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Use of antimicrobial drugs in Swedish dairy calves and replacement heifers
  1. K. Ortman, DVM, PhD1 and
  2. C. Svensson, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Department of Animal Environment and Health, Section for Production Diseases, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 234, 532 23 Skara, Sweden


A total of 3081 heifer calves in 122 Swedish dairy herds were monitored from birth to first calving, and all their diseases and treatments were recorded. There were 1268 cases of infectious diseases, of which 335 (26.4 per cent) were treated with antimicrobial drugs. Just over 90 per cent of the treatments were given during the first 210 days of the calves' lives, but only 61.8 per cent of the total quantity of antimicrobial drugs was consumed during this period. The most common diseases from birth until 210 days were respiratory diseases and diarrhoea; treatments for mastitis and interdigital phlegmon (foul in the foot) were more common after 420 days of age. Slightly more than 60 per cent of the treatments were given by the farmers without prior consultation with a veterinary surgeon.

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