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Weak Calf Syndrome or BVD Fetal Infection

Clell V. Bagley DVM, Utah State University


A serious health problem of newborn calves was recognized 20 years ago and termed “weak calf syndrome”(WCS). The Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) virus was often isolated from affected calves and from these herds. In recent years, veterinarians have again been looking at the effects of the BVD virus on the fetus. The two conditions seem to be the same, with the only difference being the terminology used. Several herds in Utah showed signs in the spring of 1993 similar to these diseases and four of these herd problems were investigated. The conclusion was that each of these herds suffered an outbreak of WCS or the effects of a BVD fetal infection.