An epidemiologic study of mortality in veal calves subsequent to an episode of zinc toxicosis on a California veal calf operation using zinc sulfate-supplemented milk replacer.

T. W. Graham, Mark Thurmond, M. S. Clegg, Carl L Keen, C. A. Holmberg, M. R. Slanker, W. J. Goodger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ninety-five 3- to 6-month old male Holstein veal calves were evaluated after an episode of zinc toxicosis, to describe clinical signs and to identify management and/or host-related factors that may have contributed to death. Clinical signs appeared 23 days after feeding of milk replacer commenced. Of 85 calves examined, 64 had pneumonia (75.5%), 62 had ocular signs (72.9%), 46 had diarrhea (54.1%), 34 were anorectic (40.0%), 15 were bloated (17.6%), 8 had cardiac arrhythmias (9.4%), 3 had convulsions (3.5%), and 3 were polydipsic/polyphagic (3.5%). Clinical signs began to appear when calves each were being fed approximately 1.5 to 2.0 g of zinc/day and exposed to a cumulative zinc intake of 42 to 70 g, from a milk replacer containing 706 micrograms of elemental zinc/g of milk replacer. Of 95 calves studied, 1 died before zinc was supplemented, 16 died during the episode, 12 were euthanatized, 1 was lost to follow-up evaluation, 1 was culled, and 64 were slaughtered. Deaths attributable to zinc toxicosis were observed between 25 and 53 days after the milk replacer was supplemented with zinc. Calves died while being exposed cumulatively to 30 to 66 g of zinc. The factors of previous pneumonia severity, age, cumulative daily exposure to zinc, and calf location within a bay were examined for possible associations with mortality, using stepwise logistic regression. Though younger calves tended to have a higher mortality than older calves, neither age category nor severity of pneumonia, before zinc supplementation, accounted for a significant mortality.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1301
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume190
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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