What calf diseases exist

Diseases of calves can be a real headache for a farmer, especially a beginner. If you decide to breed this type of cattle, you should be informed about the animal’s health problems, because only a healthy individual can generate income from milk, meat or selling offspring. If you provide pets with proper care, balanced nutrition and veterinary services, it is likely to avoid problems with livestock health. Let's move on to what diseases of calves and their symptoms are most common.

Calf diseases

Varieties of Infectious Diseases

This group of diseases causes maximum damage to livestock, often leading to its death. The owner must at least learn to recognize the first signs of the disease in order to start treatment on time. Otherwise, it is likely that the cattle will die, and the calf's disease will spread among other domestic animals.

It is worth saying that it is only necessary to describe the diseases in a comprehensive manner, that is, telling everything in order: symptoms, illness and treatment of calves, as well as preventive measures. What infectious diseases of calves are more common than others? It:

  • Diplococci;
  • Colibacillosis;
  • Cryprosporidiosis;
  • Salmonella;
  • Enteritis;
  • Dysentery.

These ailments can safely be called the most dangerous, since the signs develop quite quickly, and the infection spreads in many ways. It is necessary to ensure such conditions of keeping cattle in which the risk of an ailment will be minimal. The complex of measures include the following:

  • hygiene of the barn and surrounding area;
  • quality fresh food and water.

Even if the animal becomes ill, under normal conditions, the healing process will be much faster and easier. You can also protect other animals from infection, thereby facilitating the course of treatment for yourself and the veterinarian.

Let us describe each of the listed diseases of calves in more detail.

Colibacillus infection

This disease is called colibacteriosis, young animals suffer most often, therefore newborn calves are at risk. The disease in calves is caused by E. coli, which enters the food or water of livestock.

Symptoms of colibacillosis:

  • Increase in temperature indicators.
  • A significant increase in the mucous membrane.
  • Diarrhea: frequent, foamy, green or yellow stools.
  • Calves are lethargic, weak.
  • Appetite worsens or is absent altogether.
  • The folds near the mouth and lips noticeably swell.

If one or more of these symptoms become noticeable, you should immediately seek help from a veterinarian. If colibacteriosis is left untreated, it is likely that the animal will die from intoxication or dehydration.

How is colibacteriosis transmitted? As mentioned earlier, the transmission routes are most often foodborne, that is, through food or water. However, the possibility of the spread of bacteria from an infected animal to a healthy one is not ruled out. It is also worth considering that not only calves suffer from colibacteriosis, but also young piglets, goats and other representatives of domestic animals.

An error in feeding can provoke the development of colibacteriosis, especially at the moment when the calves are breast-fed. For example, if the cow had a dirty udder or had an inflammatory process, the risk of contracting increases significantly. If you closely monitor the cleanliness of the barn, food and water change in accordance with the schedule, you can significantly reduce the risk of this disease and maintain the health of calves.

Diplococcus infection

Diplococcal infection is a disease that cannot be told about when talking about diseases of calves. As in the previous case, the disease most often affects young growth: calves from birth to six months of age. The danger is that the animal literally melts before our eyes. From the moment the first sign of the disease appears to death, only a few days can pass.

How to recognize the development of diplococcal infection? The calf becomes lethargic, weakness manifests itself, as intoxication increases. Traditionally, with infectious diseases of calves, the temperature rises and the classic symptoms of poisoning appear, which makes it impossible to immediately make the right diagnosis and choose the right treatment at the very beginning. After this, the condition of the cow worsens, inflammation in the joints is added, then the pathogen makes its way into the respiratory system. You usually serve as the cause of death, either pulmonary edema or massive bleeding in some vital organ. The pitfall of this disease is that the pathogen changes the composition of the blood, thus blood coagulation is significantly reduced. In the terminal stage, the animal can die from any injury, including from a shallow scratch, as the blood loses the ability to clot.

How is diplococcus transmitted? Despite the fact that the scale of the lesion is astounding, because almost the entire body suffers, the transmission routes can be only two options:

  • through the gastrointestinal tract (through food or drink);
  • airborne.

To minimize the risk of cattle falling from this insidious disease, it is worth paying sufficient attention to hygiene and preventive veterinary examinations. Calves should receive only fresh and high-quality feed.

If you still failed to save the calf, you do not need to self-medicate, this is too risky in this situation. It is recommended that you contact your veterinarian immediately after at least one of the above symptoms appears. The doctor will be able to identify the pathogen and prescribe adequate treatment if it is relevant at this stage of the disease. The farmer's task at this stage is to isolate the calf from the rest of the animals and conduct a thorough disinsection of the room.


Salmonella infection is called salmonellosis or calf paratyphoid. Young individuals that feed on mother's milk are most susceptible to infection. Find out what symptoms this disease may have:

  • a sharp jump in temperature;
  • respiratory failure: shortness of breath appears, the cow breathes shallowly, sleeps and wheezes;
  • the classic picture, as in food poisoning: diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes with bloody impurities;
  • gait is disturbed, as the inflammatory process goes to the joints and bone tissue.

The danger is that it is difficult for a person to distinguish the onset of salmonellosis from ordinary poisoning, for this reason treatment often begins even when it makes no sense.

The causative agent of salmonellosis enters the calf usually through the food tract with poor-quality contaminated food or water. Options for the development of the disease can be different. It happens that a calf dies in a week, but there are situations when the disease acquires a chronic course. It depends on the state of the animal’s immune system, what is its weight and nutrition, what are the conditions of detention, and so on. The chronic form of the disease is considered the most insidious, since throughout life a cow is a carrier of Salmonella, infecting other domestic animals and humans, including.

The chronic form occurs in those animals that recently suffered from salmonellosis, but the treatment did not have the desired effect, but only dulled the symptoms. Thus, the conclusion suggests itself that treatment should be carried out only by a specialist - an experienced veterinarian, in order to bring it to its logical conclusion and completely kill Salmonella. The same applies to diagnostics; it will not be possible to independently fix the presence of salmonella in the blood or feces of a cow.

The peak incidence occurs during the period of mass calving of cows, it is at this time that maximum time is spent on hygiene and cleaning in cowsheds. Vaccinations and other preventive measures, unfortunately, no.


Another serious disease for calves is cryptosporidiosis. The disease causes a parasite - the simplest unicellular creature - cryptosporidia. As with salmonellosis, the diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis is difficult. Traditionally, like many infectious diseases at the very beginning of their development, cryptosporidiosis can be confused with poisoning.

Starting the treatment of this disease, it is worth worrying about safety, since cryptosporidiosis can affect a person. Even in spite of the fact that for a person he is not a mortal danger, his treatment is quite troublesome and costly. As for animals, then, depending on age, the course of the disease can be different. So, the younger the cattle, the more difficult cryptosporidiosis is.


  • High temperature, often above 40 ° C. And do not rejoice if the temperature decreases, this is not a sign of recovery, but the imminent death of the animal.
  • General weakness of the calf.
  • No appetite.
  • Diarrhea with blood, later the stool becomes completely watery, which only exacerbates the dehydration process.
  • The respiratory system is affected almost immediately.
  • Convulsions are allowed.

Cryptosporidia can enter the calf by airborne droplets or by eating contaminated food. Infection can occur from cow to cow, as well as from other domestic animals. In order to minimize the risk of mass infection, it is worthwhile to carry out disinfestation in cowsheds and places of walking calves and other domestic animals. If a diseased individual is found, it is necessary to isolate the animal immediately and ensure full quarantine. Naturally, treatment should be carried out only under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Dysentery disease

If the economy became the victim of this dangerous infectious disease, it is guaranteed that significant financial losses will be incurred. There are several varieties of the disease, its anaerobic form is considered the most dangerous, even suckling newborn calves suffer from it. Moreover, the peak of the disease ends already in 1-2 months of life. If a newborn calf is infected with dysentery, then in 95% of cases it is not possible to save the animal, death is inevitable.

It is a well-known fact that people suffer from dysentery. For this reason, it is worthwhile to carry out treatment and care, observing the maximum precautions, that is, use personal protective equipment, because even in humans, dysentery is quite difficult and difficult to treat, leading to death in some cases.

How to recognize the presence of dysentery:

  • frequent liquid diarrhea;
  • impaired appetite;
  • there are blood clots in the stool, which indicates a violation of coagulation;
  • an autopsy reveals ulcers and even areas of necrosis on the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract.

It is the presence of such internal wounds that aggravates the course of the disease and makes its resolution practically impossible.

Since it is almost impossible to fight dysentery, scientists have developed a serum (vaccine), which gives artificial immunity from this terrible disease. It is also important to comply with the hygiene requirements of the barn to prevent the bacteria from multiplying. The diseased animal must be urgently isolated and, if the treatment does not have the desired effect, slaughtered and disposed of. Moreover, it is important to burn the body completely, since neither the skin nor the meat is suitable for use.

Non-Infectious Calf Diseases

It is worth saying that calves are subject not only to infectious, that is, infectious ailments, but also non-infectious ones. The fact that the disease is not transmitted to another cattle, often misleads the owner, as he can underestimate the seriousness of the situation. As for the signs and characteristic symptoms, they often overlap with the infectious, which complicates the diagnosis. To make an accurate diagnosis, it is better to use the services of a veterinarian.

What non-contagious calf diseases are considered the most dangerous for calves:

  • pneumonia and bronchitis (relate to respiratory diseases of calves);
  • white muscle disease;
  • rickets;
  • tympany;
  • enteritis;
  • bezoyarnoe ailment.

Despite the fact that all these are non-infectious ailments, in some cases they can be no less dangerous and lead to cattle dropping, albeit not so massive. We learn about each of the problems in more detail.

White muscle disease

The reason for the development of this ailment is usually improper livestock conditions: unbalanced nutrition or unsanitary conditions. Often, white muscle disease affects young animals, especially those calves that are breast-fed. White muscle disease is also called muscular dystrophy, since it affects the muscles, exhausting them to the limit. If the disease occurs in the winter, then more than half of the brood can die, even despite the fact that this disease is not considered contagious. Here, the mass of sick cattle is explained by the fact that the conditions are the same for everyone.

How to recognize the onset of the disease? The first symptoms usually appear in the first months of the calf's life, that is, this is one of the diseases of newborn calves up to 3 months of life. Outwardly, a change in gait, a decrease in physical activity, and even rare cramps are noticeable. Sometimes in more advanced cases, white muscle disease can lead to paralysis, complete or partial. If you carefully examine the diseased calf, you will notice that its skin and mucous membranes have become noticeably paler. Also, muscular dystrophy negatively affects the respiratory and cardiac systems, shortness of breath appears and the heartbeat is disturbed. It is worth saying that these changes are irreversible, that is, they do not return to normal even after treatment.

Rarely, white muscle disease can be fatal. Death usually occurs from the fact that a violation of vital systems leads to depletion of the heart muscle and the appearance of lung dysfunction. In order to protect animals, it is worth paying due attention to cleaning indoors with cows, as well as responsibly approach the issue of feeding. The calf's diet should have all the necessary vitamins and minerals that are required at a given age.

Rickets in calves

Rickets is also a non-infectious disease that does not belong to a number of viral or microbial diseases. It arises due to poor care and insufficient number of walks in the fresh air, especially in sunny weather. In the most advanced cases, rickets can be combined with muscular dystrophy, then we can say that the calf is doomed to death. If we are talking only about the defeat of rickets, then the disease is not fatal. Dangerous is not so much the outcome as the course of the disease. Rickets exhausts the animal, leaving a mark for many years.

Rickets refers to seasonal diseases, so in winter the number of cases increases significantly. Of course, if cattle do not receive proper care, rickets can develop in the summer, but this is much less common.

Rickets can be identified by characteristic signs:

  • The calf is poorly gaining weight and height.
  • Frequent trauma to the limbs due to the bones becoming more fragile.
  • The spine is often curved, which can be seen in the photo or video to describe rickets in cattle.
  • In complicated variants of the course of rickets, the respiratory system can also be affected.

To save the animal from torment, it is only necessary to revise the conditions of keeping and grazing, as well as add vitamins to the usual diet. It is especially recommended to pay attention to vitamin D, because it is its deficiency that causes the development of rickets in most cases. If you manage to make up for its deficiency, then 2 critical nutritional components, calcium and phosphorus, which are so necessary to maintain bone strength, will be automatically absorbed normally. Foods that contain large amounts of vitamin D include fish oil, ground flour, or regular chalk.

Nooar disease

Like all of the previous diseases described, a nooar disease affects young animals, that is, those calves that are fed milk or have recently gone away from their mother’s udder. The disease is considered so dangerous that it can affect entire herds, often leading to death. The peak incidence occurs in the winter months, although outbreaks can occur at any time of the year.

What leads to the development of the disease? Most often, the reason is the lack of milk in nursing heifers or an incorrectly composed menu: the predominance of rough food in the calves menu. The situation in which the calves walk little will affect the course of the disease. What is a nooar disease? This is primarily a violation in the digestive system. During this ailment, undigested clots from particles of food and wool are formed in the gastrointestinal tract. These lumps interfere with the normal digestion of food.

It is possible to suspect the development of this ailment in the case when cows and bulls begin to eat soil or any other inedible ingredients more often than usual. Это говорит о том, что в организме образовались подобные безоары. Внешне можно заметить, что теленок стал плохо набирать массу, шерстяной покров его стал более тусклым, а живот вздулся. Кроме того, что безоарные образования негативно влияют на общее самочувствие животного, они также угнетают иммунную систему, что делает скотину более расположенной к различным инфекционным и неинфекционным болезням.

Чтобы не дать развиться безоарной болезни, нужно уделять гигиене коровника должное внимание, а также кормить телят правильно. Причем кормление должно быть сбалансированным у всех категорий крс: у коров, быков и молодняка. В меню обязательно должны входить легкие корма, на переработку которых не нужно тратить много времени. Если животное не справляется с пищей, стоит помочь ему, добавляя в питание специальные препараты, улучшающие работу желудочно-кишечного тракта и растворяющие такие сгустки. Если подобная терапия не поможет, стоит как можно быстрее обратиться за помощью к специалисту, который будет принимать решение, каким способом лучше всего удалить безоары. Стоит сказать, что в большинстве случаев приходится применять хирургические методы.

Пневмония у телят

Пневмония у телят имеет множество общих черт с человеческим течением болезни, относится к группе респираторных заболеваний. Так же, как и в случае с человеком, в особо запущенных случаях может стать причиной смерти. Пневмония настолько угнетает действие иммунитета, что животное может заболеть чем-то еще на фоне тяжелого протекания болезни. Именно такие осложненные течения недуга становятся причиной гибели скота, особенно молоденьких особей.

Довольно часто пневмония развивается на фоне уже существующих болезней, например беломышечной или рахита, поэтому пик заболеваемости приходится на зимнее время года. Этому способствует еще и изменение температурных условий на улице, показателей влажности.

Развитие пневмонии можно заподозрить по наличию таких признаков:

  • Температура повышается до отметки 40°С и выше.
  • Из носа выделяются белесые или зеленые выделения.
  • Дыхание становится грубым, хрипящим, появляется одышка.
  • В некоторых случаях к основным симптомам добавляются нарушения со стороны пищеварительного тракта — понос или запор.
  • Животное выглядит уставшим, изнеможенным.
  • Аппетит ухудшается или пропадает.
  • Сердце также страдает, развивается аритмия или сердечная недостаточность.

Пневмония считается одной из наиболее опасных болезней, так как зачастую приводит к смерти, причем ее причины могут разниться:

  • Все системы организма истощаются и приходят в негодность.
  • Наступает легочная недостаточность, животное задыхается.
  • Вторичное заражение инфекцией. К тому возбудителю, который уже поражает организм теленка, подключается новый, и иммунная система уже не в состоянии противостоять.

Чтобы предотвратить развитие пневмонии или хотя бы снизить шансы ее наступления, нужно обеспечить нормальные условия проживания и содержания скотины. Естественно, что питание должно соответствовать потребностям животного, содержать все необходимые аминокислоты, витамины и микроэлементы, все это благоприятно будет влиять на иммунную систему коровы.

Лечение пневмонии проводит только ветеринар, ведь только специалист способен подобрать правильный метод борьбы с недугом, который обычно состоит сразу из нескольких антибиотиков. Самолечение скорее всего погубит животное, поэтому не стоит пробовать свои силы.

Паразитарная группа заболеваний

Кроме того, что существуют инфекционные и неинфекционные болезни, есть еще одна группа недугов, которые вызываются паразитарными. Несмотря на то, что бытует мнение о том, что это неопасные болезни, не стоит их недооценивать. Паразиты у крупного рогатого скота в некоторых случаях могут стать причиной смерти животных. Причем гибель будет настолько мучительной, что не сравнится даже со смертью от дизентерии или пневмонии.

Опасность поражения паразитами еще и в том, что они молниеносно распространяются на территории коровника, что делает заболевание массовым. Кроме этого существует множество болезней, переносчиками которых могут быть обычные с виду паразиты. Узнаем о наиболее опасных и часто встречающихся паразитах, паразитирующих на теле коров и телят.


Овод — это летающее насекомое, доставляющее немало неудобств КРС при выпасе на лугу. Внешне это небольшая мошка с брюшком желтого цвета, которая в составе роя кружит над коровьими стадами. Это насекомое откладывает потомство в коровьей шкуре, а личинки после вылупления паразитируют на шкуре, что доставляет животному массу неприятных ощущений. Больше всего страдает молодняк, а именно молочные новорожденные телята возрастом до 3-х месяцев, чья кожа является более тонкой. Если на коже поселился овод, то это может стать причиной появления раздражений и обширных язв.

Заподозрить наличие овода можно, если появились твердые небольшие бугорки на коже — рубцы. Чаще всего они располагаются в зоне спины и на боках. Так проявляют себя гнезда овода, куда самка паразита отложила яйца. Так как паразиты заставляют животное постоянно чесаться, это приводит к тому, что коровы могут сами себе наносить различные травмы.

По мере того как личинки зреют, их потребность в пище возрастает, так что они стараются залезть, как можно глубже под кожу буренке. На этой стадии процесс лечения становится еще более затрудненным. Кстати, лечить болезнь должен только специально обученный человек, то есть ветеринар. Если вы надумаете удалять паразитов самостоятельно, возрастет риск занесения инфекции в раны, что еще больше подорвет здоровье и так ослабленного животного.

Коровья чесотка

Возбудитель чесотки у коров — это чесоточный клещ. Как и в случае с оводом, начало заболевания пропустить достаточно трудно. Механизм поражения очень похож на оводов, так как чесоточный клещ старается проникнуть, как можно глубже в кожный покров коровы, тем самым заставляя ее постоянно чесаться. Теленок испытывает постоянный зуд, который заставляет отказаться даже от еды и питья. В особо запущенных случаях, корова теряет шерсть в этих местах, образуются залысины. Опасность ситуации заключается в том, что паразит может поражать не только животных, но и человека.

Лечится паразитарная болезнь местно, наносятся специальные мази и крема на пораженные участки. Кроме этого нужно провести полную дезинсекцию помещения, в котором проживает зараженное животное, чтобы предотвратить повторное заражение и дальнейшее распространение чесоточного клеща.

In conclusion

Из вышепредставленной статьи можно сделать вывод, что существует немало болезней, которые могут поражать крупный рогатый скот, и, в частности, телят. Особенно опасны эти болезни в ранний период, то есть до того момента, пока телёнок не достигнет возраста одного года.

Таким образом, стоит относиться к содержанию животного со всей ответственностью: обеспечить должный уход, соблюдать санитарные условия, а также подобрать правильное сбалансированное питание. Не стоит экономить на этих пунктах, иначе придется понести большие потери во время лечения скотины или же из-за ее гибели.

К проявлениям заболеваний у новорожденных телят надо относиться особенно внимательно, ведь именно эта группа КРС наиболее нуждается в опеке. Так что ни в коем случае нельзя игнорировать заболевания после обнаружения их признаков, так можно остаться совсем без поголовья.


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