The objective of this study was to evaluate under field conditions, whether daily administration of oregano essential oil is effective in preventing and/or diminishing the severity of neonatal diarrhea syndrome in calves aged less than 15days. Ninety-one newborn calves from three dairy farms were assigned into two groups; "Eco" group (n=46) calves were drenched with Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp. Hirtum) essential oil (ECODIAR® liquid 5%) at the dose of 12.5mg/kg body weight once per day until the age of 10days. "Conts" group (n=45) calves were left untreated and served as controls. All animals were monitored daily for the incidence of diarrhea until the age of 15days and their fecal score was recorded. Fecal samples were collected on days 3, 6 and 10 for microbiological and parasitological evaluation. Average fecal score throughout the experiment, incidence of diarrhea, duration and severity of diarrhea episodes were significantly lower in Eco group compared to the controls. Daily administration of oregano essential oil in calves for the first 10days of their life effectively diminishes the severity of naturally acquired diarrhea under field conditions and, under certain hygiene practices, possess a preventive effect against neonatal diarrhea syndrome.
Keywords: Calves; Diarrhea; Oregano essential oil; Prevention; Treatment.
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