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Longitudinal study on morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium

Bart Pardon UGent, Koen De Bleecker, Miel Hostens UGent, Jozefien Callens, Jeroen Dewulf UGent and Piet Deprez UGent (2012) BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH. 8.
abstract
Background: Mortality and morbidity are hardly documented in the white veal industry, despite high levels of antimicrobial drug use and resistance. The objective of the present study was to determine the causes and epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in dairy, beef and crossbred white veal production. A total of 5853 calves, housed in 15 production cohorts, were followed during one production cycle. Causes of mortality were determined by necropsy. Morbidity was daily recorded by the producers. Results: The total mortality risk was 5,3% and was significantly higher in beef veal production compared to dairy or crossbreds. The main causes of mortality were pneumonia (1.3% of the calves at risk), ruminal disorders (0.7%), idiopathic peritonitis (0.5%), enterotoxaemia (0.5%) and enteritis (0.4%). Belgian Blue beef calves were more likely to die from pneumonia, enterotoxaemia and arthritis. Detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus at necropsy was associated with chronic pneumonia and pleuritis. Of the calves, 25.4% was treated individually and the morbidity rate was 1.66 cases per 1000 calf days at risk. The incidence rate of respiratory disease, diarrhea, arthritis and otitis was 0.95, 0.30, 0.11 and 0.07 cases per 1000 calf days at risk respectively. Morbidity peaked in the first three weeks after arrival and gradually declined towards the end of the production cycle. Conclusions: The present study provided insights into the causes and epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium, housed in the most frequent housing system in Europe. The necropsy findings, identified risk periods and differences between production systems can guide both veterinarians and producers towards the most profitable and ethical preventive and therapeutic protocols.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Mortality, Veal calves, Morbidity, Respiratory disease, Bovine viral diarrhea virus, Arthritis, Enteritis, Peritonitis, BOVINE RESPIRATORY-DISEASE, VIRAL-DIARRHEA-VIRUS, SWEDISH DAIRY CALVES, RISK-FACTORS, CALF HEALTH, ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE, ESCHERICHIA-COLI, MYCOPLASMA-BOVIS, FEEDLOT CATTLE, BEEF-CALVES
journal title
BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH
BMC Vet. Res.
volume
8
article_number
26
pages
14 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000304864400001
JCR category
VETERINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
1.861 (2012)
JCR rank
18/142 (2012)
JCR quartile
1 (2012)
ISSN
1746-6148
DOI
10.1186/1746-6148-8-26
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
2136814
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2136814
date created
2012-06-08 10:26:57
date last changed
2012-09-11 16:35:40
@article{2136814,
  abstract     = {Background: Mortality and morbidity are hardly documented in the white veal industry, despite high levels of antimicrobial drug use and resistance. The objective of the present study was to determine the causes and epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in dairy, beef and crossbred white veal production. A total of 5853 calves, housed in 15 production cohorts, were followed during one production cycle. Causes of mortality were determined by necropsy. Morbidity was daily recorded by the producers. 
Results: The total mortality risk was 5,3\% and was significantly higher in beef veal production compared to dairy or crossbreds. The main causes of mortality were pneumonia (1.3\% of the calves at risk), ruminal disorders (0.7\%), idiopathic peritonitis (0.5\%), enterotoxaemia (0.5\%) and enteritis (0.4\%). Belgian Blue beef calves were more likely to die from pneumonia, enterotoxaemia and arthritis. Detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus at necropsy was associated with chronic pneumonia and pleuritis. Of the calves, 25.4\% was treated individually and the morbidity rate was 1.66 cases per 1000 calf days at risk. The incidence rate of respiratory disease, diarrhea, arthritis and otitis was 0.95, 0.30, 0.11 and 0.07 cases per 1000 calf days at risk respectively. Morbidity peaked in the first three weeks after arrival and gradually declined towards the end of the production cycle. 
Conclusions: The present study provided insights into the causes and epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium, housed in the most frequent housing system in Europe. The necropsy findings, identified risk periods and differences between production systems can guide both veterinarians and producers towards the most profitable and ethical preventive and therapeutic protocols.},
  articleno    = {26},
  author       = {Pardon, Bart and De Bleecker, Koen and Hostens, Miel and Callens, Jozefien and Dewulf, Jeroen and Deprez, Piet},
  issn         = {1746-6148},
  journal      = {BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH},
  keyword      = {Mortality,Veal calves,Morbidity,Respiratory disease,Bovine viral diarrhea virus,Arthritis,Enteritis,Peritonitis,BOVINE RESPIRATORY-DISEASE,VIRAL-DIARRHEA-VIRUS,SWEDISH DAIRY CALVES,RISK-FACTORS,CALF HEALTH,ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE,ESCHERICHIA-COLI,MYCOPLASMA-BOVIS,FEEDLOT CATTLE,BEEF-CALVES},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {14},
  title        = {Longitudinal study on morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-6148-8-26},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Pardon, Bart, Koen De Bleecker, Miel Hostens, Jozefien Callens, Jeroen Dewulf, and Piet Deprez. 2012. “Longitudinal Study on Morbidity and Mortality in White Veal Calves in Belgium.” Bmc Veterinary Research 8.
APA
Pardon, B., De Bleecker, K., Hostens, M., Callens, J., Dewulf, J., & Deprez, P. (2012). Longitudinal study on morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium. BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH, 8.
Vancouver
1.
Pardon B, De Bleecker K, Hostens M, Callens J, Dewulf J, Deprez P. Longitudinal study on morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium. BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH. 2012;8.
MLA
Pardon, Bart, Koen De Bleecker, Miel Hostens, et al. “Longitudinal Study on Morbidity and Mortality in White Veal Calves in Belgium.” BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH 8 (2012): n. pag. Print.