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Issues / 06/18 Print

Chronic intoxication with zinc preparations in newborn calves on frisona Italiana dairy farm in Lodi (Italy)

UDC 619:616-636.2

Vakulenko M.Yu., Ermakov A.M.

Summary. Case of mass chronic zinc poisoning of newborn calves is described in the article. Our clinic has received 17 calves aged from 7 to 30 days, with symptoms of diseases of the digestive and respiratory systems. The owner complained about the mass death of young animals on the farm, the treatment carried out by a local veterinarian in the farm did not give any results. We have conducted hematological, histological, anatomical, pathological and bacteriological studies. All calves were identified with an increased zinc in blood. It turned out that the farmer fed calves with milk contained zinc. This food additive is not intended for use in cattle. Chronic exposure to zinc caused a more severe course of infections circulating in this household and caused the difficulty in the treatment of enteritis in newborn calves and pneumonia in calves from three weeks old. Authors proved that zinc-containing supplements, used in pig breeding, are impractical to use for the prevention of neonatal diarrhea in newborn calves; while at symptoms which are not typically for the usual course of the disease or the ineffectiveness of the use of standard therapy, it is advisable to conduct additional investigation for the use of unauthorized host supplements.

Keywords: zinc, chronic poisoning, newborn calf, zinc in blood, time of excretion of zinc from the body, neonatal diarrhea, bronchial pneumonia in calves, zinc-containing preparations for therapy of diarrhea, mass mortality of young animals.


1-11. Vide supra.

Author affiliation:

Ermakov Aleksey M., D.Sc. in Biology, professor, Head of the Department of Biology and General Patology of the Don State Technical University; 1, Gagarina sq., Rostov-on-Don, 344000; phone: 8-928-2143344; e-mail:

Responsible for correspondence with the editorial board: Vakulenko Maiya Yu., post-graduate student, assistant of the Department of General and Clinical Biochemistry № 2 of the Rostov State Medical University; 29, Nakhichevansky lane, Rostov-on-Don, 344022; phone: 8-951-5059125; e-mail: nikdentella-22@


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