Prevalence of respiratory disorders in veal calves and potential risk factors

M. Brscic, H. Leruste, L.F.M. Ruis-Heutinck, E.A.M. Bokkers, M. Wolthuis-Fillerup, N. Stockhofe, F. Gottardo, B.J. Lensink, G. Cozzi, C.G. van Reenen

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78 Citations (Scopus)


The study aimed to assess the in vivo and postmortem prevalence of respiratory disorders in veal calves and investigate risk factors associated with them. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 174 farms in the 3 major veal meat–producing countries in Europe (50 in France, 100 in the Netherlands, and 24 in Italy). Trained veterinarians visually evaluated individual calves of 1 batch per farm at 3 and 13 wk after arrival and at 2 wk before slaughter to assess the prevalence of hampered respiration, nasal discharge, and coughing. A random sample of lungs belonging to calves of the same batch was monitored at the slaughterhouse for mild to moderate or severe signs of pneumonia, and presence of pleuritis. Data regarding veal calf housing, feeding, and management and specific characteristics of the batch were collected through an interview with the stockperson, and the potential of these as respiratory disease risk factors was assessed. Regardless of the stage of fattening, the prevalence of in vivo signs of respiratory disorders in calves was always
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2753-2764
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • swedish dairy calves
  • infectious-diseases
  • mycoplasma-bovis
  • cattle
  • morbidity
  • mortality
  • heifers
  • welfare
  • herds
  • association


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