Monday, June 16, 2014

Giardia, Yet Again

Yet another herd with Giardia diagnosed in calves. For a quick review on Giardia click HERE.

In this case the origin of the problem was not clear at first. No change had taken place in any routines for the preweaned calves. None of them appeared to have diarrhea associated with a Giardia infection. 

But, calves in the transition barn had persistent scours. Checking out coccidiostat in the feed and rate of consumption did not reveal an mistakes.

A comment by an employee about changing the water supply was a significant clue. Each year in June the drinking water supply for this barn is switched from wells to a pond. This change lowers the chances of the wells not being able to supply enough water for the parlor and other critical needs. 

Previous years have not been an issue for transition calf health. Somehow this year the pond has become contaminated with Giardia. Laboratory results turned up the parasite in both the pond water and feces of infected heifers.

Thus, it is a good idea to keep this troublesome parasite in mind when control measures for coccidiosis fail to halt the persistent diarrhea problems in heifers. 

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