Diseases of the newborn calves and lambs
Calves are an important part of dairy economics as calves are future of the farm. Good animals cannot be purchased from markets or mandis, they have to be developed at the farm. Good productive animals raise at farms and that is why calves lay a strong foundation of profitable dairy farming.
But in India’s calves do not give much importance and they face a high mortality rate during the first 3 months of life. Here, we broadly see diseases of the newborn animals.
Newborn diseases have great economic importance among dairy farms. These diseases cause a high mortality rate among newborn lambs (20%) and calves (10-30 %). These diseases may be:
 Physical cause: (Hyper or hypothermia)
 Parturient injury from dystocia
 Congenital Defects
 Poisonous plants: May cause teratogenic effects.
 Fetal hypoxia (neonatal hypoxia)
 Neonatal hypothermia.
 Failure of passive transfer (FPT)
 Umbilical abnormalities
These defects have a maternal cause. They include:
|(1) Virus infections||(2) Nutritional Deficiency|
|1) Blue virus: in lambs.||1) Iodine: goiter in all species.|
|2) Bovine viral diarrhea virus.||2) Copper deficiency in lambs.|
|3) Akabane virus.||3) Cobalt.|
Fetal hypoxia (Neonatal hypoxia)
It is common in foals, when foals are born in a primary apneic state, but gasping respiration begins within 30 to 60 seconds.
Placental dysfunction or occlusion of the umbilicus in the second stage of labor.
(1) Low birth weight, weak (causing weak calf syndrome), unable to stand.
(2) Respiratory distress.
(3) Absence of sucking and swallowing reflex.
(4) Finally subnormal temperature and death within 10-15minutes after birth or live for several hours.
(1) Avoid any vigorous movement during manipulation.
(2) Extending the head and clearing the nostrils of mucus.
(3) Close one nostril by hand and breathing forcibly into the other opening, with slight chest massage. Continue about 25/min until respiration is spontaneous.
(4) IV injection of 200ml 5% sodium bicarbonate solution for calf and foal, 20 ml for lamb, kid to treat the acidosis.
(5) Stomach tube feeding using milk (or reconstituted dried milk) at the rate of 80ml/kg /day in 10 divided feeds.
(6) Feeding of warm colostrum and fluid therapy.
Severe hypothermia (less than 37°C):
(1) The animal should be dried off after birthing.
(2) Immersion of the animal in water at38°C, then dried.
(3) Rectal enema with warm water.
(4) Warm the surrounding place by warmer or even firing.
(5) IV injection of glucose (10-40 %, of 39°C in dose of 30-50ml) & calcium preparation.
(6) General tonics and cardiorespiratory stimulants (Corticosteroid preparation to prevent shock).
(1) Warm birthing place, free from air current.
(2) Changing the calving season to a warmer time of the year to minimize exposure to severe weather.
(3) Providing a protective shelter.
(4) Providing adequate assistance at the time of birthing to minimize the incidence of dystocia.
(5) Give colostrum after birth in suitable amount & time.
(6) In foal, additional insulation with foal rugs and leg bandages will reduce heat loss from dry body surfaces.
(7) Frequent monitoring of both rectal and air temperature help in early diagnosis.
Further diseases – click to read