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Short communication: The effect of novel antiseptic compounds on umbilical cord healing and incidence of infection in dairy calves



Short communication: The effect of novel antiseptic compounds on umbilical cord healing and incidence of infection in dairy calves



Journal of Dairy Science 101(6): 5444-5448



The goal of dipping the umbilical cord after birth in calves is to promote healing of the umbilical stump, prevent infection, and encourage the umbilical tissue to detach from the body. Treatment applied to the umbilical area is an important management step for preventing morbidity and mortality in calves. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of 4 umbilical dips on the healing rate, incidence of infection, and age at umbilical cord detachment using newborn Holstein heifer calves (n = 73). Calves were alternately assigned by birth order to 4 treatment groups: 7% iodine, a dry dip formulated using an antibacterial peptide (nisin) mixed with talc (3.105 g of nisin per 100 g of talcum powder on a weight per weight basis), liquid nisin (64 µg/mL), and 4% chlorhexidine mixed with alcohol in a 50:50 solution. Umbilical cords were dipped 30 min after birth. Before initial dipping, umbilical cord diameter (as an indicator of the rate of cord drying and healing rate) was determined using a digital caliper. The caliper measurements were repeated at 24 ± 1, 48 ± 1, and 72 ± 1 h (±standard deviation) of age and were continued daily until the umbilical cord healed and detached from the animal's body. Diagnosed umbilical infections were documented by veterinary staff based on a combination of clinical symptoms (redness, swelling, purulent discharge, painful response (flinch or kicking) to palpation of the umbilical stump) in addition to a lack of appetite and fever. Data were analyzed using MIXED model procedures with fixed effect of umbilical treatment. No treatment differences were noted between dips on the umbilical cord drying rate or days for umbilical cord to detach. Treatment effects were observed on incidence of umbilical infection (incidence of infection for calves across all treatments was 9.0%).

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Accession: 065510977

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29573800

DOI: 10.3168/jds.2017-13181


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