Occurrence of neonatal diarrhea in calves with iron-deficiency anemia

Main Article Content

Radiša Prodanović
Sreten Nedić
Oliver Radanović
Vesna Milićević
Ivan Vujanac
Jovan Bojkovski
Branislav Kureljušić
Sveta Arsić
Ljubomir Jovanović
Danijela Kirovski


Introduction. Neonatal calves are often deficient in iron. Accumulating evidence indicates that iron status is associated with disease pathologies including diarrhea. Our objective was to examine the association between iron status and gut function in neonatal calves with and without a history of calf diarrhea.
Materials and Methods. Calves were divided into two groups based on their history of diarrhea; the first group were diarrheic calves (n=6) and the second group were non-diarrheic healthy calves (n=6). Blood samples (n=12) were collected at day 12 of age and erythrogram determination and measurements of serum iron and total iron binding capacity were performed. Hematological values were measured using an automatic analyzer, and biochemical properties were determined spectrophotometrically. Fecal samples were obtained from all calves and pH measured using semi quantitative test strips as well as being examined by bacterial cultivation for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Clostridium perfringens, by RT-PCR for the presence of bovine rotavirus, bovine coronavirus and bovine viral diarrhea virus, and by microscopy for the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum. 
Results and Conclusions. There were significant iron-related changes for most hematological indices in diarrheic calves; and iron (Fe) deficiency and microcytic, hypochromic anemia were diagnosed. The pH of the feces was significantly higher in diarrheic calves than in the non-diarrheic healthy group (P<0.01). All fecal samples were negative for the analyzed enteric pathogens. According to the results obtained, calves experiencing iron deficiency anemia exhibit changes in gut function leading to diarrhea as compared with a matched group of healthy calves.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Prodanović, R., Nedić, S., Radanović, O., Milićević, V., Vujanac, I., Bojkovski, J., … Kirovski, D. (2019). Occurrence of neonatal diarrhea in calves with iron-deficiency anemia. Veterinarski Glasnik, 73(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.2298/VETGL181210011P
Full research article


Blaxter K.L., Sharman G.A.M., MacDonald A.M. 1957. Iron deficiency anemia in calves. British Journal of Nutrition, 11:234-246.

Blum J. 2006. Nutritional physiology of neonatal calves. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 90:1-11.

Blum J.W. and Baumrucker C.R. 2002. Colostral and milk insulin-like growth factors and related substances: Mammary gland and neonatal (intestinal and systemic) targets. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 23:101-110.

Blum J.W. and Hammon H.M. 2000. Colostrum effects on the gastrointestinal tract, and on nutritional, endocrine and metabolic parameters in neonatal calves. Livestock Production Science, 66:151-159.

Bostedt, H., Jekel, E., Schramel, P. (1990). [The development of iron and copper concentrations in blood plasma of calves in the first days and weeks of life, equally a contribution to the larvaceous neonatal iron deficiency anemia]. [English Abstract]. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr, 97(10), 400-403.

Decaro N., Campolo M., Desario C., Cirone F., D’abramo M., Lorusso E., Greco G., Mari V., Colaianni M.L., Elia G., Martella V., Buonavoglia C. 2008. Respiratory disease associated with bovine coronavirus infection in cattle herds in southern Italy. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 20:28-32.

Donovan S.M., Hartke J.L., Monaco M.H., Wheeler M.B. 2004. Insulin-like growth factor-I and piglet intestinal development. Journal of Dairy Science, 87:47-54.

Falcone E., Tarantino M., Di Trani L., Cordioli P., Lavazza A., Tollis M. 1999. Determination of bovine rotavirus G and P serotypes in Italy by PCR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 37(12): 3879-3882.

Georgiev I.P., Georgieva T.M., Pfaffl M., Hammon H.M., Blum J.W. 2003. Insulin-like growth factor and insulin receptors in intestinal mucosa of neonatal calves. Journal of Endocrinology, 176:121-132.

Guilloteau P., Biernat M., Wolinski J., Zabielski R. 2002. Gut regulatory peptides and hormones of the small gut. In Biology of the Intestine in Growing Animals, Ed. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, 352-362.

Hammon H.M. and Blum J.W. 2002. Feeding different amounts of colostrum or only milk replacer modify receptors of intestinal insulin-like growth factors and insulin in neonatal calves. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 22:155-168.

Harvey J.W. 2008. Iron metabolism and its disorders. In Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals. 6th Ed. Academic Press, San Diego, 259-285.

Hoffmann B., Depner K., Schirrmeier H., Beer M. 2006. A universal heterologous internal control system for duplex real-time RT-PCR assays used in a detection system for pestiviruses. Journal of Virological Methods, 136: 200-209.

Larkin H.A and Hannan J. 1983. Gastric structure and function in iron-deficient piglets. Research in Veterinary Science, 34:11-15.

Larkin H.A. Hannan J. 1985. Gastrointestinal flora in iron-deficient piglets. Research in Veterinary Science, 39:5-9.

Mišić Z., Katić-Radivojević S., Kulišić Z. 2002. Cryptosporidium infection in weaners, bull calves and postparturient cows in Belgrade area. Acta Veterinaria Beograd, 52:37-42.

Miyata Y., Furugouri K., Shijimaya K. 1984. Developmental changes in serum ferritin concentration of dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 67:1256-1263.

Morel L. 1996. Die Eisenversorgung beim Mastkalb, 3:53-56.

Nadadur S.S., Srirama K., Mudipalli A. 2008. Iron transport and homeostasis mechanisms: Their role in health and disease. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 128:533-544.

Okabe J., Tajima S., Yamato O., Inaba M., Hagiwara S., Maede Y. 1996. Hemoglobin types, erythrocyte membrane skeleton and plasma iron concentration in calves with poikilocytosis. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 58:629-634.

Pare J., Thurmond M.C., Gardner I.A., Picanso J.P. 1993. Effect of birth weight, total protein, serum IgG and packed cell volume on risk of neonatal diarrhea in calves on two California dairies. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 57:241-246.

Prodanovic R., Kirovski D., Vujanac I., Dodovski P., Jovanovic Lj., Šamanc H. 2014. Relationship between serum iron and insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations in 10-day-old calves. Acta Veterinaria Brno, 83:133-137.

Scott R.P., Hall A.G., Jones W.P., Morgan J.H. 2004. Calf diarrhea. In Bovine Medicine, 2nd Ed. Blackwell Science Ltd., Ames, 185-214.

Tennant B., Harrold D., Reinguerra M., Kaneko J.J. 1975. Hematology of the neonatal calf. III. Frequency of congenital iron deficiency anemia. Cornell Veterinary, 65:543-556.

Uetake K. 2013. Newborn calf welfare: A review focusing on mortality rates. Animal Science Journal, 84:101-105.

Most read articles by the same author(s)