This disease is found in young calves causing digestive disturbances and poor growth.
Etiology: It is caused by Toxocara vitulorum in cow and buffalo calves. The calves can acquire infection by ingestion of colostrum containing larvae which are present in large number from 2 to 5 days. Thus infection is found in very young calves, and mature worms are formed within 2 weeks of life. The problem is more serious in buffalo calves are it increases calf mortality rate.
Clinical signs: The diseased calves show poor coat, diarrhoea, reduced weight gain, anaemia and steatorrhoea. If parasites are present in large numbers, they may block the intestinal passage. Occasionally, the larvae may migrate to different tissues like lungs or liver and cause coughing, respiratory distress and hepatic insufficiency.
Diagnosis: The cases can be detected by clinical signs and can be confirmed by faecal examination for the presence of eggs. Blood examination reveals eosinophilia, though it is not diagnostic.
Treatment: Piperazine salts are commonly used for the treatment of ascariasis. In calves, piperazine adipate is 100% effective against mature as well as immature ascarid worms when given @ 0.25 g/kg body weight orally. It is also treated with pyrantel 250 mg/calf or levamisole 7.5 mg/kg or ivermectin 0.2 mg/kg body weight given parenterally. Calves may be given piperazine adipate when 1- week- old @ 0.25 g/kg body weight orally to prevent the occurrence of ascariasis.