How to prevent red water in dairy Cows

Babesiosis | Red Water | Diagnosis | Prevention | Control

It is found in equine, bovine, and humans. It is transmitted by ticks. There is high morbidity and high mortality. It causes huge economic losses in term of low productivity and mortality.

B. bovis (in cattle and buffalo) and B. bigemina (buffalo and cattle but mostly in buffalo) are main causes, other are B. divergens, B. major, B. jakimovi, B. ovata (in cat). This diseases is present in tropical and tick populated areas. Mosquitoes, flies and contaminated instruments also transmit the disease.

How to prevent red water in dairy Cows
How to prevent red water in dairy Cows

B. bovis is transmitted by larval stage of tick. B. bigemina is transmitted by nymph stage of tick (Boophilus tick). Incubation period varies from species to species.

B. bovis: 1 % of total RBC infected and animal show clinical signs.

B. bigemnia: 10 % of total RBCs infected (more dangerous damage) then animal shows signs; Damage occurs in less time.

Clinical Findings:
  • Elevated temperature
  • Jaundice
  • Anemia
  • More removal of RBCs from spleen, hemoglobinurea is more pronounced in this case. Hemoglobin is free and come in urine via filtration through kidney
  • Abortion in case of pregnant animal
  • Low milk production
  • Photosensitization
  • Animal shows nervous signs due to hypoxic injury to brain.
  • Most problematic condition is DLC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy)


History, clinical examination, Blood examination, PCR, ELISA, CFT, DNA probing.


Imidocarb dipropionate subcutaneously 1-3 mg/kg body weight. It is dangerous so you have to keep emergency measures. Allergic reaction may occur so steroids are used. It is preferable to use steroid 5-10 minute before injecting immidocarb.

Diaminazine: 3-5 mg/Kg intramuscularly

Cold therapy to lower the temperature otherwise at high temperature these drugs may not work.

Supportive therapy: Fluid, blood transfusion (heparanized blood @ 7 ml per Kg), vitamins mainly B-complex.


  • Control ticks, mosquitoes, and flies. Avoid contaminated instruments.
  • Premonition: it is a type of artificial immunity may be established by means of inoculation of young cattle with infected blood, which also results in a mild form of babeisiasis.
  • By keeping pet birds they are good pickers of ticks.
  • Dipping by Acaricides
  • Burning of shed
  • Blocking of cracks and crevices
  • Vaccination

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