Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 11
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LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AFFECTED BY ANIMAL DISEASES 11
several young calves in a herd develop acute cases of the disease.
Those calves which later develop diarrhea respond to treatment in
a large percentage of cases. Excellent results were obtained at the
Colorado station on over 600 scours-sick calves, following treatment
with a form of sulfathiazole.
Each year dairymen experience considerable financial loss as a result
of cows developing milk fever. This is a common and widespread
condition characterized by paralysis and a rapid lowering of the
blood calcium, that usually affects high producing dairy cows.
Prompt veterinary treatment saves many cows from death; however,
a simple means of preventing its occurrence is highly desirable. The
Washington station studied mineral balances and blood levels of cows
at time of parturition to see if differences in mineral metabolism might
exist between cows which do and those which do not come down
with parturient paresis. These scientists discovered that a negative
calcium and potassium balance exists in cows developing milk fever,
even before parturition. Such cows, although consuming the same
amount of calcium prepartum as did others, also excrete more calcium.
Thus they are severely deficient at parturition, and this calcium
deficiency probably brings on the attack of milk fever.
Although there is no definite answer to why this prepartum deficiency
occurs, research has provided another possible preventive of
The Ohio station has evidence that large amounts of vitamin D (30
million units per day) fed from 5 to 7 days before calving will prevent
milk fever. Feeding such large amounts of this vitamin is not
harmful to the cow if the feeding is limited to a few days before
calving. Plans are being made to make the vitamin D available in
suitable form, and to formulate definite recommendations for milk
Chronic calf pneumonia is characterized by a cough, listlessness, and
pus discharge from the nostrils. Post mortem examination of animals
with this disease reveals numerous small or a few large abscesses in
the lungs. Antibiotics and sulfa drugs will not alleviate the condition
once the infection has become established in the lungs. The causative
bacteria isolated at the South Carolina station and made into a killed
bacterin has been very effective in controlling the disease. Injection
of the bacterin into calves at birth, and at 1 week, 1 month, and 3
months of age resulted in practically 100-percent control. The station
has additional studies under way to develop measures for obtaining
In spite of the great number of investigations that have been carried
on and the recommendations that have resulted for treatment and control
of mastitis, it continues to be one of the greatest problems encountered
by the dairy industry. In addition to various organisms,
many factors, such as management, heredity, and nutrition, make a
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/13/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.