Veterinary Physiology

Table of Contents

Salmonellosis in Young Calves: A Perplexing Problem beyond Diarrhea

Akbar Nikkhah1,*, Masoud Alimirzaei2, and Hossein Kazemi2

1Chief Highly Distinguished Professor and Nutritional Scientist, National Elites Foundation, Tehran,Iran2Behroozi Dairy CO., Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Salmonellosis is a well-known infectious disease invading both adult and young cattle, commonly characterized by severe diarrhea and septicemia in calves as well asfever, dysentery,abortion, increased salivation, and decreased milk production in adults. Rapid outbreaks and heavy mortality rates have turned Salmonellaspp. into a violent organism from farmers’ and experts’ perspectives. The objective of this article was to pragmatically underline different aspects of Salmonellosis infectionsin young calves with emphasis on novel clinical and post-mortem signs. Case report:Two calves aged 75 daysold were primarily diagnosed with respiratory disease, high body temperature (> 40 ̊C),and hyperpnea in the Behroozi Dairy Farm, Tehran, Iran. Calves were treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics (amikacin and penicillin) immediately, but they died at the next day. After that, the number of ill calves increased dramatically and 120 calves were discovered with the same signs,including persistent high body temperature, hyperpnea, and recumbency. Early diagnosis and proper treatment and nursing werekey factors in reducing the recovery time and mortality rate.Conclusion:In some salmonellosis cases,treatment could become complicateddue to developing resistance to various antibiotics. Calves born in filthy calving pens and those with depressed immunity are susceptible to salmonellosis. Therefore, complying with sanitary practices as well as precise nutrition programs for pre-weaning and weaning calves could provide a preventive tool to reduce the risk of Salmonellosis outbreak.

1. Introduction:

Salmonellaspp. is classified as a group of Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae1.Salmonella(S.) spp. causes illness in humans and animals, and lives mainly in the intestinal tract of the host1. Different types of Salmonellaspp. have been identified. These include S. typhimurium, S. dublin, S. newport, S. infantis, S. montevideo, S. anatumand S. muenster. Salmonellaspp. in cattle is one of the infectious and contagious pathogens that can infect animals at any age and cause infectious intestinal diseases, septicemia, and abortion1. Calves usually show signs of salmonellosis between 4 to 28 days after birth, which indicates that the infection is initiated in the first hours after birth. In addition, older calves between 60 to 90 days of age can be infected with salmonellastrains2. Symptoms of the disease in calves generally include fever, recumbency, appetite loss, and diarrhea that may contain mucus and blood3. Following inflammation, epithelial hemorrhage occurs and vascular permeability and hypersecretion are increased which can lead to maldigestion and malabsorption2. Existing undigested feed materials within the lumen of the intestine increase lumen osmolality and draw fluid towards the intestine lumen, resulting in dehydration and nutrient loss1-3.

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