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Identifying early indicators of enteric disease in dairy calves

G. L. Lowe, M. A. Sutherland, J. R. Waas and others

Journal of Dairy Science (2019) 102, 5389–402

doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15701

• What did the research find?

Calves’ milk consumption decreased before clinical signs of neonatal calf diarrhoea (NCD) appeared. A decrease in shoulder temperature and an increase in side temperature were also observed. There were no changes in respiration rate or lying time. However, the number of lying bouts decreased and lying bout duration increased before and following clinical signs of disease. There was no change in the number of visits to the water trough before NCD became apparent, but duration increased.

• How was it conducted?

In total, 43 calves were either experimentally infected with rotavirus (n=20) or remained uninfected (n=23). Health checks were conducted on a daily basis to identify when calves presented overt clinical signs of disease. In addition, faecal samples were collected to verify NCD as the cause of illness. Feeding, drinking and lying behaviours were recorded continuously, …

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