Maintaining healthy herds is a priority in commercial dairies. Prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment of health disorders is required to improve cow performance and enhance longevity of the animals.
Most of the metabolic problems of the dairy cow happen during the first two weeks of the lactation. It has been reported that nearly 25 percent of the cows that leave the herds do so during the first 60 days in milk.
cute puerperal metritis is an acute systemic illness whose main clinical symptoms are fever and signs of toxemia due to an infection of the uterus. Metritis usually occurs during the first 21 days after calving with a peak incidence to occur at day 5 to 7 of lactation.
Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) is a bacteria that infects dairy cattle (and other ruminants) causing paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease. This disease leads to production losses in dairies all over the world.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease caused by an Aphthovirus that spreads quickly and produces significant economic losses in the cattle industry. The virus is found in all excretions and secretions from infected animals…
Ruminal acidosis results from an excessive acid load in the rumen not neutralized by salivary or feed buffers. Cows susceptible to both subacute (SARA) and acute ruminal acidosis change their metabolism, eating behavior, and production performance.
Gastrointestinal nematodes like Cooperia oncophora and Ostertagia ostertagi are widely prevalent in dairy cattle. Nematodes cause production losses through reduction in intake, growth, milk production, and mortality in heavily parasitized animals.
Fungal species of Fusarium produce the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, and zearalenone. The limits established for dairy cattle by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US for deoxynivalenol and fumonisin are 5 ppm and 30 ppm, respectively. Although the FDA does not suggest safety guidelines for zearalenone, the European Commission established 250 ppb as the maximum legal limit in complete feed for this mycotoxin.
Bovine leukosis (BL) is a lifelong disease of dairy cattle caused by the bovine leukosis virus. Although most infections appear to be subclinical, a proportion of cows over 3 years old (30 – 50%) develop persistent lymphocytosis, and a smaller percentage (5%) develop malignant tumors (lymphosarcomas) in various internal organs.
Aflatoxins are metabolites produced by mold fungi such as Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus under certain conditions. The most abundant aflatoxin, aflatoxin B1, is a potent carcinogen and it is considered the most toxic naturally occurring toxin. After ingestion, aflatoxin B1 is bio-transformed into the secondary metabolite aflatoxin M1 and excreted in milk, urine and feces.
At calving, calcium requirements are quadrupled, which results in cows experiencing variable degrees of subclinical to clinical hypocalcemia. Subclinical hypocalcemia (SCH) is normally defined as calcium concentrations in blood lower than 2.1 mmol/L (8.5 mg/dL). Previous research conducted in Holsteins…
Phosphorus is an essential macromineral involved in several biological processes such as bone mineralization, energy transition, and acid-base buffer systems. During lactation, the NRC 2001 guidelines recommends to feed diets with 0.3 – 0.4% of phosphorus in a dry matter (DM) basis.