The present study evaluated the use of haptoglobin (Hp) as an indicator of health and performance in 166 Holstein heifer calves reared in an intensive production system. Calves were evaluated at D6-9; D10-13; D20-23; D35-38 and D65-68, corresponding to the days of life. The absence or presence of diseases was evaluated by physical examination and classification of scores. The performance parameters evaluated were body weight, height at withers and hind width. Hp was measured by spectrophotometric technique. The highest prevalence of diarrhea (59.4%; 98/165) was observed in D10-13, bovine respiratory disease (BRD) was on D35-38 (25.8%; 42/163), and umbilical inflammations in D6-D9 (7.8%; 13/166). Highest values of Hp were observed in animals with diarrhea (P=0.02), and umbilical inflammation (P=0.057), in comparison with the group of healthy calves. A significant negative correlation was observed between Hp and performance index. This protein presented an important relation with diarrhea and performance of the calves, opening perspectives on its utilization as a biomarker of diseases.
Cinética da proteína total, fibrinogênio e ceruloplasmina em cordeiros Santa Inês durante os primeiros cinco meses de vida Kinetics of total protein, fibrinogen, and ceruloplasmin in Santa Inês lambs during the first five months of life
The aim of this study was to evaluate secondary clinical disease, milk production efficiency and reproductive performance of heifers and cows persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus type 2 (BVDV type 2). PI animals (n = 25) were identified using an antigen capture ELISA of ear notch samples. They were distributed into three age groups: ≤ 12 (n = 8), 13 to 24 (n = 6) and 25 to 34 (n = 11) months old. A control group of BVDV antigen ELISA negative female cattle that were age matched to the PI animals was utilized from the same herd. The PI group had a 1.29 higher odds ratio for diarrhea than controls (p = 0.001, IC95% = 1.032–1.623) and 1.615 greater chance of developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD) (p = 0.012, IC95% = 1.155–2.259). The age at first insemination (p = 0.012) and number of insemination attempts required to establish the first pregnancy (p = 0.016) were both higher for PI than controls. Milk production was higher for control cows than PI cows during most of the sampling periods. Somatic cell counts (SCC) were higher in PI cows than the controls at all sampling points across lactation (p ≤ 0.042). PI cattle had a higher incidence of disease, produced less milk, a higher SCC, and poorer reproductive performance than control cattle in this study.
Background: Physiological events occur in the transition period marked by negative energetic balance, where the energetic demand is higher due to fetal nutrition and lactogenesis and intensified by the decrease of the dry matter intake in the pre-partum period. The adaptation of cows is dependent of homeostatic and homeorhetic mechanisms regulated by catecholamine, cortisol, GH, IGF-I, insulin and glucagon but the priorization of homeorhetic mechanisms could result in metabolic diseases. Considering the scarce longitudinal studies about the Brazilian conditions the aim of this project was to evaluate the influence of transition period on metabolic indicators, cortisol and IGF-I in Holstein cows.Materials, Methods & Results: Thirteen cows, from 2nd to 4th lactation were evaluated weakly from week -2 to week +3 in relation to calving to determine the body condition score (BCS), metabolic and endocrine profile. The BCS decreased between week -2 (BCS = 4.0) and +1 (BCS = 3.0), followed by and slight increase on weeks +2 and +3 (P = 0.000). The most of metabolic indicators and hormones have changed during the transition period (P ≤ 0.05), especially around calving. It was possible to detect the peak of cortisol, glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), ß-hydroxibutyrate (BHB), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) on delivery and week +1. On the other hand, total calcium, triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol (CHOL) decreased was observed around parturition. Insulin like growth factor type I (IGF-I) showed marked reduction between pre and postpartum, and the lowest value was observed in the week +1. TP and GLOB had the lowest value on calving and globulin has a gradual increase from delivery to week +3.Discussion: Cows included in this experiment had dystocia (4/13, 30.8%), retention of placenta (1/13, 7.7%) and clinical hypocalcemia (1/13, 7.7%). One of the animals with episodes of dystocia was also aggravated by ketosis in week +1 and +2 (1/13, 7.7%). Uterine infections were observed in five animals (5/13, 38.4%). Of this total of animals with uterine infection (5/13), three had already expressed earlier disturbances: two cows had dystocia and one cow with retention of placenta. The weight loss observed between pre and postpartum may be due to an increase of energy demand for fetal maintenance and the concomitant initiation of lactation, in conjunction with an approximately 30% reduction in dry matter intake during the transitional period. The hyperglycemia concomitant with the peak of cortisol at delivery may be explaining by the activation of the somatotropic axis, due to the stress of calving. The increase of NEFA, BHB and AST around calving associated with decreased of TG and CHOL could be associated with homeorhetic mechanisms, especially lipolysis and gluconeogenesis. The IGF-I decrease in postpartum may be by the decreased expression of receptors for growth hormone (GH) in the liver, and consequently reduced synthesis and/or IGF-I hepatic clearance, which reduce of the negative feedback of IGF-I on GH secretion. The total calcium concentrations were below the threshold (8.50 mg/dL) established by Goff  at parturition, week +1 and +2 and probably is due to the secretion of 20-30 g of calcium per day during the colostrum synthesis. Total protein and albumin have a slight variation, except for the peak observed on week +3 due to uterine infection.
This research evaluated the effect of milking on the physical exam of the mammary gland (MG) and milk examination in Saanen goats. Six properties were selected, four farms were used after evaluation of criteria selection and distributed in two groups according to the milking method: manual or mechanical. The physical examination of MG was performed using the techniques of inspection and palpation, in addition to the examination of the milk by strip cup, California Mastitis Test, somatic cell count, and bacteriological exam. It was possible to detect an association between the milking method with the most of physical exam of the MG: inspection of the MG (p = 0.001), inspection of the teat (p = 0.002), palpation of the MG (p = 0.054) and palpation of the teat (p = 0.036). The machine milking had an association with the reduction of the volume of MG (OR = 6.00), reduction of the teat size (OR = 16.19), and firm consistency of mammary parenchyma (OR = 2.39). The use of machine milking represented a less risk for an increase of the volume of the MG volume (OR = 0.288) and the presence of cisternitis (OR = 0.490). The association between the SCC and the type of milking was also detected (p = 0.002). Machine milking was associated with changesin the physical exam of MG and milk examination compatible with traumatic lesions. This information indicates inappropriate use of milking equipment in the dairy goat’s properties.
Background: Newborn calves are born immunosuppressed, hypogammaglobulinemic, immunologically immature, and therefore more vulnerable to many infectious diseases. During pregnancy, the fetal-placental environment is regulated by Th2-type cytokines that neutralize Th1 responses, an important factor for immune defense against viral agents. The ingestion and absorption of colostral immunoglobulins enhance the immunity of the neonate. However, the presence of maternal antibodies might negatively affect the success of parental vaccination in the first two months of life. This study aimed to evaluate the effecacy of parenteral vaccination in newborn calves with high titers of maternal antibodies against respiratory viruses.Materials, Methods & Results: Twenty-eight Holstein calves were allocated to the vaccinated group (VAC, n = 18) or an unvaccinated control group (NVAC, n = 10). The initial vaccination with 5 mL of a commercial vaccine occurred around the 14th day of life (D14) and the booster at D35. Respiratory and diarrhea symptoms were evaluated at D12, D14, D16, D20, D31, D36, D45, D53, and D60. Blood samples were taken for leukogram, haptoglobin, and seroneutralization of BVDV, BoHV-1, BRSV, and BPI3V, at the time of vaccination at D14 (T1), at booster (D35, T2), and 21 days after the booster (D56, T3). Despite the increased prevalence of BRD during the period of the study, no calves from either group exhibited respiratory disease at D12 or D14. In subsequent assessments, the frequency of BRD increased over time in the VAC group until it reached a maximum prevalence of 38.9% (7/18) at D31. In the NVAC group, the maximum prevalence observed was 40% at D45 and D60. A comparison of the frequencies for BRD cases showed a statistical trend at D36 (P = 0.07), with a higher prevalence for the NVAC group (30%) in relation to the VAC group (5.6%). For the NVAC group, a greater number of total leukocytes was observed at T3 (P = 0.038) and granulocytes (trend) at T2 (P = 0.066). Time analysis demonstrated a decrease in haptoglobin concentration in both groups (NVAC, P = 0.005 and VAC, P = 0.006), with a reduction in the values at T1 and T3 (NVAC = 0.005 and VAC = 0.024). Antibody titers were similar between groups for BVDV, BoHV-1, and BRSV. Higher titers for BPI3V were observed for the VAC group at D56 (P = 0.045).Discussion: The early-onset BRD was present in both groups between 30 and 60 days of age, based on the higher prevalence observed. These data reinforce the importance of early immunization programmes before infection. Factors such as management practices and facilities may have also contributed to the higher prevalence of BRD. The increased number of leukocytes and neutrophils at T2 (D35) and T3 (D56) in the NVAC group points to a stronger inflammatory response to various types of potential challenges. The inflammatory leukocyte profile explains the higher haptoglobin values observed in the NVAC group at T2 (D35). The similarity of titers of antibodies against BVDV, BoHV-1, and BRSV between groups may indicate that vaccinating the calves at 14 days of age did not induce a humoral immune response to these viruses, likely due to interference from the maternal antibodies. Early vaccination prevented a drop in specific viral antibodies and promoted partial protection for vaccinated calves around 14 days of age, with a decrease in the intensity of the inflammatory response at the peak of the disease and a higher concentration of antibodies against BPI3V after the booster.
The early use of antimicrobial therapy has been introduced in many farms to prevent diarrhea and respiratory disease in young calves; however, there is controversy about whether this practice has a beneficial effect on the health of these animals. This study evaluated the influence of the early use of antimicrobials on the health and performance of neonatal Holstein calves. Twenty-six Holstein calves were screened and divided into two groups, according to the administration (ATB+), or not (ATB-) of tulathromycin (2.5mg/kg, subcutaneously) within the first 12 hours of life. Calves were evaluated by general clinical examination, fecal score, respiratory score, and external palpation of the umbilical region, besides fecal output of dry matter. Anemia was determined by using an automatic system and, also, using a commercial kit for iron dosage. Diarrhea was diagnosed by a centrifuge-flotation technique using a sugar solution (Cryptosporidium) and multiplex semi-nested RT-PCR (rotavirus/coronavirus). The performance of the calves was estimated by Daily Weight Gain (DWG). The young dairy calves were evaluated within 12 hours of birth (≤12h) and at 3-5th (D3-5), 7-9th (D7-9), 13-15th (D13-15), 20-23rd (D20-23), and 27-30th (D27-30) days of life. No difference was noted between the ATB+ and ATB- groups concerning heart rate, respiratory frequency, and rectal temperature. Erythrogram showed a higher frequency of anemia in ATB- group (P=0.016) at the D3-5 check-up; lower values of serum iron were also observed simultaneously (P=0.051). Thirteen cases of respiratory disease were detected during this study; however, no significant difference was observed between the groups in this regard. The frequency of diarrhea (fecal score 2-3) was high in both groups, peaking at D13-D15. No differences were noted between the groups regarding the frequency of diarrhea when considering the dry fecal matter. The predominant etiological agent for diarrhea was Cryptosporidium spp.. The DWG was similar between groups, with maximum weight reduction on D13-15. The administration of tulathromycin in prophylactic dose (2.5mg/kg) at birth decreased the frequency of anemia but did not influence weight gain or the prevalence of diarrhea.
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