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Eye Infections

Skin Infections

Ear infections

Mouth & Throat infections

Genital infections

Bladder & Kidney infections

Navel infections

Animal Navel Infections

Despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, navel infections are actually quite rare. The routine use of iodine on the navel is permissible by most organic associations, as prevention is far easier than cure, but there are alternatives.

The first is to allow nature to do the job. In the wild, fresh air and the animal's own system would heal the navel without any outside help. If your young animals are born outdoors, or in clean pens, the risk of infection is negligable. Clinical trials in Ireland have demonstrated no increase in infections from letting the navel heal naturally (The Irish Farmers Journal 1999) so this is very much a personal decision. I personally do not apply anything. However, in hot weather, dirty, cramped or overcrowded pens, or where there is any other obvious risk of infection, the use of a herbal antiseptic would be as effective as iodine, and without some of the risks - despite the use of routine iodine, some animals do get an infection at the navel. This is partly the fault of the iodine, as it dries the site out too quickly and can seal in infection (this drying effect can also be avoided by diluting the iodine 1:2 with water).

If an infection does occur it can be serious, affecting the entire body, especially the joints, but organs and the spinal cord can be affected. It is caused by the e.coli organism, therefore it is obvious that the greatest risk comes from animals giving birth in dung lined pens. Any obvious infection at the navel site should be treated promptly, and cleaned as for an abcess. Intravenous antibiotics are the usual treatment given, and an ingested herbal alternative with newborns is difficult. I have heard of golden seal tincture drenches being used, but have no data on efficacy. I strongly recommend consulting a vet for this condition.