Prevention programme decreases diarrhoea
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Prevention programme decreases diarrhoea

One outbreak of diarrhoea in a heifer calf costs at least 150 euros per affected animal.

During calf rearing it is important to keep the infection pressure on the farm as low as possible. Diarrhoea is an often occurring health issue in young calves. Research has shown that  53% of all calf mortality in the preweaning period is caused by diarrhoea. Furthermore, a calf that suffers from diarrhoea has a 17 times larger chance of contracting respiratory problems1. On top of that, the risk of premature culling of the dairy cow in the first lactation is 2.5 times larger1. This leads to substantial financial consequences for the dairy farmer. Research also reveals that an outbreak of diarrhoea costs between 75 and 145 euros2.

Research shows that one case of diarrhoea in a calf results in one week of no growth. The estimated future financial loss amounts to another 75 euros per calf. Therefore, an outbreak of diarrhoea in a young heifer will cost at least 150 euros per affected animal.


Antonis et al., 2017
2 Lührmann, 2009


How can we reduce the risk of diarrhoea?

A  prevention programme to reduce the number of diarrhoea infections in the preweaning phase should be aimed at supporting the immune status, combined with a reduction of the infectious pressure on the farm.

A proper five-step prevention programme tackles the following aspects one by one:


  • Provide sufficient vitamins and trace minerals to the pregnant cow with
  • Vaccinate the cow to induce the synthesis of specific antibodies, for a better colostrum quality
  • Shortly after birth, the calf may also be vaccinated

Topro advice: 

  1. Topro Opti Trace Cow bolus
  2. Topro Dry bolus


Colostrum management & nutrition

  • 15% (in L) of the body weight of the calf on the first day
  • 3 to 4 L within one hour after birth. Brix-value colostrum >22
  • Pay attention to hygiene: the somatic cell count (SCC) of the colostrum should be <100.000
  • Induce metabolic programming of the calf by providing a good milk replacer, forages, and concentrates

Topro advice: 

  1. Topro Colostrum Mix
  2. Topro DiarFix
  3. Topro ElectroVit


Housing & ventilation

The circumstances may vary greatly between farms. In general:

  • Raise youngstock separate from dairy cattle to prevent transmission of diseases
  • The age difference of calves within a group should be <= 8 weeks
  • Avoid overpopulation in the barn
  • Ensure sufficient space for each animal at the feeding site

Do you need more information on housing and ventilation? Contact your Topro dealer, our Topro specialist (phone +31 888282555), or use the contact form


Hygienic measures

  • All-in all-out with an empty period in-between to break infection chain
  • Make use of proper cleaning and disinfecting agents
  • Do not use high-pressure cleaning devices with animals present in the environment
  • The small droplets are a perfect transport medium for bacteria and viruses

Topro advice: 

  1. Intra Multi-Des GA
  2. Intra Power Foam

Do you need more information on hygienic measures, or do you want to order the products mentioned above? Contact your Topro dealer, our Topro specialist (phone +31 888282555), or use the contact form


Reduce Stress

Avoid stress with your calves:

  • Stressful situations result in a lower disease resistance
  • Consider a weaning programme, and avoid sudden dietary changes as much as possible
  • Avoid combining stressful activities, e.g., do not dehorn your calves at the day of weaning

Do you need more information on stress prevention in ruminants? Contact your Topro dealer, our Topro specialist (phone +31 888282555), or use the contact form