TitleTreatment of neonatal calf diarrhea with an oral electrolyte solution supplemented with psyllium mucilloid.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsCebra, ML, Garry, FB, Cebra, CK, Adams, R, McCann, JP, Fettman, MJ
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine / American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Date Published1998 Nov-Dec
KeywordsRehydration Solutions

Dairy calves under 14 days of age with naturally occurring, uncomplicated diarrhea were treated for 3 days with a hypertonic oral electrolyte solution with (n = 15) or without (n = 12) psyllium. Clinical response and clinical pathology data were compared between the 2 groups. Glucose absorption was evaluated on days 1 and 3 by measurement of plasma glucose and lactate and serum insulin concentrations for 4 hours after formula administration. On day 1, glucose, lactate, and insulin concentrations were lower in psyllium-fed calves than in control calves, with significant differences noted in glucose and lactate concentrations at several time points (P < 0.05). Plasma lactate concentrations were higher at several times in both treatment groups on day 3 than on day 1 (P < 0.05). Fecal consistency was markedly different in psyllium-fed calves as compared with control calves within 24 hours of psyllium supplementation. Fecal percent dry matter content was lower in psyllium-fed calves than in control calves at least once a day during supplementation and on day 3 compared with day 0 in the psyllium-fed calves (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in clinical performance scores, hydration status, arterial blood gas, serum anion gap, electrolyte, or total CO2 concentrations. Addition of psyllium to an oral electrolyte solution resulted in immediate alterations in glucose absorption without impairing rehydration in diarrheic calves, but differences were transient and did not affect clinical outcome.