Ask the Expert: Salmonella or respiratory disease?
- High temperature (fever)
- Runny eyes or nose (often with mucous/snotty appearance)
- Ears lowered or off balance
- Unprovoked coughing
- Heavy breathing
- Housing – Calves require good air. The University of Wisconsin has published data clearly showing that the use of mechanical positive low flow ventilation in calf barns to bring in fresh air and push our poor quality air keeps calves healthy.
- Colostrum/passive transfer – The half life of IgG levels in the blood is roughly 18 to 21 days. Low levels of passively acquired antibodies may contribute to pneumonia in preweaned calves.
- Bedding/environment – Make sure calves are warm and dry to allow them to stay healthy. Use lots of good quality dry bedding.
- Biosecurity – Manage all preweaned calf housing to follow all-in all-out principles. Do not allow pathogens from older animals to infect younger animals. Clean. Clean. Clean. Allow your calf facility (hutch or barn) to dry out (after fully cleaned) between calves for at least one week. Do not introduce calves to your facility unless you know their history and disease status of the dam.
- BVD-PI – Work with your veterinarian to eliminate any BVD-PI animals in the herd. Simple ear notching can be done to help monitor and protect your calves from this immune suppressing disease.
- Nutrition/immunity – Make sure you are feeding your calves adequate levels of protein, energy, minerals and vitamins. This is where your nutritionist can help.
- Minimize stresses – Do not perform multiple processes to your young calves at the same time. Example: dehorning, vaccinating and weaning at the same time.
- If it’s a virus, a variety of good vaccines can be of help. Make sure the timing is proper for when your calves are breaking with disease.
- If it is bacterial in cause, find out what antibiotics will be useful. Use them properly and under direction of your veterinarian. Look at using properly timed bacterins.
Starting Strong - Calf Care