Diarrhoea is the result of a disturbance in the intestine. The balance between the absorption of moisture and the release of intestinal fluids is disturbed. This will allow an excessive amounts of fluid in the dung and diarrhoea occurs as a result. An intestinal disorder also results in poorer digestion and has an adverse effect on the feed conversion and growth. Disruption of the intestine may have an infectious or non-infectious cause.
Infectious causes include pathogens such as:
- Bacteria: E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridium
- Viruses: Rotavirus, Coronavirus
- Parasites: Cryptosporidiosis, Coccidiosis
Non-infectious causes are:
- Colostrum: Poor hygiene, wrong quantity / temperature.
- Nutrition: Poor hygiene, poor composition.
- Stress: Housing, transport etc.
- Housing: Poor hygiene, moist, drafts.
- Medications: Side effects, misapplication.
Gut health and immunity
The majority (70%) of the immune system is related to the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, the composition and diversity of microflora in the gut plays an important role in the establishment and the maintenance of immunity.
An intestinal disorder causes a change in the composition of the microflora. This is called dysbiosis. This reduces the resistance and pathogenic bacteria can grow if the calf is more susceptible to infections with other pathogens. With an intestinal disorder the digestion and absorption of nutrients are also negatively affected. Through this disruption the intestinal tissue can become damaged and there is more risk of infection and inflammation in the intestine.
Source: Smits, Jansman, Savelkoul, Rebel; "The role of microbiota for a balanced immune system '; 2014
Preventive measures can be taken in two different ways.
First, one can reduce the risk of infection.This means that the calf is exposed to infectious bacteria, viruses and parasites as little as possible. Secondly, one can increase the immunity or the resistance so that the calf naturally protects itself against infections.
1. Reduce Infection pressure
Optimum hygiene is important to keep the risk of infection as low as possible. This begins in the calving pen when the calf is born. The main sources of infection in a calving pen is; dung, amniotic fluid and the afterbirth. These must be removed after each calving and the pen must be prepared once again. These are the first steps to prevent calf diarrhea.
The calf can then be moved to a clean calf rearing area. This should be properly cleaned and disinfected after each round. This also applies to the group housing. An all-in all-out approach is best in which the pens are cleaned and disinfected when empty.
It's important to have the housing clean, but it is also very important to have the feed and feeding equipment clean. Clean buckets, drinkers and feeding troughs should be clean. They should also be cleaned and disinfected after use. Also, avoid getting the feed and water contaminated with manure.
IOMLÁN have a special concept that has been developed for reducing the infection pressure in the environment.
In 3 steps
- Cleaning with enzymes removes dirt and the biofilm. This allows the disinfectant to fully do its job.
- In most cases, it is important to thoroughly disinfect in order to kill organisms as much as possible.
Product: Virkon® S or other Oxidative disinfectants
- In order to keep the infection pressure low. Probiotics are sprayed into the area. After cleaning and disinfection, it is important to populate the area with good bacteria. In a natural way these good bacteria go into battle with pathogens (disease causing bacteria). As a result they have less chance to multiply this means the infection pressure is kept low.
Product: Dominate Liquid
2. Increase Resistance
In the first stage of life, colostrum is vital for the calf to build up resistance. Click here for colostrum advice
At a later stage, the calf has to go and build its own resistance. As stated above, the composition of the microflora in the gut plays an important role in the establishment and maintenance of immunity.
Plant Genes stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, promote blood circulation, have anti-oxidative and anti-microbial properties and reduce toxic substances in the gut. Something which results in a better gut health and a higher immunity status.
Neofenol is a feed and milk (replacer) application based on plant genes. The active substances in Neofenol are phenols such as carvacrol and thymol. These substances are matrix encapsulated allowing them to be slowly released in the gastrointestinal tract.
Neofenol is an ideal to use as a preventive in times of stress such as start-up, scours, feed changes, weaning and other intestinal disorders.This prevents the use of antibiotics.
Neofenol can be used for veal calves but also on farms to support gut health during rearing.
- 1 gram per kg of milk powder
- 1 gram per 6 ltrs of milk
- 100 grams per ton of feed
Dominate Liquid is a spray that is composed of a selection of probiotic bacteria. These good bacteria naturally go into battle with pathogenic bacteria. The pathogens have less chance to multiply and lowers the risk of digestive problems and skin diseases.
Calf is a prebiotic digestive enhancer specially formulated for calves. BioStart Calf contains a concentrated blend of enzymes and secondary metabolites from the fermentation of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus thermophilus. BioStart Calf aids in the full utilization of liquid feeds and early rumen development.