Background: Nonantibiotic alternatives providing local gut immunity have been recommended for managing calf diarrhea. Animals: One hundred and two calves with diarrhea. Hypothesis: Oral supplementation with immunoglobulins in calves with diarrhea will reduce time to resolution of diarrhea, number of treatment events, and mortality rate. Methods: Randomized controlled trial. Calves were assigned into 1 of 3 groups. The treatment group was supplemented with 20 g of immunoglobulins in milk twice daily for 14 days. The placebo group was supplemented with 20 g of a product with similar nutritional value as the treatment group, but without immunoglobulins, in milk, twice daily for 14 days. The control group received no supplements. Medical treatments, time to resolution of diarrhea, and case fatality rates were compared. Results: There was no difference in the proportion of treatment events (treatment, 79% versus placebo, 77% versus control, 71%) among groups (P =.69). The median time to resolution of diarrhea was not different between the treatment (10.5 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7, 13) and control (8 days; 95% CI, 5, 10) groups (P =.08) or between the placebo (6.5 days; 95% CI, 3, 9) and control groups (P =.89). Median time to resolution was shorter (P =.008) in the placebo compared to the treatment group (6.5 versus 10.5 days). Case fatality rates among groups (treatment, 12% versus placebo, 3% versus control, 3%) were not different (P =.36). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Expected benefits of conferring local gut immunity by immunoglobulin supplementation in calves with diarrhea were not evident.
- fecal score
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