fever, anorexia, profuse scour,
    abortion and death due to septicemia or

  • 3. Clostridium perfringens  Types C D 
  • cause enterotoxemia, an acute intestinal
    infection, and kill through the production of a
    systemic toxin. Clostridium perfringens is
    normally found in the intestine of cattle and can
    survive for months in the soil. Overeating or
    sudden change of diet tend to produce
    indigestion, which slows gut movement, providing
    the sugars, proteins and lack of oxygen for rapid
    growth of Clostridium perfringens. Wet conditions
    also seem to favor this organism
  • Clinical signs Affected calves show uneasiness
    and strain or kick at their abdomen. Calves are
    often found dead without having shown any
  • OccuranceUsually affects calves less than 10 -14
    days of age

  • Viral agents
  • Rotavirus
  • Rotavirus is a new genus within the family
    Reoviridae. The presence of colostral antibodies
    against rota virus in lumen of intestine give
    protection but antibodies in serum does not
    protect animals against clinical disease
  • Viruses of this type can cause scours in calves
    within 24 hours of birth. It can affect calves up
    to 30 days of age or older mainly with 4-14 days
    of age. Infected calves are severely depressed.
    There may be a drooling of saliva and profuse
    watery diarrhea. The feces will vary in color
    from yellow to green. Abdomen is distended at the
    right lower quarter with fluid-filled intestine.
  • Calves lose their appetite and the death rate may
    be as high as 50 percent, depending on the
    secondary bacteria present

  • 2. Coronavirus
  • Scours caused by coronavirus occurs in calves
    that are over 5 days of age.
  • When the infection first starts in a herd, calves
    up to 6 weeks of age may scour.
  • These calves are not as depressed as those
    infected with rotavirus. Initially, the fecal
    material may have the same appearance as that
    caused by rotavirus.
  • As the calf continues to scour for several hours,
    however, the fecal material may contain clear
    mucus that resembles the white of an egg

  • 3. Herpesvirus (infectious bovine
  • Herpesvirus type 1 may causes alimentary disease
    with mucosal lesion

  • Protozoal Agents
  • Coccidia and Cryptosporidia 
  • are found in nearly all cattle populations.
    These organisms enter the body through
    contaminated feed and water and can lay dormant
    in manure and soil for up to one year. Once in
    the intestine, the oocysts (eggs) release
    protozoa that multiply, attach to and enter the
    cells of the intestinal lining decreasing
    digestion and absorption of feed ingredients
  • Clinical signs animals suffer reduced feed
    consumption, Acute infections result in diarrhea
    (often with blood), depression, weight loss,
    dehydration, but calves will often continue to
  • Occurrence Coccidia have a 21-day life cycle, so
    it is unlikely that calves will scour before
    18-19 days of age

  • Cryptosporidia are typically found in calves from
    7 - 21 days of age
  • Cryptosporidia are often detected in combination
    with rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli.

Parasitic agents
  • It is a parasitic disease caused by heavy
    infestation of small intestine by Ascaris worms,
    it affect calves of 2-5 months.
  • It characterized by alternative constipation and
    diarrhea, pot-belly and colic. Signs of
    bronchopneumonia as cough and dyspnea due to
    migration of immature worm through liver and lung.

Most Common Infectious Organisms and the Age of Diarrhea Most Common Infectious Organisms and the Age of Diarrhea
Organism Age of Diarrhea
E. Coli First 3 days
Salmonella Day 5 14
Corona Virus Day 3 7
Roatvirus Day 3 7
Eimeria spp. (coccodiosis) Day 18 19 to 6 months
Cryptosporidium parvum (parasite) Day 7 21
Giardia spp. (protozoa) Day 14 21
Most Common NonInfectious Organisms Most Common NonInfectious Organisms
Underfeeding Overfeeding
Selenium deficiency Antibiotic treatment
Other oral treatments Unknown causes
  • The common feature of newborn calf diarrhea is
    the dehydration, which results whether the cause
    of the diarrhea is infectious or nutritional.
    Therefore, rehydration by oral and/or parental
    means is the basis of the treatment of calf
  • In young calves, death caused by diarrhea is
    mainly attributed to fluid losses, electrolyte
    imbalances, and increased excretion of water,
    minerals and nutrients.
  • The total fecal volume in diarrheic calves may be
    about 40 times than normal.

  • Dehydration is initially due to plasma losses but
    later is due to fluid loss from extravascular
    compartments. Severe metabolic changes can occur
    in calves with diarrhea. If the disease is
    progressive, the acidosis becomes more severe,
    lactic acidosis develops because of a reduced
    ability to utilize lactic acid, and severe
    hypoglycemia may occur because of a reduced rate
    of conversion of lactic acid to glucose. If
    extensive fluids are lost, hypovolemia and shock
  • Hyperkalemia is most common in dehydrated
    diarrheic calves that are severely acidotic. The
    potassium moves out of the intracellular space
    into the extracellular space, resulting in
    hyperkalemia. The predominant clinical finding is
    bradycardia (heart rate lt 90 bpm) in a dehydrated
    diarrheic calf. However, hypoglycemia and
    hyothermia may be associated with bradycardia in
    a similar calf

  • It depends on animal conditions, care received
    and virulence of the causative agent. High
    percentage of calves will recover with the proper
    care and treatment.

  • A. field diagnosis
  • History and epidemiology of the disease
  • Clinical signs
  • Postmortem lesions

  • B. Laboratory diagnosis
  • Samples
  • From live animals feces, rectal swabs, nasal
    swabs, synovial from infected joint, blood and
  • From dead animals parts from liver, gall
    bladder, spleen, brain, kidney, lymphnode
    especially mesenteric lymphnodes (gall bladder
    and mesenteric lymphnodes were proved to the
    predilection sites for isolation for

Laboratory examinations
  • Isolation the organism on selective media as
    McConkey agar for E. coli, selenit F broth or
    tetrathionate broth for salmonella or, Virus
    isolation on cell culture using fecal filtrate or
    tissue suspension.
  • Serological examination It has diagnostic value
    to identify salmonella infected herds, especially
  • ELISA, it can be used for detection of carrier in
    case of S. Dublin in adult cattle.
  • Latex agglutination test it can be used for
    identification of S. enteridis.
  • Indirect hemagglutination test it use for
    detection of salmonella infection in sheep.
  • CFT it can be used for identification of recent
    S. dublin infection.

  • Serological examination, antigen of K99 can be
    done by slide agglutination. Also, ELISA, FAT can
    be performed on fecal samples.
  • Hematological analysis leukopenia, neutropenia,
    and hyperkalemia.
  • A serological test such as ELISA, is the most
    sensitive test for detection of virus (rota and
    crona virus) in feces of the infected calve.
    Besides FAT and immunodiffusion test.
  • Carrier diagnosis (salmonellosis) The
    recommended procedures for diagnosis of carriers
    depends on a combination of fecal culture of all
    animals at 7-14 days intervals for 3 examinations
    and serological examination such as ELISA.

  • Treatment
  • Fluid therpy
  • The fluid therapy is based on isotonic equimolar
    mixture of sodium and glucose. the hydration
    treatment on the degree of the dehydration

Content Formula 1 Formula 2
Sodium chloride 20g 25g
Sodium bicarbonate 20g 4.5g
Potassium chloride 6g 3g
Glucose 200g 130g
water 4 liter 4liter
The guide of the estimation of the dehydration
degree and the corresponding base deficit in the
diarrheic calves.
Dehydration degree Clinical signs Dehydration () Approximate deficit base (mEq)
1 Calf is standing, skin "tents" for 4 seconds or less, eyes are bright, oral membranes are moist. 5 5
2 Calf is dull and lying down but upright, skin "tents" for 5 seconds, eyes are sunken slightly with a slight gap, limbs are cold, oral membranes are warm  7 10
3 Calf is lying flat in a coma, skin stays "tented", eyes are deeply sunken with a big gap, limbs are cold, oral membranes are cold 9 15
Per liter of extra-cellular fluid
volume of hydration therapy is 40 kg x 7 2.8
liters of fluid plus allowance for maintenance
requirements (minimum of 100 ml/kg/day). The
maintenance requirements for a 40 kg calf are 40
kg x 100 4 liters fluid. Therefore, total volume
of fluid should be given over 3 feedings.
(No Transcript)
  • Bicarbonate should not be added to solutions
    containing calcium, such as Lactated Ringer's
    Solution, as a precipitate may form. Bicarbonate
    may be added to saline solutions.
  • Lactated ringers solution is the best treatment
    for calves with severe dehydration and metabolic
    acidosis. Physiological (0.9) saline with up to
    5 gm NaHCO3, 50 gm glucose/liter

  • Milk feeding to calves with diarrhea is still
    debated, but evidence is accumulating that
    feeding milk to a calf with diarrhea is unlikely
    to negatively affect outcome.
  • On the other hand, withholding milk from calves
    with coronavirus, cryptosporidiosis or salmonella
    over the long period it takes for the diarrhea to
    resolve may result in the calf starving to death.
  • Digestion and absorption of milk or milk replacer
    may be maximized in diarrheic calves by feeding
    smaller but more frequent milk meals.
  • If bicarbonate-containing oral electrolyte
    solutions are also being used, they should be
    given at least 30 to 60 minutes after a milk meal
    to minimize their disruption of milk digestion

  • Gut protectants or adsorbents such as
    Koalin-Pectin or Bismuth salts are sometimes used
    as adjunct therapy for diarrhea. Kaolin-pectin,
    while it may improve the character of the stool,
    has not been shown to improve fluid and
    electrolyte imbalances
  • Hypothermia can be a significant problem in
    diarrheic calves. Oral and intravenous fluids
    should be warmed to target body temperature
    before administration. Calves with severe
    hypothermia may be most effectively warmed by
    submersion in a warm water bath

  • probiotics
  • Probiotics supplement the intestinal flora with
    viable beneficial bacteria and thus create
    unfavorable conditions for the growth of
    enteropathogens, reduce the occurrence of scours,
    and are rather a complementary therapy for
    resorting balance to intestinal flora. The
    currently available probiotics contain strains of
    lactobacillus and streptococcus spp. The minimum
    effective dose is 108-109 CFU/calf/day.

  • Immunoglobulins
  • Gut acting immunoglobulins is one of the most
    recent methods of treatment of diarrhea.
    Immunoglobulins prepared in egg yolk (IgY)
    against enteropathogens can be used as
    immunotherapy or prophylactic against intestinal
  • 6. Supportive treatment
  • It includes astringents and adsorbents
    (antidiarrhea), parasympatholoytics and
    spasmolytics to counteract the hyperperistalsis
    of the intestine.

  • Reduction of the degree of exposure of newborn
    calves to infectious agents
  • Proper housing and management of calves
  • Calves should be born in well bedded clean
    hygienic calving boxes.
  • Overcrowding should be avoided, individual pen
    for each calf or 8 calves of approximately of
    equal age in one unit.
  • The ground of the pens should be of suitable
    slopping to permit good drainage and they should
    be disinfected periodically once a week.
  • Feeding and water utensils should be placed away
    from fecal contamination and should be cleaned
    and disinfected after each use.
  • Immediately after birth the umbilicus of the calf
    should be swabbed with 2 iodine.
  • Calves affected with diarrhea should be removed
    from the main calf barn if possible and treated
    in isolation and dont return back to group of
    calves at risk (gt30 days of age).
  • Prophylactic medication with antibiotic or
    sulfonamides for first week of life, injection of
    Vit A, blood or serum transfusion can be applied
    if necessary.

  • Proper housing and management of dams
  • Dams should be placed in good hygienic house with
    calving pens.
  • Dams should received good balanced ration.
  • Movement of heavy pregnant dam should be avoided.
  • Prepartum milking should be avoided.
  • The perineum and udder of the dairy cow should be
    washed shortly before calving.

  • Provision of maximum non specific resistance
  • Optimal nutrition to the pregnant dam should be
    give in order to obtain a vigorous newborn animal
    and adequate quantities of colostrums.
  • Calves should early receive colostrums (50 ml/kg
    in the first 2 hours of life). Natural suckling
    of colostrums from the udder is better than
    bucket feeding (calf is able to stand within 20
    minutes after birth and able to suck after 3
    hours of birth). The level of the serum
    immunoglobulins can be estimated by zinc sulfate
    turbidity test at 24 hours of age.
  • Calves show low serum immunoglobulin level should
    receive purified bovine immunoglobulins as 30-50
    g inoculated intravenously, The alternative way
    is feeding of fermented colostrums for up to 3
    weeks of age to elevate the lactoglobulin in the
    intestinal tract, which reduces the incidence of
  • Stress factors should be avoided with adequate
    housing area and good ventilation.

  • Increasing specific resistance of the newborn by
    vaccinating the pregnant dam or the newborn
  • The immunization of neonate farm animals against
    colibacillosis by vaccination of the pregnant dam
    or by vaccination of the neonate. Vaccination is
    aid to the good management, but can not
    compensate the inadequate management