Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Calf Diarrhea or Scours in Cattle Herds and Calf Pens

One doesn't bottle feed as many baby calves as I have though the years and not have their fair share of the scours or calves with diarrhea. But anyone who has ever had a herd of cattle has at some point had at least one or two head get the scours. There are many different reasons or causes for cattle to scour, and many times resulting in death.

Watery runny, puddley poop often with blood can come from infections by bacteria or virus, parasites and diet. Diet is the least concerning because it has the lowest chance of death but the others can be equally fatal. Parasite or worms are the easiest to treat but by the time enough intestine damage has been done for the cattle to scour the chances of serious effects have increased.

Bacteria infection is extremely common. Everyone has heard of E. Coli and around cattle it is impossible not to have exposure to this bacteria. There are other also commonly found around cattle. One of the leading treatments is relly prevention. Prevention by vaccination. The most common referred to by most cattlemen as 8-way vac. But if the cattle have not been vaccination or develop the scours from bacteria any way they still be treated with antibiotics.

Virus infection is the worst of the bunch with no treatments available to kill the virus and vaccines are useless do to the many types or strains of virus. Roto virus can be aggressive spread quickly and kill fast. If you have a case of uncontrollable scours in your calf pen or cattle herd more than likely it's the roto virus. But virus infection usually only last about 48 hours but repairing the damage in the intestines cause by the virus is the main part to restore the cattle to good health.

The virus or bacteria even the parasite or diet is not causing scours. It is the damage done to the intestines by these that is causing the scour. Once you have treated or remove these causes, the cattle still has to repair the intestines before the scours will clear up. Adding the cattle in intestine repair with electrolytes will help stop scouring faster and improve the chances of recovery.

Click here for a link to my calf raising guidelines for exactly how I treat a calf with watery poop or scours.         

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-There are some good advice on caring for a calf in this web site, but always refer to your veterinarian for proper treatment of sick animals. Some home remedies work, but veterinarians know best, and can save you money and heartache with exact treatment For this sites Terms and Conditions click here.