nursery diarrhea

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nursery diarrhea

Etymology: L, nutrix, nurse; Gk, dia, through, rhein, to flow
diarrhea of the newborn. In nurseries outbreaks of diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli, Salmonella, echoviruses, or adenoviruses are potentially life-threatening to the infant. The neonate may be infected at the time of birth by organisms from the mother's stool or infected later by organisms spread by the hands of hospital personnel. The most serious aspect of the disease is fluid loss, leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Care includes maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and administering antibiotics, if appropriate. Good handwashing technique, use of disposable nursing bottles and nipples, and early isolation of infected infants reduce the possibility of such outbreaks.


rapid movement of fecal matter through the intestine resulting in poor absorption of water, nutritive elements and electrolytes, and producing abnormally frequent evacuation of watery droppings. The major causes are local irritation of the intestinal mucosa by infectious or chemical agents (gastroenteritis). In all types of diarrhea there is rapid evacuation of water and electrolytes resulting in a loss of these essential substances. Base (bicarbonate) especially is depleted by diarrhea, thus producing acidosis as well as fluid volume deficit.

acute idiopathic diarrhea
acute diarrhea syndromes in horses which are not diagnosable, such as salmonellosis, strongylosis, cyathostomiasis, Potomac horse fever, colitis-X, antibiotic-induced diarrhea (above), intestinal clostridiosis.
acute undifferentiated diarrhea of the horse
severe, acute diarrhea likely to be fatal may be related to stress or antibiotic therapy. See also colitis-X, intestinal clostridiosis, salmonellosis.
antibiotic-associated diarrhea
results from disruption of the normal bowel flora as a result of antimicrobial therapy for any reason. May occur as moderate diarrhea or as a life threatening syndrome often with severe colitis or pseudo-membranous colitis. See also antibiotic-associated colitis.
bovine virus diarrhea
see bovine virus diarrhea.
campylobacter diarrhea
watery diarrhea without other obvious signs and without other obvious cause in yearling sheep, calves and foals. Campylobacter fetus subspp. jejuni and intestinalis have been suggested as causes. See also winter dysentery.
chronic undifferentiated diarrhea of the horse
chronic, very watery diarrhea for very long periods but the horse has normal appetite and loses weight only gradually. Esthetically very displeasing to pleasure horse owners. Irreversible but not usually fatal.
ciliate diarrhea
colitis caused by troglodytella in primates.
dietary diarrhea
a result of dietary indiscretion; occurs in all species. It is caused by the chemical or physical nature of the ingested material. The commonest occurrence of the syndrome is in newborn animals, especially those who ingest too much milk. There is often a history of access to an oversupply of milk or of a recent change of source to an over-rich milk replacer or indigestible components in replacer. It is also caused by too-rapid drinking. Affected animals are bright and alert and have a normal appetite but the feces are voluminous, soft to fluid and evil-smelling. Secondary bacterial enteritis may ensue but most cases recover spontaneously when the diet is adjusted. Scavenging dogs and cats ('garbage eaters') commonly ingest food that is spoiled or to which they are unaccustomed, resulting in various degrees of vomiting or diarrhea. Called also dietetic scours.
effusion diarrhea
caused by an increase in the transepithelial hydrostatic pressure gradient, such as occurs in congestive heart failure and hepatic portal hypertension.
epizootic porcine diarrhea
at least two types of epidemic diarrhea occur in pigs which are not transmissible gastroenteritis or due to other known cause.
large bowel diarrhea
in dogs and cats, signs referable to the site of enteric disease responsible for the diarrhea being the large intestine include tenesmus, mucus, hematochezia, and increased frequency of defecation.
malabsorptive diarrhea
villous atrophy, such as occurs with some viral infections, causes malabsorption diarrhea because of the reduction in area of absorptive intestinal epithelium.
nursery diarrhea
see nursery diarrhea.
osmotic diarrhea
an overload of unabsorbed osmotically active particles will attract and retain water, increasing fecal volume and causing diarrhea. Associated with maldigestion, malabsorption, overeating, excessive carbohydrates or fats. The basis for the laxative effect of magnesium sulfate, sodium sulfate or sodium phosphate.
psychogenic diarrhea
see irritable colon syndrome.
secretory diarrhea
derangement of normal secretory and absorptive functions of intestinal epithelium such as occurs with bacterial enterotoxins may result in excessive secretion and a resulting diarrhea. Escherichia coli is the prime example of an infection with this effect.
small bowel diarrhea
in dogs and cats, signs referable to the site of enteric disease responsible for the diarrhea being the small intestine include lack of tenesmus or mucus, increased fecal volume, melena and weight loss.
undifferentiated diarrhea of the newborn
the situation in which a newborn animal (less than 7 days old) has life-threatening acute diarrhea. There is insufficient time and it would cost too much to differentiate between all of the possible causes. Added to this is the common occurrence in which there are two or more agents present, often acting in concert. Because of the need to treat these cases urgently and effectively if their lives are to be saved it has become the practice to group them together for the purposes of treatment and prognosis.


a building or part of a building constructed especially for the rearing of animals on a largely milk diet. Requires special attention to mechanical services and the maintenance of a stable external environment. Hygiene, preferably an all-in, all-out management strategy, and strict microbial isolation are important parts of the management system.

nursery pigs
the growth phase of early-weaned pigs between weaning until they enter the grow-finish building. Pigs weaned at 3 weeks of age will spend 3 weeks in hot nursery pens where the ambient temperature is initially 85° to 90°F and the subsequent 3 weeks in the cold nursery where ambient temperature is 65°F.
nursery diarrhea
enteropathogenic bacterial or viral infections in young animals.