Assessment of the evolution of the proportion of respiratory and enteric pathogens and diseases in pre-weaned unvaccinated dairy heifers from Québec, Canada

  • José Denis-Robichaud Independent researcher, Amqui, Québec, Canada G5J 2N5; Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4
  • Marie-Ève Tremblay Cléroux Département de sciences cliniques, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, J2S 2M2
  • Sébastien Buczinski Département de sciences cliniques, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, J2S 2M2
  • Marie-Lou Gauthier Complexe de diagnostic et d’épidémiosurveillance vétérinaire du Québec, Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, St-Hyacinthe, QC, J2S 2M2, Canada
  • Jocelyn Dubuc Département de sciences cliniques, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, J2S 2M2
  • David Francoz Département de sciences cliniques, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, J2S 2M2
Keywords: pneumonia, diarrhea, calves, dairy, housing

Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe the proportion of enteric and respiratory pathogens and diseases in unvaccinated pre-weaned dairy heifers, in their first 2 weeks of life (exam 1), and at 4- to 8-weeks old (exam 2). Heifers from 20 dairy herds were examined and sampled twice for respiratory and enteric pathogens and diseases. Respiratory health score and ultrasonographic lung consolidation were assessed, and nasopharyngeal swabs, blood samples, and feces samples were collected. The prevalence for each disease and pathogen was described, and the difference between exams 1 and 2 was assessed. A total of 198 heifers were included at exam 1, and 182 of them were examined again at exam 2. At exam 1, the prevalence of respiratory diseases (positive clinical score or presence of lung consolidation) and diarrhea was 18% and 23%, respectively. At exam 2, the prevalence of respiratory diseases and diarrhea was 62% and 13%, respectively. Heifers were less likely to have respiratory diseases and pathogens at exam 1 than exam 2, and were more likely to have diarrhea at exam 1 than exam 2. These results help in understanding the dynamic of respiratory and enteric pathogens and diseases.

Published
2021-12-31
How to Cite
Denis-Robichaud, J., Tremblay Cléroux, M.- Ève, Buczinski, S., Gauthier, M.-L., Dubuc, J., & Francoz, D. (2021). Assessment of the evolution of the proportion of respiratory and enteric pathogens and diseases in pre-weaned unvaccinated dairy heifers from Québec, Canada. The Bovine Practitioner, 55(2), 140-152. https://doi.org/10.21423/bovine-vol55no2p140-152
Section
Articles