Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cryptosporidiosis - Goals

During a presentation, "Preventing Disease Outbreaks: Records and Oversight," at the NY Calf Congress in Syracuse on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Dr. Terry Ollivett (School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin) addressed screening techniques to help determine etiology.

Dr. Olivett suggested fecal testing. She recommends testing groups of six to ten animals - a group of affected and unaffected.

During this discussion she mentioned it was good to keep records of these tests in order to build a history for your farm. 

When asked about what was a reasonable positive level for cryptosporidia she replied that commercial dairies should be looking for less than 20 percent positives on fecal samples. 

My field experience on New York dairies gives a somewhat pessimistic picture. It is common to get over 50 percent positives and some dairies will have over 70 percent positive. Thus, I conclude it is not easy to get the positives rate down to 20 percent.

Some of our best management practices to keep these cryptosporidia infections down include:
  • Clean calving environment
  • Removing calves from calving pen as soon as they stand up and increase their risk of fecal exposure
  • Moving calves in clean equipment 
  • Moving calves into a clean environment
  • Using clean feeding equipment
A background sheet on Cryptosporidia is HERE.
A protocol for manual washing of calf feeding equipment is HERE. A checklist for manual cleaning of equipment is HERE.

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