Neonatal septicemia in calves: 25 cases (1985-1990)

Aldridge, B.M.; Garry, F.B.; Adams, R.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 203(9): 1324-1329


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-1488
PMID: 8253629
Document Number: 186
Historical, physical, and clinicopathologic findings in 25 septicemic calves were examined to further characterize the clinical features of naturally induced bovine neonatal septicemia. Owners often reported single organ disease, but physical examination revealed multiple organ disease in more than half the calves. A third of the calves were admitted as representative of a herd problem. Laboratory findings were variable, but commonly included changes in the differential WBC count and plasma fibrinogen concentration. Low serum immunoglobulin concentrations were found in approximately half the calves. Escherichia coli was the most frequently isolated organism, but gram-positive infections were found in 10%, and polymicrobial infections in 28%, of the calves. Previous antimicrobial administration did not appear to affect culture yield. At necropsy, lesions were seen in multiple organs in most calves. The respiratory and gastrointestinal systems were most commonly affected. Few of the calves had umbilical infections. The survival rate was poor (<12%).

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Neonatal septicemia in calves: 25 cases (1985-1990)