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“CRYPTO” OR CRYPTOSPORIDIOSIS IN CALVES: (Part 2)

HOW TO REDUCE THE CONTAMINATION HAZARD?

No one can protect himself from a "Crypto" infection in his cattle environment.

The most important preventive measures are timely feeding of good quality and sufficient colostrum to the calf, and good (calf hutch) hygiene.

 

Good (calf hutch) hygiene

Applied at the correct concentration, disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium compounds or hydrogen peroxide are effective.

 

Emptying the calf pens and allowing them to dry well for a few days is absolutely desirable.

The infectivity of oocysts is reduced by exposing the oocysts to temperatures below 0˚C or above 70 ˚C for a few seconds.

 

Another important preventive measure is optimal hygiene around calving.

Provide a clean calving environment with a sufficient amount of fresh, clean straw.

 

Sick animals do not belong in the calving room!

In practice, I often see that the calving room is used to temporarily house sick animals…

The calves that are subsequently born in the calving room are then born in the most contaminated part of the farm.

 

FLY FIGHTING 

In some cases, the oocytes are spread by flies.

An adequate and structural fly control is therefore necessary.

 

PREVENTIVE VACCINATION

There is currently no vaccine available against cryptosporidiosis.

THE TREATMENT

The only product registered in the Netherlands is based on halofuginone lactate.

This medicine is registered for the prevention and/or reduction of diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum.

 

For proper effect, the product should be administered to the calf within 24 to 48 hours after calving, or within 24 hours after the onset of diarrhea.

The effect is considerably less when administered to animals suffering from diarrhea for more than 24 hours, and/or to animals that are debilitated.

 

Halofuginone does not prevent diarrhea, but it does reduce the symptoms. Good hygiene combined with good colostrum management (quality colostrum at the right time, with the right temperature in the right amount) gives the best results. The colostrum must be of good quality and must be administered as quickly and as much as possible. Especially in the prevention of contagious diarrhoea, rapid and correct optimization of the passive defense is of great importance.

 

In order to promote the recovery of the calf, your veterinarian can also decide to treat the animal with NSAID in addition to the therapy. (NSAID is the abbreviation for 'Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drug'). They are painkillers with an anti-inflammatory effect.

Meloxicam or Flunixin are agents to promote recovery.

With a single injection of Meloxicam in calves with naturally occurring diarrhoea, you often see a clear improvement in drinking behaviour, roughage intake and thus growth.

 

Finally, we can conclude that general matters concerning hygiene, colostrum management and working method also apply to the prevention and control of the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum.

Special attention is needed for specific products in order to be able to do a targeted treatment and disinfection.