treating scours in a calf : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I received this information from a vet student when I lived near the University of Missouri. It translates well to not just cattle but lambs, kids, etc. I offered it to one of the posters a while ago then couldn't find it. When I did come across it while looking for something else (go figure)I decided to put it on the forum for all to use but I hope you don't need it.

Treatment of Diarrhea

I. When a calf is noted with diarrhea: A. Notice character of feces. If white in color or streaked with blood, call the vet. B. Take calf's temperature. If it is above 102.5o or below 99o, call the vet. C. If the calf is down and can't rise, and/or if the calf refuses to nurse, call the vet. D. If the calf falls into none of the above categories: 1. Stop feeding milk for 3 feedings only 2. Instead feed a mixture of 1 pkg of fruit pectin (Sure-Jel), 1 can beef consomme' (10 1/2 oz.), 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. Morton Lite Salt, and water to make 2 quarts. Two to four times a day for 3 feedings. 3. On the next feeding use the above mixture plus 1 quart of milk. 4. On the fifth feeding resume milk at the rate of 8-10% of body weight per day. 5. Give preferred bolus. 6. Re-evaluate calf at each feeding. If at any time the calf falls into categories IA, IB, IC, call the vet. II. If the calf still has diarrhea after 72 hours: 1. Give different boluses for two days. 2. Re-evaluate calf and if he falls into categories IA, IB, or IC, call the vet. 3. If no response is seen within 72 hours of beginning to use Biosol boluses, call the vet.

When I have had to use the electrolite formula, I ease the calf back onto milk much more slowly than this procedure suggests. For beginners (and I find it helpful too), the book Small-Scale Livestock Farming by Carol Ekarius has an excellent flow chart of what to look for when an animal is sick including when veterinary advice is called for.

-- marilyn (, March 13, 2001


I spent a great deal of money one year buying Goat books for my library and my 4H kids. Nothing irritated me more than getting information (Dr. Peter Dunns book comes to mind) and every other sentence was to "See your VET!" If we had good vets we wouldn't need the information since the information would come from the vet! If we had good vets we wouldn't be needing to buy books! I feel very sorry for this vet students patients. Vets who won't give you very basic information are worthless. I don't know how many times I have heard "well I wormed with something white the vet gave me, the vet wouldn't tell me what it was" Geeze Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 14, 2001.

Our vert is sometimes too busy to call and he laso followed the trend here to dump his latge animal practice. The nearest large animal vet for us in the Univ of NC or a vet 2 hrs away in NC. I too get irritated with advice that says call your vet, why buy the book then if its not helpful?

-- Bernice (, March 15, 2001.

I just got the Merck Veterinary manuel from and love it .Lots of great info .I am trying to learn all I can .As for scours depending on what day they start you can make a good guess on what is causing them and treat appropriatly .Every new calf I get , gets treated for general scour wether they have them or not .It's to easy for them to go down hill fast .Also I have been feeding 1 qt twice a day for the first week and then slowly increase .over feeding will cause them to scour .

They can take cold ,but not drafts .I also treat them for shipping fever .Add an egg yolk to there bottle.And also start feeding a medicated grain as soon as possible .

-- Patty {NY State} (, March 15, 2001.

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