Incidence and costs of health problems in Swiss dairy cattle and their calves (1993-1994)

By Audige, L. and Danuser, J. and Frei, P. P. and FreiStaheli, C. and Gottstein, B. and Kihm, U. and Nicolet, J. and Pfeiffer, D.U. and Stark, K. D. C. and Strasser, M., Schweizer Archiv fur Tierheilkunde, 1997
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Between July 1993 and July 1994 morbidity and management information related to dairy cows and their calves up to the age of 8 weeks were recorded in 113 randomly selected dairy herds. Also recorded were any costs incurred through disease and prevention. Blood and faeces were analysed with respect to selected pathogens. The health problems most frequently diagnosed in cows were reproductive and udder diseases. Calves suffered most often from diarrhea, omphalitis and pneumonia. The directly disease related costs per cow-year on average amounted to CHF 139.44 and CHF 4.18 per calf. For prevention, farmers spent on average CHF 10.18 per cow-year. Results from the laboratory analyses indicate that in 68.1% of the farms antibodies against Leptospira hardjo and in 61.9% against Coxiella burnetii were detected. In 8.0% of the farms anti bodies against Mycobacterium paratuberculosis were found. Antibodies against BVD virus was present in 99.1% of the farms. Cows from 63.7% farms were infected with gastrointestinal strongylids. Veterinary assistance was required on average 1.96 times per cow-year. In almost all reproductive and puerperal disease cases a veterinarian was consulted while lameness in the majority of cases was treated by the owner. The veterinary profession was hardly ever involved in disease prevention.
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