Treatment of white muscle disease in calves


Dangerous white muscle disease in calves occurs immediately after birth or in the first weeks. She is very cunning and requires immediate, serious treatment. If you do not notice the symptoms in time and do not help the calf, he will die. The fact is that the “whitefish” is one of the most serious diseases of newborn calves. The probability of a fatal outcome is extremely high. It is useful to know what causes the disease, how to recognize it quickly and how to cure the young.

The fault is poor nutrition and poor content

White muscle disease is directly related to the lack of certain vitamins and microelements in the animal's body. But there are other reasons that, if they do not cause the disease, make it more likely to occur. So, the reasons for the development of "little mice":

  • lack of protein, vitamin A and selenium in the mother’s diet;
  • lack of vitamin E in calves;
  • large amounts of sulfur in the soil;
  • high soil moisture;
  • peat and sandy soils in the zone of animals;
  • dampness for livestock;
  • poor ventilation and the maintenance of cattle in cramped.

If during pregnancy a cow did not receive important vitamins and trace elements, her offspring may be ill. In particular, the development of white muscle disease is associated with a lack of selenium - a powerful natural antioxidant.. His "counterweight" is sulfur. In places where it is abundant in the soil, it prevents plants from assimilating selenium. Then these plants, with a high sulfur content and without selenium, go to feed livestock. There are also observations showing that in regions with peaty and sandy soils, the disease is more common.

Naturally influenced by the conditions of the cows and young. Overcrowding, damp, stuffy rooms can lead to a multitude of ailments, and not just white muscle disease.

Symptoms and stages of the disease

The disease can occur in acute, subacute and chronic form. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all.

The acute stage begins suddenly, lasts up to seven days. During it, the calf is weak, lies a lot, is depressed. The work of the heart and respiration is disturbed - it becomes frequent, difficult. Shivering in the muscles, serous (clear) discharge from the eyes and nose, paralysis of individual limbs can occur. The digestive system also suffers: the calf's abdomen is swollen, the stool acquires a specific, very unpleasant odor.

Subacute form can last from 14 to 30 days. More than half of the sick animals die at this stage, so the treatment is necessary and urgent. Often at this stage there are complications of white muscle disease - pleurisy, pneumonia. In the lungs of the calf, wheezing is heard, he either does not eat at all, or loses his appetite noticeably. The remaining symptoms are not as pronounced as in the acute stage.

You can observe the chronic form in two cases: if you ignored all the symptoms and did not treat the calf, or if during the treatment you did not provide him with good conditions. And, of course, if he survived. In the clinical form, white muscle disease has all the same signs, but they add depletion and developmental delay in young animals. Many calves at this stage can not stand, since the hind legs are greatly weakened. The stage lasts 50-60 days, from 40 to 60 percent of calves perish.

Diagnosis and treatment

In order to correctly identify the disease, look not only at the symptoms, but also at the age of the animal, the results of laboratory tests. It is not necessary to make a diagnosis yourself, because it is necessary to exclude an enzootic ataxia that is similar in symptoms, and for this you need a veterinarian.

During an illness, protein is found in the calf's urine, and in the blood, myochrome (pigment). If possible, the animal is given an ECG and fluoroscopy.

There are no specific remedies for the treatment of an illness, but it is possible to save the calf with complex measures. They come down to replenishing the missing substances. First of all, sodium selenite is administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly to the animal. This is a dangerous substance, it is extremely important to observe the dosage: a solution of 0.1%, per kilogram of weight 0.1-0.2 milliliters. Prick 2-3 times a day, then take a break for 7-10 days. At the same time, vitamin E is administered to the calf, also 2-3 times a day, 10-20 milligrams.

The veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics, protein hydrolysates (protein cleavage products), solutions of methionine, cysteine, such drugs as "Azvit", "Erevit". Since the disease affects the muscles, including the myocardium, they give heart medications: cordiamine, lily of the valley tincture, camphor oil.

The disease is treated by the course of these drugs. They are given to a sick animal until it recovers. In addition, the calf will need to be immediately isolated, to provide him peace, good conditions, good nutrition with the content of manganese chloride, copper sulfate, cobalt chloride.

The consequences of the disease and its prevention

As with other diseases of cattle, it is impossible to joke with white muscle disease, because there are always health effects that are not treated afterwards. If you delay even a little with help, even the surviving calves become lost to the farmer. They are hopelessly lagging behind in development.

To avoid disease, prevention is carried out at the stage of pregnancy of the cow. She is given vitamins, trace minerals. 4 weeks before delivery, 1 ml of sodium selenite (0.1%) is administered. The same injection is given to newborn calves.

Remember that a prophylactic dose of such drugs as seletitis adultos, selevit, selferol for young animals should be two times less than the treatment. The dosage of vitamin E (tocopherol) is less than three times.

Even in the diet of cows and young add fish oil, but then the body's need for vitamin E will increase significantly.

All drugs that can be used for the prevention of white muscle disease are sold in veterinary pharmacies.

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