The Diabetic Calf Problem
Over recent years a rare Diabetic problem has occurred in a small number of newly born Irish Moiled calves. The Irish Moiled Cattle Society has been working closely with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in London to help identify the so-
Clinical Signs of a Diabetic Calf (Classic Case);
Calf born alive and appears to be healthy.
A ‘classic case’ of Diabetes in a 2-
It is important to note that the above describes the classic diabetic case, however, some calves that are born dead (still births) may have the diabetic condition and in 1 case it was reported that a diabetic calf survived until it was 2 weeks old.
Try and Confirm diabetes.
DNA research and Gene identification is a very difficult process and so the more information breeders can gather and forward with their samples the better. It will make the on-
In the ‘classic case’ scenario the best way to confirm diabetes is to detect the level of glucose in a blood sample taken by a vet. A glucose level can be detected instantly on the farm if the vet has access to a glucometer. If a glucometer is not accessible then the blood sample should be stored in a ‘fluoride-
A DIY method to confirm Diabetes is to collect a urine sample from the calf and detect the glucose level by using a Glucose Urine Stick which can be obtained from your vet. Your vet will instruct you on how the Glucose Urine Stick works or alternatively take the urine sample to your vet to have the glucose reading taken.
In the case of a calf born dead (still birth) without any known reason the best way to try and confirm diabetes is to send the calf for post-
Report and send DNA samples
It is vitally important that all breeders if suspicious that they have a calf with the diabetic condition that they report it to the Irish Moiled Cattle Society and send a DNA (Hair) sample for research. It should be noted that if a calf is born dead without any obvious reason then a DNA sample of the dead calf should also be sent to the Society for research.
Further information and Contact Details
DNA (Hair) samples from confirmed cases are crucial to making progress to the on-
If you have any other concerns, or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Ball 07976 767629, e-
It has to be said that this is not a widespread problem in the breed, however we must all work together to help eliminate the problem so please for the future of the Irish Moiled Breed act immediately if you have a suspect case.