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  • Author or Editor: Gary Markegard x
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Staggers was diagnosed in sheep and cattle from the northern California coast. The diagnosis was made on the basis of history of ingestion of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) stubble, clinical signs of transient ataxia, which was aggravated by stimulation, and nearly complete recovery after removal of ryegrass as the primary forage. Morbidity was high, but death did not occur in any affected animals. The toxic endophyte, Acremonium lolii, was in most lower leaf sheaths from the ryegrass. Injection of extracts of the ryegrass from affected farms into mice induced signs of toxicosis. Additionally, ryegrass from all 3 farms contained the tremorgenic mycotoxin, lolitrem-B.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To evaluate fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium parvum from California cow-calf herds with respect to age, geographic region, temporal effects, and association with watery feces.


Cows and calves from 38 beef cow-calf operations.


Fecal specimens were collected and examined for C parvum oocysts, using immunofluorescent microscopy. Associations between age, geographic region, month of collection, watery feces, and likelihood of shedding C parvum were evaluated.


3.9% of cattle were shedding C parvum oocysts. Prevalence of shedding among calves ranged from 0 to 13%, and was 0.6% among cattle ≥ 12 months old. The odds of shedding C parvum among 2-month-old calves were 41 times greater than among cattle > 4 months old. The odds of shedding C parvum among cattle tested in May were 8.7 times greater than among cattle tested during June, July, or August. The odds of infected individuals having watery feces were 3 to 4 times greater than for noninfected individuals, but the etiologic fraction was only 8 to 9%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Substantial fecal shedding of C parvum by cow-calf herds was limited to calves 1 to 4 months old, with low prevalence detected in older animals. Risk of contamination of watersheds with C parvum was limited to those periods when young calves were in the herd. Although the odds of having watery feces were greater for animals infected with C parvum than for noninfected animals, the low etiologic fraction suggests that most calves with watery feces were not infected with C parvum. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60: 420-425)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research