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Serum total protein influences the health of dairy calves

VS Cortese, MA Kirkpatrick, TH Short and others

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2020) 257, 80–6

doi: 10.2460/javma.257.1.80

• What did the research find?

Serum total protein (STP) concentration was associated with the incidence of death, diarrhoea, pneumonia and whether a calf received intravenous fluid therapy. In general, the incidence of adverse health events decreased as STP concentration increased to 6.0 g/dl, plateaued at concentrations between 6.0 and 8.5 g/dl and increased at concentrations greater than 8.5 g/dl. There was no significant association between STP concentration and septicemia or average daily weight gain.

• How was it conducted?

A total of 39,619 dairy calves arrived at a calf-raising facility at approximately two days old. Each calf was weighed on arrival, and a blood sample was obtained to determine the STP concentration. For the next 120 days, any adverse health events were recorded. After 120 days, 3214 calves were re-weighed, and the average daily weight gain …

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