Effect of birthweight, total protein, serum IgG and packed cell volume on risk of neonatal diarrhea in calves on two California dairies.

J. Paré, Mark Thurmond, Ian Gardner, J. P. Picanso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of the study was to determine if there was a relationship between hematological, immunological and physiological variables of newborn calves and risk of diarrhea during the neonatal period. Four hundred and seventeen heifer calves from two dairies (A and B) in the San Joaquin Valley of California were enrolled at birth and scored daily, to 28 days of age, for evidence and severity of diarrhea (0 to 3). Calves were weighted at birth and blood sampled at two to five days of age to determine packed cell volume (PCV), total protein (TP) and IgG serum concentration. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine if age at onset of the first diarrhea episode and length of the first episode were associated with the hypothesized variables (PCV, TP, IgG and birthweight). The IgG concentration was not associated with the age at onset of diarrhea (p = 0.6052, Dairy A; p = 0.4393, Dairy B) but a high IgG concentration was associated with a decreased length of episode (p = 0.0325, Dairy A; p = 0.0912, Dairy B), particularly for calves born in the winter on dairy A (p = 0.0211). For calves born in the winter, those with either a high or a low birthweight had diarrhea at a younger age (p = 0.0102, Dairy A; p = 0.0020, Dairy B). Associations were also found for PCV and TP with both the age at onset and length of the first episode of diarrhea. Results suggest that parameters measurable at, or shortly after birth may have important prognostic value in evaluating risk of calf diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche veterinaire
Volume57
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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